Saturday, November 28, 2015

Irving Berlin's White Christmas at the Arvada Center

Libretto by:  David Ives and Paul Blake

Music & Lyrics by:  Irving Berlin

Venue:  Main Stage, Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, 6901 Wadsworth Boulevard, Arvada CO.

Running Time:  2 hours 40 minutes (includes 20 minute intermission) 

Dates of Performance:  Tuesday, November 24, 2015.  (Opening Night)

If you have a Scrooge in your holiday plans, the Arvada Center has an answer to your problem:  Irving Berlin’s White Christmas.  If seeing this festive holiday show doesn’t improve his (or her) attitude, nothing will.

Berlin’s music is unquestionably the strength of the script, which is essentially a live performance of the 1954 film of the same name.  The film premiered as musical theater in 2004.  The story line involves Army buddies Bob Wallace (played in the film by Bing Crosby) and Phil Davis (Danny Kaye in the original) who make a successful song and dance team after World War II.  They team up with the Haynes sisters for a gig in Miami, but due to some mischief by Phil they end up in Vermont instead.  The ensuing romance and reunion with Army buddies makes for a perfectly White Christmas.
The Haynes Sisters:  Erica Sweany (Judy) & Lauren Shealy (Betty).

The story depends on some convincing characters, and the Arvada Center cast delivers on every one of those characters.  The combination of Ben Michael (Bob Wallace) and Lauren Shealy (Betty Haynes) is superb; they create abundant romantic tension as they reject each other at first sight then slowly fall in love before our eyes.  Michael and Shealy tug at our heartstrings, but never more so than in Berlin’s Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep. It is a improbable moment when they realize that they are falling in love, but Michael and Shealy sell it.  Completely.  Both are gifted actors with impressive voices, and they are locked in for White Christmas.

L-R:  Ben Michael (Bob), Lauren Shealy (Betty), Erica Sweany (Judy, and  Cody Williams (Phil).

Cody Williams (as the somewhat goofy skirt chasing Phil Davis) and Erica Sweany (as the vampy Judy Haynes) make a pitch perfect couple, singing and dancing their way through assorted shenanigans.  Sharon Kay White shines as Martha Watson, belting out a memorable Let Me Sing and I’m Happy.  Darcey Keating shares the child prodigy Susan Waverly role with Darrow Klein; it was Keating on the boards on opening night.  She charmed everyone in the room with her zeal and a huge stage presence.  

The cast is high energy, delivering several unforgettable song and dance production numbers.  The best of these is the second act opener, I Love a Piano.  It’s a full on singing and tap dancing spectacular, featuring Kitty Skillman Hilsabeck’s choreography and Chris Campbell’s eye popping costumes.  I Love a Piano was interrupted twice with spontaneous applause, and got an extended ovation when it was over.  
White Christmas cast in costume.

Director Gavin Mayer gets every part of White Christmas right, from the patriotic moments to the romantic mischief and the upbeat holiday message.  This is a huge cast (23 by my count, not including understudies), and Mayer has every one of them operating in overdrive. Brian Mallgrave’s set design is functional and spans an impressive variety of scenes, including a battlefield, the Ed Sullivan Show, the Regency Room, and a barn in Vermont.  Music Director David Nehls delivers his usual excellent soundtrack with an accomplished orchestra.

Opening night at White Christmas was a packed house; the audience ate it up and gave the entire cast (not just the principals) a rousing standing ovation.  Obviously, Berlin’s music is a big part of that.  Who can resist "dreaming of a white Christmas?" Troubled by your daily stressors?  Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep.  Feeling overwhelmed?  Just remember “blue skies smiling at me, nothing but blue skies do I see.”  Irving Berlin’s music was fitting when the film was made; today those same tunes are best called classics.

