Thursday, July 27, 2017

Welcome Denver newcomers!

Want to help welcome newcomers to Denver?

We give an information packet to them, and we can include your business card. This is a new effort by your Small Business Chamber of Commerce, Inc. and we anticipate it will cause a big jump in attendance.

Newcomers are encouraged to walk-in, but seats saved for members is very limited, so rsvp early when you can join us.

You should join me at this Meetup. Check it out now and RSVP!

John Wren (720)495-4949

New! Villager Calendar. Check it out!

One of the best entertainment and other events calendar in the state is published each week by the Villager. It will be listed here on Denver When and Where from now on.

The best community newspaper in Colorado, it is mailed to the homes of Denver decision makers in Cherry Hills, Greenwood Village, Centennial, and Lone Tree. They have won countless awards and the publisher has served as President of the Colorado Press Association and the National Newspaper Association.

Check out the Villager and the current calendar at

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

New! Invite Wren College Sponsorship of Your Event

If you'd like your event promoted to Wren College students and others, post a link to your online announcement of it on and then call us at (720)495-4949

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Denver Center for the Performing Arts Kicks off National Tour Premiere

DENVER – Denver Center for the Performing Arts and producer Stacey Mindich are proud to announce that the national tour of DEAR EVAN HANSEN will launch in Denver in October of 2018, kicking off the 2018/19 DCPA Broadway season. Nominated for nine Tony Awards® including Best Musical, DEAR EVAN HANSEN with a book by Tony® nominee Steven Levenson, score by Academy Award winners and Tony® nominees Benj Pasek & Justin Paul and directed by four-time Tony® nominee Michael Greif, will play The Buell Theatre. Information regarding on-sale dates and tickets will be announced at a later time. To sign up to receive alerts go to or visit

“HISTORIC. Dear Evan Hansen holds audiences in an intense emotional grip. It will have you laughing, and at other times choking back tears, in sheer wonderment.”

The New York Times

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Reactivation of Denver When and Where

I'm about to start posting to this again. One event each week. Have any suggestion? Call me, do not email. I'll give you a yes or no answer on the phone. Ok to send me an invitation first, but only by US Mail. Sorry, email is now just a flood of junk mail, chances of me seeing yours is about zero. 

Mail invitations at least 3 weeks in advance to: John S Wren, Denver When & Where, 1881 Buchtel Blvd. #501, Denver, CO 80210 and/or call (303)861-1447

Friday, January 31, 2014

"Something is rotten in the state of Denmark." Was it the smell of prosperity?

Last night I watched an excellent production of  Shakespeare's The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark again. It was a riveting performance.

Don't miss it! See details of show and how to order tickets in previous post here.

 Seems to me that Hamlet didn’t lose his father to death but to prosperity.)

The casting was perfect for Hamlet, was like watching 3rd Rock from the Sun, until his last scene, and that's why no standing ovation last night.

Monday, January 13, 2014

"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

By William Shakespe are

One of the greatest plays ever written, Shakespeare’s signature tragedy unfolds a story of corruption, revenge and deceit, revolving around the Prince of Denmark and his self-destructive desire for vengeance against the man who murdered his father. To be, or not to be; that is the question Hamlet must answer for himself.    

Hamlet is Shakespeare’s most frequently produced play, it is one of the most quoted works in the English language. The play has been adapted for the movies more than any other Shakespeare play, dating back to the early 1900’s.

"As an actor you just don't get language better than this.  Every time I feel like I'm close to unpacking and understanding a moment or a speech or a scene, it explodes into something twenty times bigger than what I thought it was.  And that's okay.  Shakespeare is unparalleled for this kind of thing, and it is simply the best material out there. – Aubrey Deeker, actor playing the role of Hamlet.

