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Saturday, April 7, 2007

Final Night! Denver at the DRTC

Okay, this is short notice on my part since the show will be closing tonight, but I highly recommend Denver, The Denver Repertory Theatre Company's production of Denver playwright Johnson Kuhn's latest play.
Okay, that's a lot of "Denver"s. The theatre company is the Denver Rep. The playwright, Johnson Kuhn, is a Denverite. The play is called Denver. Are we all up to speed? (Just nod your head.)
This is an amazing piece of work! Kuhn has created an absurdist allegory for life and debt in the modern world. ("Life and debt." Ain't I the clever one?) The story follows Baby Boy (compellingly played by Jude Moran), a "dreamer" (clairvoyant of a sort) who battles (literally) with a horde of debt collectors for the right to live and dream.
Again, the play is an absurdist vision, so the plot runs far deeper than the brief description above, and it is definitely a show that ought to be seen. The story is funny, moving, shocking, and thought-provoking. The acting is extremely good, particularly by Moran, Mark Muehlberg and Amy Adams. This is the first foray into theatre for both Adams, a film actress, who moved here from New York City about six months ago, and Muehlberg, a blues musician (Curly "No Shoes" Jr. Band) and local film actor. However, I'd never have guessed that this was a new medium for either of them. You can add Amy Adams to my running "actresses to watch" list. (I don't really have an "actors to watch" list. I'm just like that.)
I really wish that I had seen this show sooner, so I could have recommended it weeks ago, but I didn't. I just saw it last night, and I'm kicking myself. This is a very fun and very interesting show. I also don't have a "playwrights to watch" list, but, if I did, Kuhn would be on it. Marcus France, another local playwright (Reckoning With Marlowe, Czar Reed) has been raving to me about Kuhn's work and this play in particular for some time now, and Marc is right on the money. Kuhn is perhaps the most promising young playwright this area has seen in recent memory. (He's 23!)
If you like to think of yourself as supporter of local theatre, then you just can't get anymore local than this.
The final performance of Denver is tonight, April 7th at 8pm at The John Hand Theater in Lowry. The address is 7653 E. 1st Place. (Colorado Free University at Lowry.) Tickets are available at the door (no credit cards), or on TicketWeb (credit cards or paypal.) Prices are $15 for adults and $12 for students & seniors. Box office is (303)803-0456.

A couple more notes of interest:
I ran into award-winning director Terry Dodd at the show as well, and he's got a couple of things coming up soon. First, he will be directing Lobby Hero at Miners Alley Playhouse, featuring Denver's Jude Moran, opening May 11th. Second, his original play, From Dusk 'til Dawn at The Sunset will receive a staged reading on June 18th at the Aurora Fox as part of Colorado Theatre Guild's New Play Reading Series. This is an opportunity for you, the audience member, to be a very vital part of the playwrighting process. Dialogue in a play is largely "theoretical" until the author has had a chance to hear it spoken aloud, and audience feedback is equally, if not more, important. Staged readings can be invaluable to the playwright, particularly with your help. Again, this falls under the heading of "Supporting Local Theatre." We all need to do our parts both to continue and to expand upon Denver's tradition for quality live theatre.

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