All that said, though, there’s more to this story than just romance and candy canes.  There’s some leadership lessons, brought to us by Paul Page.  He is perfectly cast as General Henry Waverly, and he delivers the most poignant moment in the show:

     “Well, ladies and gentlemen, I have some news.
     President Eisenhower has invited me back to active
     duty. Back into the noblest profession I know. Well,
     backwards is a way a soldier does not go.

Page drops his final lines on the Arvada stage like a ton of bricks.  The impact is immediate.  We don’t see Page as an actor.  We see him as a wise General who knows how to lead both in battle and in life.  While White Christmas is a nostalgic look back to a simpler time, Page’s moment in the sun reminds us the the way forward is, well, forward.  

A friend mentioned to me before the show that White Christmas is perhaps the perfect show at the perfect time. In a world that seems ominously dark and evil, we are reminded of what really matters.  Love, valor, and leadership shine brightly in the snow globe that is White Christmas, and that message is just as powerful now as it was 60 years ago.

White Christmas might even make your own personal Ebenezer Scrooge say “Merry Christmas!” this year.


I was unable to meet my self imposed deadline of submitting this review within 48 hours of the final curtain.  That was partly due to having company for the Thanksgiving holiday, and partly because of the devastating events not far from my home.  We shop regularly at a King Sooper’s grocery store there.  I have mingled with the Planned Parenthood supporters there twice. 

Theater puts us in the position of a spectator so we can see our world from a bit of distance.  We can see good, the bad, and the ugly, live and on stage.  But sometimes, it also helps us heal.  Writing this review took me away from tragedy and back to the better side of humanity.   White Christmas is from a different time, but it is a potent antidote to the toxic times we now live in. 

This show closes on December 23, 2015.


Pre/Post Show Dining Suggestion

We had a late lunch, so we were looking for just appetizers on our way to the Arvada Center.  We have eaten at Hacienda Colorado before, but not at the 5056 S. Wadsworth Way, Littleton location.  It was happy hour, and right on our way, and we’ve been consistent fans of the upscale Mexican menu at other Hacienda Colorado locations.  We were not disappointed.

Draft beers are $3.25 per pint at Happy Hour, and the selection is impressive.  I had a beer and Roxie had a virgin frozen margarita, and we ordered a bowl of queso to go with the complementary chips and salsa.  Our total tab was less than $12.00, and the service was quick and friendly.  
Hacienda Colorado shrimp appetizer.


Director:  Gavin Mayer

Musical Director:  David Nehls

Choreographer:  Kitty Skillman Hilsabeck

Scenic Designer:  Brian Mallgrave

Scenic design and painting:  Sarah Spencer

Costume Designer:  Chris Campbell  

Wig and Makeup Designer:  Megan O’Connor

Sound Designer:  David Thonas

Lighting Designer:  Vance McKenzie

Stage Manager:  Lisa Cook

Assistant Stage Manager:  Miranda Baxter


Music Director/Conductor/Keyboards:  David Nehls

Assistant to the Music Director/Percussion:  Keith Ewer

Bass:  Jon Collinson

Violin 1:  Deborah Fuller

Violin 2:  Jean Harrison Bolger

Woodwinds:  Harry Grainger

Trombone:  Wade Sanders

Trumpet:  Bradley Goode


Bob Wallace:  Ben Michael

Phil Davis:  Cody Williams

Betty Haynes:  Lauren Shealy

Judy Haynes:  Erica Sweany

General Henry Waverly:  Paul Page

Martha Watson:  Sharon Kay White

Ralph Sheldrake:  Nathan Stith

Susan Waverly:  Darcey Keating/Darrow Klein

Rita, Ensemble:  Piper Lindsay Arpan

Rhoda, Ensemble:  Maddie Franke

Tessie, Quintet, Ensemble:  Heather Marie Doris

Train Conductor, Quintet, Ensemble:  Matt LaFontaine

Snoring Man, Ezekiel Foster, Quintet:  Tim Howard

Ed Sullivan Announcer, Mike Nulty, Regency Room Announcer:  Andrew Keeler

Jimmy, Ensemble:  Elliot Peterson

Regency Dancer, Ensemble:  Tim Roller

Regency Dancer, Quintet, Ensemble:  Johnny Lee Stewart

Mrs. Snoring Man, Sheldrake’s Secretary, Quintet, Ensemble:  Seles VanHuss

Ensemble:  Kitty Skillman Hilsabeck, P. Tucker Worley, Debbie McCasland, Rae Leigh Case

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Twilight Zone

Source Material:  Rod Serling, The Twilight Zone television show.