Hamlet asks for some delightfully challenging violence. It is peppered with sudden acts and flashes of physical action as well as internal character struggles with those actions. I find it a gripping play to work on every time and our current cast and setting should keep the audience leaned in. The final sword fight is one of Shakespeare's finest and we have been playing with it almost every day since rehearsals started. Aubrey (Hamlet) and Jacob (Laertes) swash a mean buckle and should deliver an excellent climax to the piece.” - Geoffrey Kent, Fight Director

“As a young instructor, over a period of five years, I taught two sections a semester of an introduction to theatre course that included Hamlet as required reading.  Over those five years, I fell more and more in love with the gorgeous richness of the language in the play and with Hamlet's amazing journey. But it was not until many years later that I got to design my first Hamlet – with Kent Thompson and Bob Schmidt (set designer) at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival. It still remains one of my favorite and most fulfilling design experiences. So I am especially pleased to return to work on Hamlet here at DCPA with the same collaborators – the play remains new, completely modern, intense, challenging and enormously rewarding.  I had great fun designing the costumes and hope that the audience has as much fun when they see the show.” – Elizabeth Novak, Costume Designer

WHEN & WHERE:            
January 24– February 23 in The Stage Theatre
Media Night: Thursday, January 30 @ 6:30pm

PERFORMANCE DATES:                                                                       
Tuesday – Thursday                                                    6:30pm
Friday & Saturday                                                      7:30pm
Saturday & Sunday matinee                                       1:30pm
February 7 & 8                                                            8:00pm only
February 9                                                                   6:30pm only

Single tickets for Hamlet start at $35 (non-SCFD) and also are available for $10 (SCFD 10 for $10 program).  To purchase, call Denver Center Ticket Services at 303.893.4100.  For groups of 10 or more, please call 303.446.4829.  TTY (for Deaf and hard-of-hearing patrons): 303.893.9582.  Tickets also may be purchased at the Denver Center Ticket Office, located in the Helen Bonfils Theatre Complex lobby.  Buy and print online at www.denvercenter.orgStudent rush $10 tickets are available one hour prior to curtain with a valid student ID subject to availability.  Senior and military rush tickets are available one hour prior to curtain, subject to availability. No children under four will be admitted to any theatre.

The Denver Center for the Performing Arts is supported in part by the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD).  Please visit our website at

Special Event “Black & Red” | February 13, 5:30pm
Tickets to this event cost $50 (use code BLACK when purchasing) and include a complimentary beverage, bar bites, live music and a ticket to Hamlet. Call 303.446.4829 or visit

Directors Society Evening | February 19
Directors Society consists of loyal theatre patrons who want to provide support for the continued success of the Denver Center Theatre Company.  This group enjoys an 8-play Wednesday night subscription with cocktails before the show and dinner with the cast immediately following each play.  Producing Artistic Director Kent Thompson provides a behind-the-scenes glimpse into each production during dinner.  For more information visit

American Sign Language Interpretation/Audio Described Performance | February 23, 1:30pm

Free discussion series.

Perspectives on the Play | January 24 at 6pm
The DCTC’s creative team provides the audience a unique perspective on the production. In The Jones Theatre.

Theatre & Theology | February 4, post-show
In a continued partnership with Pastor Dan Bollman of the Rocky Mountain Evangelical Lutheran Synod, this discussion examines the relevant connections to the productions through the theological lens.

General Talkback | February 9, post-show
Join us for a discussion with the actors from the show.

From Page to The Stage | February 11 at 12pm-1pm
Tattered Cover (2526 East Colfax Ave.)
Join John Moore as he hosts a discussion with Hamlet director Kent Thompson and cast members. Free Parking.

Talkback hosted by the Higher Education Advisory Council | February 16, post-show
Join the cast for a discussion led by members of our academic community.

For more information on CONNECT, please visit

Hamlet is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and is generously supported by Producing Partners Sheri & Lee Archer, Katy Atkinson, Isabelle Clark, Alan & Katie Fox, Diana & Mike Kinsey. Hamlet is part of the Denver Center Theatre Company 2013/14 season, which is supported by CBS4, Daniel L. Ritchie, Larimer Square, The Denver Post, The Steinberg Charitable Trust and Wells Fargo.  

About the Denver Center Theatre Company

The Tony Award-winning Denver Center Theatre Company, helmed by Producing Artistic Director Kent Thompson, is currently in its 35th season of offering classic, contemporary and new works to the American West.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Baseball, heroes, and dreams.

I'll be there tonight, say hello if you are too. Watch for my post late this evening with my reaction to the play. 

