There are grants, and there are six-figure grants for a program that's only a month old. The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation believes enough in the Denver Center Theatre Company's new alternative lab series that it has awarded a $127,150 development grant to Off-Center @ The Jones.
"We are grateful for the opportunity to continue experimenting with technology, interacting with audiences and expanding the theatrical experience," said Charlie Miller, who curates Off-Center with Emily Tarquin. The foundation singled out Off-Center in part for its potential to make a meaningful impact on the parent Denver Center Theatre Company's programming.
Off-Center's inaugural season includes Cult Following, a monthly gathering of film geeks in which six recurring actors improv their way through a story that weaves together memorable movie moments suggested by the audience (next meeting Nov. 10).
On Nov, 29, Off-Center will host the culmination of a ridiculous accomplishment. A 20-year-old stunt-blogger named Lawrence Dai has been watching the foodie film "Julie & Julia" every day for a year, and documenting it online. Dai's final viewing will take place at the Jones Theatre.
The most substantive undertaking to date will be fully staging a digitally-enhanced play called "DATE*" in which local writer Luciann Lajoie explores her addiction to online dating (April 20-May 12). Info: denveroffcenter.org.
"Book of Mormon" update. "The Book of Mormon's" producers still won't say when single tickets to the show's Denver run next August will go on sale, but we do now know this: It won't be until after the first of the year. So all of you asking about buying them as Christmas presents are out of luck. Right now, the only way to get your hands on "Mormon" tickets" is to buy season-ticket packages to the Denver Center's entire Broadway season. And that only gets you the right to buy "Mormon" tickets on top of that, since it's not considered a season offering.
Salute to veterans. The Front Range Theatre Company's "Wisdom in Uniform" is a unique tribute to local military veterans. Producers Anne McGhee Stinson and Sandy Haworth-South interviewed veterans dating to World War II and their stories will be read in a "reader's theater" format at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. Nov. 13 at the Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts in Palmer Lake. The true stories include a Marine from Castle Rock who lost both eyes, all his teeth and had to have his skull glued back together after an IED explosion in Iraq. He's since taught himself Braille, earned three degrees, gotten married is the father of two boys. The address is 304 Highway 105. Info: 866-879-7373 or frontrangetheatre.org.
Bad behavior: The readers roar back!! Last week, I let it fly with my latest mini-rant calling out escalating bad behavior at live theater performances, which was really just a follow-up to my initial major-rant on the subect titled, "Theaters' worst acts take place in the seats." Needless to say, few subjects strike a deeper chord among theatergoers, who responded in large numbers with their own tales of woe. Here's a representative sample for your inconsideration. Read 'em and weep: Readers weigh in with their own etiquette horror stories.
The art of the date. Fingers crossed, by the end of the week, the entire Buntport Theater ensemble could be engaged. On Friday, the collective will choose a mate through a "Dating Game" competition at the Museum of Contemporary Art. The winner will go on an immediate museum stroll with the Buntport Six, with looky-loos watching it all unfold on closed-circuit TV. "You'd have to be absolutely insane to go out with any one of us," said Buntport's Brian Colonna. "But if it goes well, I think we'll probably propose." Admission is $5. If you want to be a game-show contestant, email MCA-andyl @mcadenver.org, or call 303-298-7554.
And finally ... here's our Twitter-sized review of the handicapped company PHAMALy's self-effacing new sketch comedy, "Vox PHAMILIA: Quadrapalooza": "It's OK to laugh at the handicapped ... they're laughing at you, too!" (2 p.m. today at the Avenue Theater, 417 E. 17th Ave. (303-575-0005); 7:30 p.m. Monday and Tuesday at Wit's End Comedy Club, 6080 W. 92nd Ave., Westminster (303-430-4242).
John Moore: 303-954-1056 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Special report: "Dynamic pricing" by arts organizations: Smart survival strategy or price gouging?
In large numbers, Colorado nonprofit arts and culture organizations have gone the way of airlines and hotels - charging prices that automatically rise as available seats decline. But with the reward comes the risk of alienating customers. Read our complete report here.