Venue:  Mary Miller Theatre, 300 East Simpson Street, Lafayette CO.

Running Time:  2 hours 15 minutes (includes 15 minute intermission) 

Dates of Performance:  Sunday, November 31, 2015.

I’m old enough to remember when TV shows came in just two colors:  black and white.  Well, that’s not entirely true.  Those shows included every shade of gray found in the black to white spectrum.  Still, we just call that black and white. (See notes below for a soapbox statement on “black and white.”) 

For me, as for many of my generation, the best of those black and white shows was The Twilight Zone.  It was a weekly escape from reality.  You entered another dimension for 30 minutes.  I can still see (and hear) writer Rod Serling speak these words while creepy music played in the background:

"There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. 

It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. 

It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. 

This is the dimension of imagination. 

It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone."  Show opening, Season 1.

And thus began our weekly excursion into fantasy, horror, and suspense.  Most of the episodes were written by Rod Serling, who also hosted the program.  Not only was he a gifted writer, but he had a dramatic way of narrating his work.  He opened the show, and he closed the show, making sure that from start to finish you always knew you were in The Twilight Zone.

Theatre Company of Lafayette (TCL) is now doing its 10th revival of the classic TV show, recreating 3 episodes (Walking Distance, Rip Van Winkle Caper, and The Lateness of the Hour) and sprinkling in some ancient commercials for fun.  Of course, there are appearances of the man, Rod Serling (Ian Gerber) to crank up the mood meter.  The Twilight Zone is one of the most popular shows on the TCL stage, selling out nearly every seat for the last nine revivals.  The Twilight Zone number 10 is continuing that trend.
Ian Gerber as Rod Serling.

Mr. Gerber has an uncanny physical resemblance to Rod Serling, and he can faithfully mimic Serling’s speech style.  It’s actually kind of bizarre to watch him.  He’s so close to the real Rod Serling that I started having flashbacks to the flickering black and white TV in my childhood living room.  I could see the screen, the channel dial, the big wood cabinet, and volume knob.  Gerber is exactly how I remembered Serling, and TCL took me back to the unmissable weekly viewing when The Twilight Zone lit up that small room.  So to you, Mr. Gerber, and to TCL, I say…thanks for the memories.

Each of the three episodes for this 10th revival is uniquely Serling at his best.  By that I mean that I can’t give you much information about the plot without spoiling the show.  Here’s the best, if brief, description I can give:

Walking Distance

Martin Sloan is a 36 year old advertising executive who, while driving in the countryside, stops at a gas station within “walking distance” of his boyhood home.  It appears exactly as he remembers it.  It seems unchanged by the passage of time.

The Rip Van Winkle Caper

The perfect crime.  Steal a million dollars worth of gold and disappear.  But how, you ask?  It’s not that difficult if you’re willing to spend some time in a suspended animation chamber.

The Lateness of the Hour

If you could staff your home with robots for all your daily chores, would that be utopian or dystopian?  The answer depends on your point of view, and how sure you are of your own past.

As you watch these three short stories unravel on the TCL stage, you will cross over into The Twilight Zone.  You will travel back in time, to when TV was monochrome, programming was on the network’s schedule, and things were much simpler.  When you walk into the Mary Miller theater, you will discover that you just crossed over into the TCL Zone, a place where time travel (backwards, at least) is possible.