John Wren 

By Steven Dietz
From the book by Dan Gutman

WHEN & WHERE:                        
November 15 – December 22 in The Space Theatre
Media Night: Thursday, November 21 @ 6:30pm

PERFORMANCE DATES:                                                                       
Thursday, November 21                                             6:30pm
Friday – Sunday                                                         7:30pm
Saturday & Sunday matinee                                       1:30pm

There will be 15 student matinees. For more information, please contact

This engaging, family-friendly show about a time traveling Little Leaguer plucks all the right heartstrings. Joey Stoshack jumps back in time to witness Jackie Robinson break the baseball color barrier for a school project. When Joey’s skin color changes in the process, he learns how different the world can look and how important it is to have a hero.

Joey Stoshack                                     AARON M. DAVIDSON                
Jackie Robinson                                  WILLIAM OLIVER WATKINS                                         
Coach                                                  MICHAEL SANTO              
Bobby Fuller                                       RYAN WUESTEWALD                              
Mom                                                    DIANA DRESSER   
Dad                                                     TIMOTHY MCCRACKEN
Mrs. Levitt                                          KRISTEN ADELE
Flip                                                      MICHAEL SANTO
Leo Durocher                                      JUSTIN WALVOORD
Branch Rickey                                                MICHAEL SANTO
Rachel Robinson                                 KRISTEN ADELE
Ant                                                      RYAN WUESTEWALD
Dixie Walker                                       JOHN M. JURCHECK
Eddie Stanky                                      LEIGH NICHOLS MILLER
Pee Wee Reese                                    JUSTIN WALVOORD                                             
Mrs. Herskowitz                                 DIANA DRESSER                                       
Delivery Man                                      TIMOTHY MCCRACKEN
Policeman                                            LEIGH NICHOLS MILLER
Ben Chapman                                     RYAN WUESTEWALD
Babe Ruth                                           MICHAEL SANTO

Director                                               STEPHEN WEITZ
Set Designer                                        LISA M. ORZOLEK
Costume Designer                               MEGHAN ANDERSON DOYLE
Lighting Designer                               CHARLES MACLEOD
Sound Designer                                  JASON DUCAT       
Dramaturg                                           DAVID SAPHIER
Voice and Dialect Coach                    KATHRYN G. MAES, Ph.D

·         Author Steven Dietz was born and raised in Denver, Colorado and received his BA from the University of Northern Colorado.
·         Adapter Dan Gutman is best known for his Baseball Card Adventures book series which started off with Honus & Me. The series revolves around a child travelling back in time to meet a baseball legend.
·         The set was created to feel like a baseball stadium and its floor was hand-painted with baseball cards from the 1800’s until today.
·         In 1949, Jackie Robinson was selected as the National League’s Most Valuable Player of the Year and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962.
·         In 1997, Major League Baseball "universally" retired his uniform number, 42, across all major league teams; he was the first pro athlete in any sport to be so honored. Initiated for the first time on April 15, 2004, Major League Baseball has adopted a new annual tradition, "Jackie Robinson Day", on which every player on every team wears #42.
·         Robinson's retired #42 hangs in tribute in every big-league stadium.

As a life-long baseball fan, I love the way this play speaks to the place of the game in our culture. Baseball provides the perfect platform for a young boy's journey of growth and understanding.  The play also shows the historical significance of the game in America.  For every significant moment in modern American history, there's a story about baseball that encapsulates that moment.” – Stephen Weitz, Director

“Since I was a little boy, I have had two loves in my life, sports and the arts. Too often I have seen people who are a lover of one of these humanistic expressions dismiss the other, but to me they couldn't be more similar. They both are about doing the impossible, testing physical and mental limits, about the dreams of kids that can become realities as adults. It’s about seeing something you never imagined could happen and then dreaming about it for yourself. I hope that with Jackie & Me we can bring lovers of both sports and theater to the Denver Center and make them discuss, think, and dream.” – Aaron M. Davidson, actor playing the role of Joey Stoshack 

The cast and artistic staff of Jackie & Me are available for interviews. Please send requests to

American Sign Language Interpretation/Audio Described Performance | December 8, 1:30pm

Spark a dialogue today when you connect through our free discussion series.

Perspectives on the Play | November 15 at 6pm
The DCTC’s creative team provides the audience a unique perspective on the production. In The Jones Theatre.

