Amid the sea of George Bush spoofs and electoral burlesque acts that are cropping up in Denver hoping to gain an audience from the DNC, there is at least one new work that hopes to uplift and enlighten even the most disenchanted of eligible voters.
Show Up for Democracy doesn't sugar-coat the current state of American affairs, but it also doesn't sound the death knell either. It is intelligent and hopeful at the same time, and, oh, by the way: it is the latest theatrical endeavour from one of the Big Bad Wolf's favorite theatre companies, PHAMALy.
The original one-act musical with book by Mimi Stokes Katzenbach, music and lyrics by Ben Greenwill, and directed by Charlie I. Miller, is a clever allegory of the political and historical landscape of America presented as a cabaret act trying to reach a wider audience. Sound a little hokey to you? It did to me, too, but let me tell you, this show packs a wallop. It certainly did for me. It also did for the crowd at yesterday's preview of the show presented at the Mizel Center. My good friend and regular PHAMALy volunteer, Kendall Rohach, was one of many who were visibly moved by the play's message -- a message reinforced by the moment in the show where each of the characters shares the personal story of the actor who portrays him or her. Powerful stuff.
Not to be missed: Leonard Barrett's rendition of the haunting "Wave" -- a song about, well, you'll just have to see (and hear) it for yourself. Let me just say it would still be a very moving song, even if performed without Leonard's stunning vocals -- which, to paraphrase Kendall Rohach, could bring us all to tears just singing the phone book.
Show Up for Democracy will be showing a few times during the Democratic National Convention, and there are two performances that are free and open to the public.
The first is today, August 24th at 1pm in Civic Center Park as part of the Denver 2008 Marketplace. (Yes, it's short notice. You'll deal.)
The second is Wednesday, August 27th at 7pm in the Air Forest in City Park just west of the Museum of Nature & Science as part of Dialog: City.
If you get out to see any theatre during this week -- and you really should, there's a lot to see -- make sure you seek out PHAMALy's Show Up For Democracy.
Incidentally, John Moore's column in the Denver Post today has a lot of coverage of PHAMALy-related news, so be sure to check that out as well.
And, because it's my blog and I can do pretty much whatever I want, here's a link to Kendall Rohach's website, www.magic-dude.com, where he markets his services as a magician-for-hire.
Check it out. He's pretty freakin' good. I have interesting friends, let me tell you . . .