There are a lot of things to love in The Twilight Zone, too many, frankly, to bring up in this post.  Here are a few though:

Set design for suspension chambers.  Howard Smith.
Howard Smith’s set design.  Between the four suspended animation chambers (The Rip Van Winkle Caper), the soda shop (Walking Distance), and the upscale home of Dr. & Mrs. Loren (The Lateness of the Hour), Mr. Smith has delivered impressive, creative, and functional sets for a wide variety of situations.

Renee Malis (right), Madge Montgomery &Ana Mihaela Lucaci
Renee Malis as Jana (The Lateness of the Hour).  Ms. Malis is striking as the rebellious daughter who confronts her parents, only to discover that she is part of the problem, not the solution.  Malis takes her emotions through a roller coaster ride that few of us could endure.

The Hunks.

Byron Thompson, Don Thumim, Matthew Barham, collectively known as the “hunks.”  Thompson, Thumim, and Barham make the Noxema commercial the comedy highlight of the entire performance.  Not to be missed.

Don Thumim.  Yes.  He’s a hunk.  But I’m not sure I want to have a beer with him at an Italian restaurant.  Alka Seltzer commercial.

Judy Carlson.  She’s the Fig.  In a fig costume.  What more can you ask of an actor?
Judy Carlson, the Fig.  With her Newtons.

Aidan Stockrider.  The youngest guy on the stage, but a BIG stage presence.  He hit his marks, knew his lines, and charmed the audience.

Ian Gerber.  Rod Serling reincarnated and much more.  He also directed Walking Distance.  It’s a complicated piece with a big cast.  It worked well.

Aidan Stockrider, David Billey

Kirsten Jorgensen Smith.  Ms. Smith directed The Rip Van Winkle Caper, and adapted it from the original.  She replaced the male scientist with female actor (Sage Miller).  It worked.  It also put a different spin on the story, as the mastermind criminal was a woman with a staff of 3 male bad guys.

Vonalda Utterback.  Ms. Utterback directed The Lateness of the Hour, which has the special challenge of actors portraying robots.  Utterback coached the cast to drop their humanity and to act mechanical.  It worked.  Well.    

I could go on (apologies to all who I didn't mention), but I think I’ve made the point.  The Twilight Zone is great entertainment, due in no small part to the genius of the source material.  But having inspired source material isn’t enough.  That source material has to be executed with the respect and the quality it deserves.  TCL has done exactly that, making The Twilight Zone a worthy (and very worthwhile) tribute to Rod Serling and his work.


The Twilight Zone is appropriate for all audiences.  There is no parking lot at the Mary Miller Theater, but there is ample free parking in the neighborhood.

Soapbox:  Black and White & Early Television

I mentioned above that “black and white” TV actually includes a broad spectrum of greys (or grays, if you prefer).  I mentioned this because for those of us who remember those days, and those shows, we know that without the gray areas the shows would have been virtually unwatchable.  There is always a a broad range of gray between black and white.

My point is political, so if you’re not interested, read no further.  For all the benefits of Color TV (and they are many), and HD TV, and cable/satellite/streaming TV, we seem to have lost sight of the “gray areas.”  That range between the extremes of black and white.  It impairs us; we are only able to see, and speak, in absolute terms.  Right and wrong.  Left and right.  Red and blue.  Good and evil.

So consider this my quaint flashback to a simpler time when we HAD to see the “gray area.”  It fills in the critical details.  It gives the scene texture.  It provides nuance.  Perhaps we could benefit from remembering that red contains some rose, and that blue contains some cyan.  There are many parts to the spectrum between the extremes.

End of soapbox.

Lighting Designer Brian Miller always does a fine job with the lights, but for this performance he went above and beyond.  There was a light that didn't function properly early in the performance.  Brian gamely showed up at intermission on a Sunday afternoon and fixed the problem before Act 2 began.  Now that's a lighting guy who brightens up everyone's day.