General Talkback | November 24, post-show
Join us for a discussion with the actors from the show.

Talkback hosted by the Higher Education Advisory Council | December 8, post-show
Join the cast for a discussion led by members of our academic community.

Denver Public Library Workshop
Prepare for Jackie & Me through a participatory workshop designed to introduce the characters and explore the themes of the play and novel.

Single tickets for Jackie & Me start at $29 (non-SCFD) and also are available for $10 (SCFD 10 for $10 program).  To purchase, call Denver Center Ticket Services at 303.893.4100.  For groups of 10 or more, please call 303.446.4829.  TTY (for Deaf and hard-of-hearing patrons): 303.893.9582.  Tickets also may be purchased at the Denver Center Ticket Office, located in the Helen Bonfils Theatre Complex lobby.  Buy and print online at www.denvercenter.orgStudent rush $10 tickets are available one hour prior to curtain with a valid student ID subject to availability.  Senior and military rush tickets are available one hour prior to curtain, subject to availability. No children under four will be admitted to any theatre.

The Denver Center for the Performing Arts is supported in part by the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD).  Please visit our website at

This production of Jackie & Me is generously supported by Producing Partners The Corley Legacy Foundation and Keith & Kathie Finger. Jackie & Me is part of the Denver Center Theatre Company 2013/14 season, which is generously supported by Daniel L. Ritchie, Larimer Square, The Steinberg Charitable Trust and Wells Fargo.

About the Denver Center Theatre Company
The Tony Award-winning Denver Center Theatre Company, helmed by Producing Artistic Director Kent Thompson, is currently in its 35th season of offering classic, contemporary and new works to the American West.

**Please be advised that The Denver Center for the Performing Arts – – is the ONLY authorized online seller of tickets for Denver Center Attractions (the Broadway touring productions) and the Denver Center Theatre Company (the resident theatre company productions). Currently there are scalpers, also known as ‘second party vendors,’ selling tickets online at a rate more than double the standard price – and up. Tickets bought through these vendors MAY NOT BE VALID. You could not only be refused admission, but also lose your entire investment.

The Denver Center for the Performing Arts is a not-for-profit organization.

Friday, September 27, 2013

"Got to dream." Great acting brings Death of a Salesman to life in Denver.

I saw Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman in the Space at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts this evening, what a powerful production of what is perhaps the most powerful American play, according to John Moore.

On Broadway in 1949, the award winning play has been produced repeatedly since then but ne.ver before at the DCPA. If it turns out you miss out on tickets here, another production is just starting rehearsals in Colorado Springs, some of us will want to see them both.

Entering the Space is always a fantastic experience, finding the right section in the circular hall, it's like finding a place to sit right on the stage, it seems, the theatre in the round is a perfect setting for this intense drama, and the simple staging amps up the emotions, less is more.

It's said that Miller wrote the play very quickly, the first on the two acts in little more than a day, a gut shot. Powerful, poetic, a punch to the gut of each of us privileged to be in the audience tonight.No one went out whistling.

The salesman, now at the end of his 35 year marriage, career and refrigerator, is 62 year old Willy Loman. We learn he lost his father at a very young age, although it's never said out loud-- in the poetry of good theatre, as in life, very often the most important things don't need to be said out loud-- and as a result Willy has had no clue for the last 30 or so years what's the right way to raise his two sons, who admit they are still boys. Willie tries to help them become men, he continues to try too hard.

Biff, his oldest son hits the high point of his life his senior year in high school, which is true of many high school athletes. H. G. Bissinger the Sports Illustrated writer followed  the Permian Panthers of Odessa Texas for his book Friday Night Lights and found this to be true. James Michener in the research he did for his book Sports in America found no relationship between participating in high school sports and success in life beyond school.

Some see Death of a Salesman as a put down of the American Dream, capitalism and the profession of being a salesman. That's reading into the play something that just is not there. Ben Franklin never used the term "American Dream", but clearly he was the inventor of the concept, the common person bettering the lot of his family through hard work, thrift and giving real help to customers to earn a successful place in the world,

That's not the Willy Loman dream. His dream is about celebrity: to Willy being universally well liked is the key to success. He wants his sons to be popular, to win acclaim, and to not worry about the little things, things like studying too hard. It's no surprise that in their second decades beyond high school they are both struggling.

