Theater

Bailey Harper
Stacy Nick / KUNC

"It's cold. And it's getting colder."

The opening lines from "Aggregate Immateriality" are a pretty apt description of Denver theatre company Control Group's new show — and its latest venue.

"When we first got in here it was freezing," said actor Bailey Harper, who plays the show's lead character.

Courtesy of Bas Bleu Theatre

The song “Somewhere That’s Green” from the musical “Little Shop of Horrors” is one of Fort Collins actor Jonathan Farwell’s favorites. It was a standard part of his wife, Deb Note-Farwell's, repertoire whenever she was invited to sing.

“And every time I heard it, I cried,” Jonathan said. “So that’s really what happens to me now. I don’t know if worse is the word or maybe better -- to feel what it feels like to miss her that much.”

Courtesy of Cheyenne Michaels

Katy Williams is used to having to explain her work.

“I’ll tell people I’m a puppeteer and they’re like, ‘Oh, so like The Muppets?’” Williams said. “And I’m like, ‘Yes -- but no.’”

Because what Williams does is so much more than felted fabric.

Arne Svenson / Courtesy the artist and Julie Saul Gallery, New York

Peek-a-boo, Arne Svenson's camera sees you. From a voyeuristic photo exhibition to a sleepover at one of Colorado's oldest venues to a Beatles reunion – of sorts – this week is pretty packed with options.

Darlene St. John / Darlene St. John Photography

Before rehearsing his opening song in Loveland Opera Theatre's production of the classic Pirates of Penzance, opera singer Adam Ewing needs a little warming up.

"I think the speech-like nature of it lends itself very easily to being sung and kind of stumbled over," Ewing said of his opening number, "I am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General" – more commonly known as the "Major General's Song."

And it is a very commonly known song.

"Something about it - it's just kind of in the public consciousness," Ewing said.

Stacy Nick / KUNC

There's a lot of drama that goes into putting on a play – costumes, sets, choreography - but what if there wasn't?

At Fort Collins' Bas Bleu Theatre Company, the Readers' Theatre series takes shows directly from the page to the stage, and leaves a lot of those other elements behind.

"Readers' Theatre gives the opportunity to the audience - for the audience to use their own imagination," Loveland actor Don Kraus said.

Stacy Nick / KUNC

Theater is often meant to inspire as well as to entertain. For some high school students in Greeley, a theater program is giving them a voice even when they speak many different languages.

"El Teatro is a multilingual, multicultural theater group with the goal of helping students to share their story and teaching the community that we're all more alike than we are different," explained Jessica Cooney.

The Greeley West teacher helped start El Teatro nine years ago after realizing that her English as a Second Language students had some amazing stories - but no way to tell them.

It's astounding / time is fleeting / madness takes its toll ...

If you recognize those lyrics from the Rocky Horror Picture Show, you know what Riff-Raff means by madness: midnight show audiences shouting at the screen and doing the Time Warp in movie theater aisles as they've been doing for decades. This weekend will be Rocky Horror's 40th Halloween.

Stacy Nick / KUNC

When you think of school musicals, classics like Oklahoma and The Music Man may come to mind. Now, though, high schools are going beyond the same old song and dance to more contemporary - and sometimes a little risqué – shows.

Take Poudre High School's upcoming fall musical. The Fort Collins school is performing Avenue Q. In the Broadway version, the show's puppets swear, drink and have sex. This, however, is Avenue Q School Edition.

"High school kids, in particular, loved this show and they loved that it was naughty and had bad language in it," Poudre theater director Joel Smith said. "But beyond that they loved that it was talking about things high school students could relate to."

Jim Hill / KUNC

On a sunny September afternoon, an odd lot makes its way up the Enchanted Mesa Trail at Boulder's Chautauqua Park. A zombified Boy Scout troubadour softly strums a guitar while guide Jillian Price leads an eager group of theater fans to a forest clearing for the first act of 10 Ways to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse.

"We always like to say we have one of the best set designers in the world," said Price, remarking on the beauty of Boulder's open space.

It's not your traditional production but it works, as Theatre-Hikes Colorado isn't your traditional theater troupe. There are no chairs, no curtain, and the stage is the great outdoors. As a bonus, theater patrons that trade their high heels for hiking boots also get tips to survive should the undead rise up.

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