The Twilight Zone was nearly sold out at the performance I saw.  As tickets are only $10 on Thursdays, they are hard to get.  Thursday, November 12 appears to still have seats available.  Link above for ticketing...but don't wait too long.

This show closes on November 14, 2015.

PHOTO CREDITS The Theatre Company of Lafayette and Brian Miller.


Pre/Post Show Dining Suggestion

We met friends for brunch at Pinocchio’s Italian Eatery at 211 N. Public Road in Lafayette.   They serve breakfast on weekends, 9:00 AM to noon on Saturday and 9:00 AM-1:00 PM on Sunday.  It’s a fairly standard breakfast menu, well prepared and served promptly and with a smile.  

Ironically, we had planned to do brunch at The Post Brewing Company, which is nearby.  Unfortunately, it’s a very popular spot, and we couldn’t get a reservation.  My advice:  if you’re unwilling or unable to wait your turn at The Post, try Pinochhio’s.  You’ll be glad you did.  With good food at reasonable prices, no waiting, and an environment quiet enough for conversation, we’re glad The Post was booked.  We had a leisurely breakfast and great conversation with friends at Pinocchio’s.

If you’re looking for good spaghetti with spicy meatballs, Mr. Thumim…well, you know where to go...Pinocchio's!  All you can eat spaghetti every Thursday for just $8.99.


Production Concept:  Madge Montgomery

Set Design and construction:  Howard Smith

Scenic design and painting:  Sarah Spencer

Costume Design:  Kim DeJager.  

Costume Assistant:  Karen Jones

Sound Design:  Madge Montgomery

Lighting Design:  Brian Miller


Rod Serling:  Ian Gerber

Fig Newton Commercial

Director Don Thumim

Fig: Judy Carlson

Newtons: Hannah Richards and Renee Malis

Walking Distance:  

Written by:  Rod Serling, televised 1959

Directed and adapted by: Ian Gerber

Martin Sloan:  Dave Bliley

Soda jerk, Martin's Mother:  Wendy Fulton-Adams

Young Woman, Soda Jerk: Heather Frost

Billy:  Don Thumim

Mr. Wilson, Martin's Father:  Arnie Follendorf

Station Attendant, Billy's mom:  Judy Carlson

Wilcox Boy, Young Martin:  Aidan Stockrider

Alka Seltzer Commercial (Spicy Meatballs)

Adapted/Directed by: Madge Montgomery

Husband:  Don Thumim

Wife  Carol Long

Director:  Susanne Newswadi

Production Assistant:  Hannah Richards

Announcer:  Vonalda Utterback

Rip Van Winkle Caper

Written by:  Rod Serling, televised in 1961

Adapted/Directed by: Kirsten Jorgensen Smith

Professor Farwell:  Sage Miller

De Cruz: Bill Graham

Erby/Thierry: Byron Thompson

Brooks/George:  David Bliley

Noxema Commercial (Take it Off)

Reimagined by: Madge Montgomery, Ammon Swofford and the company. 

Directed by:  Madge Montgomery

Ladies:  Hope Weiss, Susanne Neswadi, Hannah Richards

Hunks:  Byron Thompson, Don Thumim, Matthew Barham

Rod:  Ian Gerber

The Lateness of the Hour

Written by:  Rod Serling, televised in 1960.

Adapted/Directed by: Vonalda Utterback

Dr. Loren:  Arnie Follendorf

Mrs. Loren:  Madge Montgomery

Jana:  Renee Malis

Robert, the butler:  Matthew Barham

Nelda, the maid:  Ana Mihaela Lucaci

Jensen, the handyman:  Don Thumim

Tuesday, November 3, 2015


Playwright: Nina Raine

CompanyThe Theatre Company at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.

Venue:  Ricketson Theatre, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, 14th and Curtis Street, Denver CO.

Running Time:  2 hours 15 minutes (includes 15 minute intermission) 

Dates of Performance:  Saturday, October 31, 2015.