Mike Hartman, my favorite DCPA actor, is a perfect fit for the role of Willy. He has wide range of emotions, and they can turn on a dime, flashes of anger turning into tears of joy, and then crashing down again, over and over and over.

The rest of the cast was  outstanding as well, Lauren Klein as the wife and mother enabling her child like husband and sons, Biff, brought to life by Patrick Hayden, and Happy, who Scott Mclean creates. Charley, an outstanding performance by Michael Santo, is the Loman's long suffering neighbor who towards the end of the play shows he very well understands the important role of the salesman, that he admires Willy and men like him for reasons that don't get discussed much or even thought about,

When Willy comes to Charley after being fired to, again, borrow some money:

CHARLEY: Willy, when’re you gonna realize that them things don’t mean anything? (Being well liked, well known by a lot of people.) The only thing you got in this world is what you can sell. And the funny thing is that you’re a salesman, and you don’t know that… Why must everybody like you? Who likd J. P. Morgan? Was he impressive? In a Turkish bath he’d look like a butcher. But with his pockets on he was very well liked.

I believe Charlie's eulogy for Willy is meant as praise for all salesmen-- those spark plugs for the engine of our prosperity that has served us all so well over the last 235 years, creating widespread wealth beyond the wildest dreams previous to the American Dream. Today, it's become popular to look down on the salesman. Since the start of business schools in colleges in 1910 or so, there has been an elevation of economists, managers, and market researchers, a shift of power from the hunters to the gatherers, people like Howard, who we can be sure was the beneficiary of a business school education, who we watch fire Willy, Howard the son of the owner who Willy helped to make rich. . Our current financial condition bears witness to the result of putting the gatherers in charge.

Here's Charley's eulogy. Tears come to my eyes everytime I hear it, thinking of my dad, George Tomlinson, Bill Daniels, and so many salesmen I have known who are no longer with us, salesmen who, with rare exception, were like Willie "he never made much money, never got his name in the paper," they got not nearly enough respect as they drove our economy in what truly were the good old days.

CHARLEY: Nobody dast blame this man. You don’t understand: Willy was a salesman. And for a salesman, there is no rock bottom to the life. He don’t put a bolt to a nut, he don’t tell you the law or give you medicine. He’s a man way out there in the blue, riding on a smile and a Shoeshine. And when they start not smiling back — that’s an earthquake. And then you get yourself a couple of spots on your hat, and you’re finished. Nobody dast blame this man. A salesman is got to dream, boy. It comes with the territory.

Word will spread quickly about this powerful Denver Center production, the Space is a small theatre and this will be a short run. If you want to see it, and you should, I suggest you get your tickets now, don't wait.

To purchase, call Denver Center Ticket Services at 303.893.4100.  For groups of 10 or more, please call 303.446.4829.  TTY (for Deaf and hard-of-hearing patrons): 303.893.9582.  Tickets also may be purchased at the Denver Center Ticket Office, located in the Helen Bonfils Theatre Complex lobby.  Buy and print online at  Student rush $10 tickets are available one hour prior to curtain with a valid student ID subject to availability.  Senior and military rush tickets are available one hour prior to curtain, subject to availability. No children under four will be admitted to any theatre.

The Denver Center for the Performing Arts is supported in part by the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD).  Please visit our website

This production of Death of a Salesman is generously supported by Producing PartnersDiana Mike KinseyDeath of a Salesman is part of the Denver Center Theatre Company 2013/14 season, which is generously supported by Daniel L. Ritchie,Larimer Square, The Steinberg Charitable Trust and Wells Fargo.

Here's a montage of some of the powerful scenes from this outstanding production of what the Denver Post's John Moore has called the most important of all American plays:

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

My favorite play with my favorite actor in the leading role!

My daughter Allie and I will be attending Death of a Salesman with Mike Hartman as Willie Loman tomorrow, Thursday (Sept 26.) see detail in post below.

Allie and I will let you know what we think after we see it, but if you want tickets, would be best to buy them right away. This is the first time the DCPA has done this play, and my guess is that Mike will bring an original, strong performance to this most American role.