Front:  Harriet, Ozzie.  Back:  Ricky, David.
I remember growing up with some TV families.  Ozzie and Harriet, in particular, stood out.  They were a perfect family; Ozzie was the perfect father, Harriet the perfect mother.  Their boys, Ricky and David, were role models for my teenage years.  It turned out that the reality was nothing like the TV show.  It also turns out that life is nothing like we see on TV.

Life is actually a lot more like playwright Nina Raines' British family in Tribes.  In other words, totally dysfunctional  And seriously, who among us couldn’t write our own scripts about our family dysfunctions?  Tribes, however, has a special (maybe even better?) kind of dysfunction.  The politically incorrect, self absorbed family members can’t communicate with each other.  They wallow in their own self pity while cruelly insulting each other’s failures.  

Christopher (Stephen Paul Johnson) and Beth (Kathleen McCall) have three children, including Billy (Tad Cooley).  Billy is deaf.  He doesn’t sign; he reads lips.  Even so, the family barely bothers to speak to him.

Raines adds a deaf component to an already toxic family dynamic.  By doing so, she demonstrates how far beyond repair our social skills have become in our most important relationships.  One can’t help but wonder how people who are unable to relate to their own parents or siblings can possibly succeed with anyone else.  Raines doesn’t really answer that question, but just posing it makes a powerful point.
Tad Cooley as Billy.

Director Stephen Weitz starts here with a stellar cast, including Cooley as the deaf and disconnected son.  His bio in the program doesn’t indicate whether he really is deaf, but if he’s not, you would never know it from his performance.  He’s completely convincing whether he’s lip reading or, after being introduced to the deaf community, using American Sign Language (ASL).  Cooley has a critical scene in which he demands that his family learn ASL.  He’s not just fluent in ASL in that critical scene, but his signs brilliantly convey his anger and passion.  Cooley’s performance in that scene destroys his family’s objection to ASL:  it can’t be a real language without words.  Of course they’re wrong; ASL can and does convey the intangible, the poetic, and the entire range of emotions, as Cooley dramatically proves.  

Projection/Translation.  Tad Cooley and Andrew Pastides.
Weitz has incorporated an interesting array of audio-visual effects to make Tribes work for all.  There are opera type projections (designed by Charlie I. Miller) that accompany ASL interactions, giving the hearing audience a means to understand the ASL.  However, it quickly becomes apparent that the words are somewhat empty without the signs.  One must see the ASL speaker to understand the urgency (or lack thereof) and the emotions being conveyed.  

Perhaps the most striking visual Weitz uses is a musical one.  Billy’s love interest, Sylvia (Kate Finch) sits down at the piano and starts playing.  Charles I. Miller's mesmerizing projection interprets the notes in colors and shapes.  It’s a stunningly beautiful visual representation of what we are hearing.

L-R:  Andrew Pastides (Daniel), Tad Cooley (Billy), Kate Finch (Sylvia).
Finch, for her part, is just as gifted as Cooley at portraying a deaf character.  In Sylvia’s case, she is losing her hearing gradually.  She has learned ASL, and she introduces Billy to ASL and to the ASL deaf community.  We never question why Billy falls for Sylvia. Finch plays her as a smart, beautiful, and a strong advocate for Billy in his broken family dynamics.  Like Cooley, there is no mention of deafness in her bio.  And like Cooley, it doesn’t much matter, since she’s a brilliant actress who can quickly convince an audience that she is deaf.

Kathleen McCall (Beth) & S P Johnson (Christopher).
The rest of the cast is talented as well.  Stephen Paul Johnson plays Christopher, Billy’s father and resident curmudgeon.  He’s an odious provocateur, more interested in conflict than solutions.  Johnson has a twinkle in his eye; he obviously enjoys starting trouble.  Billy’s sister Ruth (Isabel Ellison) is lost in life and drifting; Ellison carefully skillfully sketches out the agony of an adult child who moves back home.  Daniel (Andrew Pastides) is Billy’s slacker/writer/loser brother, and Pastides brings all the necessary angst to his role.  Were it not for sharing the stage with Johnson, he would surely be the least likable character in Raine’s script.  Kathleen McCall (Beth) rounds out the script as Billy’s mild mannered, hand wringing mother/aspiring writer.  