By Catherine Trieschmann
World Premier!

A small town arts council has $20,000 to award to a local artist with an “under-represented American voice.” 

Should they choose the teacher/painter of modest talent or the self-taught artist who creates religious figures out of trash? 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Opens September 20! Don't miss it! DCPA's Mike Hartman is Willie Loman in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman.

Mike Hartman is Willie Loman. 
"(Mike Hartman) is an underappreciated gem in the American theater. Because of his sense of humor, his generosity and his cleverness as an actor, he can play a wide range of characters so memorably."   
Kent Thompson 

Arthur Miller’s Pulitzer- and Tony-winning drama Death of a Salesman is the story of Willy Loman, a failing salesman who cannot accept that his dreams for his family are no match for realities of their ordinary lives. This heartbreaking portrayal of the American Dream explores families, promises and how slowly both can break.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Catch Starcatcher at Ellie Calkins

Photos of the Peter and the Starcatcher touring company:

Tonight my daughter Allie and I watched 11 men and 1 woman tell the story of what came before the story of Peter Pan, the very creative and energetic Peter and the Starcatcher, a play based on the 2006 novel of a similar name by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, adapted for the stage by Rick Elice.

Lively show, creative staging, still it's a dark show, especially the first half, it had pulled me down by

NY Starcatcher video

Video of of Peter and the Starcatcher of New York performance:

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Winner of 5 Tony Awards®

PETER AND THE STARCATCHER, the five-time Tony Award®-winning musical play written by Tony Award® nominee Rick Elice and directed by Tony® Award winner Roger Rees and Tony® Award nominee Alex Timbers, which kicks off the National Tour in Denver on August 15, 2013 at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House.

Tickets are on sale now at

 Tuesday, August 20, 12:00 noon, Tattered Cover Book Store Historic LoDo Join cast members from PETER AND THE STARCATCHER for an inside look at this wonderful production based on the bestselling young adult novel Peter and the Starcatchers by Ridley Pearson and Dave Barry.

 A company of a dozen actors play more than a hundred unforgettable characters, all on a journey to answer the century‐old question: How did Peter Pan become The Boy Who Never Grew Up? This epic origin story of popular culture’s most enduring and beloved character proves that your imagination is the most captivating place in the world.

 PETER AND THE STARCATCHER won five 2012 Tony Awards® (the most of any play of the 2011-2012 season) and was named one of The New York Times, New York Magazine and The New Yorker’s Top 10 Shows of the Year. The New York Times hails PETER AND THE STARCATCHER as “the most exhilarating storytelling on Broadway in decades,”

New York Post exclaims it is “the gold standard of Peter Pan shows” and Entertainment Weekly calls the show “an absurdly funny fantastical journey.” PETER AND THE STARCATCHER is suitable for younger audiences but most enjoyable for those 10 and up.

 Single tickets for PETER AND THE STARCATCHER start at $20. To charge by phone, call Denver Center Ticket Services at 303.893.4100. TTY (for Deaf and hard-of-hearing patrons): 303.893.9582. Groups of 10 or more, please call 303.446.4829.

For more information, visit 

PERFORMANCE DATES August 15-September 1 Tuesday–Sunday 7:30pm Saturday & Sunday 2pm *Thursday, August 29 2pm *Audio Description/ASL, Sept 1 2pm *No 2pm matinee on Saturday, August 17 *No 7:30pm performance on Sunday, Aug 18

Friday, July 12, 2013

“Fiddler on the Roof” in DCPA Space Theatre

This promises to be a fantastic, a truly 
"don't miss it" event! I'll be there for
the July 20 performance and will give
you a report.  John Wren

Phamaly Theatre Company Announces Cast for
 “Fiddler on the Roof”
Music by Jerry Bock, Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick and book by Joseph Stein,
Based on Sholem Aleichem's stories by special permission of Arnold Perl.
Directed by Steve Wilson
Musical Direction by Donna Debreceni
Choreography by Debbie Stark

Denver – Phamaly Theatre Company presents “Fiddler on the Roof” July 18 - August 11 at the Space Theatre in the Denver Performing Arts Complex. Celebrate the power of tradition and change with this multiple Tony Award-winning musical that has danced its way into the hearts of people all over the world for nearly 50 years.

As Tevye tries to hold onto his religion, his Russian-Jewish customs, and his five daughters, he knows that “without tradition, our lives would be as shaky as a fiddler on the roof.” Resplendent with some of the most beloved and timeless songs in musical theatre like “Sunrise, Sunset,” “Matchmaker,” “If I Were a Rich Man,” and “Do You Love Me,” “Fiddler on the Roof” is filled with laughter, warmth, and inspiration for the whole family.

Leading the cast is Mark Dissette as Tevye, reprising the role he played in Phamaly's 1994 production. Other Phamaly performers who graced the stage in the 1994 production are Kathleen Traylor, who played Yente and comes to this production in the role of Golde, Lucy Roucis played Tzeitel and returns as Mordcha and Donna Gunnison played Shaindel and this year steps into the role of Grandma Tzietel.  Greg Stanley, Fyedka in '94, and Phamaly founder Teri Westerman, who recently returned to Denver, join the Fiddler ensemble cast. 

Steve Wilson has cast Phamaly new-comers Rachel Van Scoy as Tzeitel, Kenzie Kilroy as Hodel, Harper Ediger as Shprintze and Emerson Stark as Bielke; daughter Chava is played by Lyndsay Palmer. Trenton Schindele has been cast in the role of Motel, Jeremy Palmer as Perchik, Daniel Traylor as Fyedka, Kevin Pettit as Lazar Wolf, Ashley Kelashian as Yente, Amber Marsh as Fruma Sarah, Jamie Lewis as the Constable and Don Mauck as the Rabbi. Rounding out the Fiddler cast is Ben Kassman (Mendel), Lisa Young (Yussel), Don Gabenski (Nachum), Linda Wirth (Shaindel) and ensemble members Kevin Ahl, Brian Bernard, Edric Kelashian, Maryann Migliorelli, Mallory Moss, Molly Nash, and Shannon Wilson.

This year Phamaly has a Guest Artist, Sophia Hummel, playing the role of the Fiddler. Sophia is currently a student at the San Francisco Conservatory, and her bow arm is amputated at the elbow. She uses an adapted bow in order to perform. A second Fiddler plays the Fiddler’s son. Leslie Wilburn is 11 years old. He lives locally and performs as concertmaster with the Denver Young Artists Orchestra’s Conservatory Orchestra. The violin part traditionally performed by one character will be turned into a duet between parent and child, highlighting this relationship that is emphasized in this show. Leslie has ADD.

Director Steve Wilson is passionate about this year's show, "For me, Fiddler on the Roof is the quintessential statement about the strength of the human spirit.  I am struck by the truly universal appeal of this magnificent classic of the American musical theatre. 

"While the story has a special tie to the rich heritage of the Jewish Diaspora and the dark struggle with Anti-Semitism, it also touches on the collective truth that everyone will ultimately leave the comfort of “home” and venture off into the sometimes forbidding and unpredictable world.  These transitions can be particularly challenging for those with disabilities and their loved ones and caretakers. 

"The play also has much to say about how humans define home. The story clearly tells us that it is not the place that has defined the people, but the people who have defined the place.  Home will travel with them wherever they choose to go – and their strength of spirit and resolve to live a vibrant life are ever present."

Wilson concluded by saying, "I believe great theatre connects us with signature moments in our lives when we can see how our small journeys connect to our bigger journey.  I hope this PHAMALY Fiddler will encourage everyone to reconnect with their own experiences of these pivotal life cycle transitions - when children leave, families relocate, relatives move or pass on – or a significant life altering health event.  These are times of stress, loss and tragedy, but also times of revelation, strength and renewal."

The Phamaly Theatre Company's production of “Fiddler on the Roof" previews July 18 and 19 and opens on Saturday, July 20 in the Space Theatre at the Denver Performing Arts Complex.  Performances are Thursday, July 18 and Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.; Sundays at 2:00 p.m., and 7:30 p.m. on Monday, July 29. Tickets are $30 - $34 adult, $23 groups of 10 or more, and $17 for July 18 and 19 previews as well as the Friday, July 26 and (Industry Night) Monday, July 29 performances.