Lisa Orzolek’s set design is stunning in its detail; the family home is littered with books, magazines, and a working tea kettle.  I was sitting close enough to the stage to notice that when Ruth was ironing sheets (a sure sign this is a British family), the iron wasn’t plugged in.  The script apparently called for Ruth to plug it in, and she did.  It was then that I noticed that the cord had a UK style plug.  It’s a small detail that few would notice, but it speaks volumes about Orzolek’s attention to details.

Raine’s script is ambitious; telling a story about the conflicts in both the small family unit and the larger deaf community is a tall order.  Both themes would easily support their own full length script.  She succeeds in demonstrating how our “tribes” are often in conflict with each other, and that sometimes we have tribes within our tribes.  I did find Billy’s transition from lip reader to ASL fluency to be rather abrupt, as does the reconciliation in the final scene.  Quibbles aside, though, Tribes is an powerful, engaging theater done by a high powered cast and crew.

Colorado audiences are familiar with Raine’s subject matter, thanks to several local companies (Rocky Mountain Deaf Theatre, PHAMALY, and Dragon Theatre) that deal regularly and directly with issues of different abilities.  The Theatre Company at the Denver Center is arguably the biggest player in the Colorado theater, and they are proud that their shows are “as diverse as the community we perform for.”  

It’s true.  Their shows are as diverse as the community, and they should be proud. Tribes may not sell as many tickets as The Lion King, but Colorado is a better place because organizations like The Theatre Company include everyone in their mission and their productions.


The Tribes script is peppered with profanities and probably not appropriate for young children.  Park at the adjacent DCPA parking structure ($12.00).  Metered street parking is sparse.  

Closed Captioning devices are available for those with hearing impairments.  The new devices  feature an adjustable seat mount, enabling users to enjoy private captioning from any seat. Devices must be reserved by emailing 48 hours in advance (

This show closes on November 15, 2015.

PHOTO CREDITSThe Theatre Company at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.  Ozzie and Harriet:


Pre/Post Show Dining Suggestion

It was Halloween, so there were a LOT of people downtown the night we saw Tribes.  We only had about 45 minutes to eat and get to our seats, so we walked the two blocks to the Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery at 1001 16th Street.  It was crowded, but we got seated quickly at the Back Bar.  Just to make sure we didn’t get delayed by a bottleneck in the kitchen, we just ordered an appetizer to split (steak BLT sliders, $6.95 for two, four for $12.50) and a dessert (salted carmel toffee in a Mason jar, $6.95).  Oh.  And beers.  

The order was delivered quickly, and we had no problem getting back to the DCPA in plenty of time for Tribes.  The sliders were delicious (but small), the guilty pleasure dessert was fantastic.  Rock Bottom will be definitely be on our radar for food and beer when we’re back in the neighborhood.


Director:  Stephen Weitz

Scenic Design:  Lisa Orzolek

Lighting Design:  Shannon McKinney

Sound Design:  Craig Breitenbach

Projection Design:  Charlie I. Miller

Associate Projection Designer:  Topher Blair

Dramaturgy:  Heidi Schmidt

Voice/Dialect Coaching:  Kathryn G. Maes Ph. D.

Director of Production:  Jeff Gifford

Costume Design:  Meghan Anderson Doyle

Deaf Accessibility Consultants:  Hands On Productions, LLC.

Stage Manager: Rachel Ducat


Christopher:  Stephen Paul Johnson

Beth:  Kathleen McCall

Ruth:  Isabel Ellison

Daniel:  Andrew Pastides

Billy:  Tad Cooley

Sylvia:  Kate Finch