 Post show talk-backs follow the July 21, 29 and August 4 performances. Tickets go on sale Monday, June 3 and can be purchased by calling Denver Center Ticketing at 303-893-4100; online at; or at the Denver Center Ticket Office, located at the Helen Bonfils Theatre Complex in the Denver Performing Arts Complex. $23 tickets groups of ten or more - call 303-931-7241.

An Audio Described and ASL Signed performance is scheduled for Sunday, July 28 at 2:00 p.m. Phamaly will offer a backstage sensory tour at 11:00a.m. The sensory tour brings individuals on stage for a tactile experience, touching elements of the set, costumes, and prop pieces. The tour is free but advance reservations are required by calling the Phamaly office at 303-575-0005.

Now in its 24th season, Phamaly is an award-winning Colorado based Theatre Company comprised entirely of performers with a wide variety of physical, cognitive, and emotional disabilities.  Phamaly’s mission is to inspire people to re-envision disability through professional theatre.

Named Best Theatre Company of 2012 by 5280 Magazine
Recipient of the Alliance for Colorado Theatre’s 2012 Professional/Community Theatre Award
Recipient of the 2013 NEA Art Works Grant

More information at

Friday, April 26, 2013

I Don't Know How to Love Trinity Church's Wonderful Production of Jesus Christ Superstar!

Only two more performances, don't miss it!

Ember Rose dominates the show from start to finish as Judas, John Hookey as Pilate, his Pilate's Dream in the first act is very fine, with an exception or two the entire cast is phenomenal in this lively, entertaining, moving hour and a half rendering of this favorite. More about it and ticket information below.

The highlight of the night, and it's a bright, bright highlight is Kia Chapman's Mary and her soul stirring performance of the signature song I Don't Know How to Love Him. I searched YouTube, nothing comes close to Kia's heartfelt rendition. If you've been living in another world and aren't familiar with the song here's a good performance, seeing Kia tonight makes Helen Reddy here seem like amateur hour.

Tonight!  Jesus Christ Superstar, see below. I'm attending, will post here later tonight. John Wren

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Trinity's Dramatic Arts Ministry Presents 
Jesus Christ Superstar

Trinity United Methodist Church's Dramatic Arts Ministry presents a 60's-inspired version of the rock opera, Jesus Christ Superstar, written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. This award-winning musical, featuring an inter-generational cast and live rock music, will be performed April 26-28 in Trinity's historic sanctuary located on the corner of 18th & Broadway in downtown Denver.

Following the success of their musical, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Rice and Webber collaborated to create another musical with religious themes.  Jesus Christ Superstar traces the final days of Jesus and illuminates the transcendent power of the human spirit. This powerful story begins with Jesus' entry into Jerusalem and the unrest caused by his preaching and popularity. As Jesus' radical teachings are embraced by the populace, one of his disciples, Judas, increasingly questions the enlightened motives of this new prophet, ultimately resulting in his betrayal of Jesus. Christ's final days are dramatized with emotional intensity and thought-provoking edge, followed by the joy of His resurrection.

Webber's score for Jesus Christ Superstar features a number of legendary hits, including "Heaven on Their Minds," "I Don't Know How to Love Him," "Hosanna," and the title song, "Jesus Christ Superstar." Mixing a broad range of rhythmic forms, including Webber's fondness for unusual time signatures, the music is haunting and will leave audiences humming.  Rice's libretto remains contemporary and communicates its message clearly even after the passage of 40 years. 

Pamela Clifton, longtime Denver actress and director, brings fresh staging and some cross-gender casting, making for a newly energized production. Trevor Rutkowski's expert musical direction has taken the entire cast's vocal abilities to new heights. Hillary Hutson has choreographed some wonderful 'do not miss' show pieces.

Jesus Christ Superstar will be performed at Trinity United Methodist Church on Friday & Saturday, April 26th & 27th at 7:00 and again on Sunday, April 28th at 2:00 pm.  Free parking is available in the lot directly to the north of the church on Broadway.

Ticket prices are $14 for adults (over 18), $12 for seniors, and $10 for students (18 and under). There is also a Family Pack available for $40.  Tickets are available online at  or at  All seats are general admission, so patrons should arrive early to get the best seats.  Doors open 30 minutes before show time.