This week's theater openings
Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 7-8, only: "Vox Phamilia: Quadrapalooza," at Wit's End Comedy Club Westminster
Opening Wednesday, Nov. 9, through Nov. 13: Theatre-Works' "Women of Will" Colorado Springs
Opening Thursday, Nov. 10, through Nov. 19: The Avenue Theater's Dave Shirley's Rattlebrain"
Opening Thursday, Nov. 10, through Nov. 13:Millibo Art Theatre's "The Great Goddess Bazaar" Colorado Springs
Opening Friday, Nov. 11, through Feb. 18: Boulder's Dinner Theatre's "Phantom"
Opening Friday, Nov. 11, through Jan. 8: Vintage Theatre's "Avenue Q"
Opening Friday, Nov. 11, through Dec. 22: Miners Alley Playhouse's "A Rocky Mountain Holiday" Golden
Opening Friday, Nov. 11, through Nov. 27: "Theatre 'd Art's "Troilus and Cressida" (Colorado Springs)
Opening Friday, Nov. 11, through Jan. 15: Union Colony's "Forever Plaid" Greeley
Opening Friday, Nov. 11, through Dec. 31: Town Hall Arts Center's" The Wizard of Oz" Littleton
Opening Friday, Nov. 11, through Nov. 16: 11 Minutes Theatre Company's "Night of the Assassins," at the Festival Playhouse Arvada
Opening Friday, Nov. 11, through Nov. 26: The Next Pony's "Cannibal! The Musical," at the Bug Theatre
Opening Friday, Nov. 11, through Nov. 19: Lucky 20 Productions' "The Flaming of the Shrew," at the Betsy Theatre
Opening Friday, Nov. 11, through Nov. 13: The Front Range Theatre Company's "The Wisdom Within These Walls: Wisdom in Uniform," at the Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts Palmer Lake
Friday, Nov. 11, only: Stories on Stage's "Veterans' Affairs," at the Lone Tree Arts Center
Saturday, Nov. 12, only: Stories on Stage's "Veterans' Affairs," at Su Teatro's Denver Civic Theatre
This week's theater closings
Today, Nov. 6: Denver Center Attractions' "Blind Date," at the Galleria Theater
Today, Nov. 6: Creede Repertory Theatre's "The Road to Mecca," at the Arvada Center
Today, Nov. 6: TheatreWorks' "Church" Colorado Springs
Today, Nov. 6: PHAMALy's "Vox Phamilia: Quadrapalooza," at the Avenue Theater
Today, Nov. 6: Ignite Theatre's "A Chorus Line, at the Aurora Fox
Today, Nov. 6: Evergreen Players' "Brighton Beach Memoirs"
Today, Nov. 6: Union Colony's "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" Greeley
Today, Nov. 6: Theatre Or's "Apples from the Desert," at the Mizel Center's Pluss Theatre
Today, Nov. 6: National touring production of "South Pacific" Fort Collins
Saturday, Nov. 12: Midtown Arts Center's "Next to Normal" Fort Collins
Saturday, Nov. 12: Dangerous Theatre's "Here Be Dragons"
Saturday, Nov. 12: And Toto Too's "Whacking the Turkey," at Laundry on Lawrence
Saturday, Nov. 12: Theatre Company of Lafayette's "Return to the Twilight Zone"
Saturday, Nov. 12: Coal Creek Community Theatre's "Proof" Louisville
Saturday, Nov. 12: StageDoor Theatre's "Hello, Dolly!" Conifer
Sunday, Nov. 13: Midtown Arts Center's "Tony 'n Tina's Wedding," in the studio theater Fort Collins
Sunday, Nov. 13: Heritage Square Music Hall's "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" Golden
Sunday, Nov. 13: Southern Colorado Repertory Theatre's "Trinidad: Our Stories, Vol. One," at Mount Carmel Community Center Trinidad
Sunday, Nov. 13: Candlelight Dinner Playhouse's "Annie Warbucks" Johnstown
Sunday, Nov. 13: Red Rocks Community College's "Pieces of Eight" Lakewood
It's Arts Week: Here are two recommendations
Curious Theatre Company's "Collapse: Most every local theater company with a currently running production is hooking up with Denver Arts Week by offering special performances and discounts, including the Arvada Center ($2 off "Flat Stanley" and 2-for-1 tickets to "The Road to Mecca," 720-898-7200), the Denver Center Theatre Company ($52.80 for two tickets to "American Night," 303-893-4100) and many others such as Bovine Metropolis, The Bug, Byers-Evans, Dangerous, Ignite and Shadow theaters. One of the most intriguing options is Curious Theatre's heartfelt new comedy, "Collapse." Though it's inspired by the 2007 Minneapolis bridge disaster, artistic director Chip Walton swears, "It's one of the funniest plays we've ever produced." In Allison Moore's story, Hannah is trying to hold her perfect life together after being laid off, her husband calls in sick for days on end, and, when Hannah's flaky sister blows in from Los Angeles unannounced, the family sets off on an odyssey full of comic surprises and moving turns. It's about picking up the pieces and moving on when our lives fall apart. The Nov. 10-12 performances are discounted for Arts Week. 1080 Acoma St., 303-623-0524 or curioustheatre.org Pictured: Lawrence Curry and Rebecca Remaly. Photo by Michael Ensminger.
MCA's Black Sheep Friday: The Museum of Contemporary Art is teaming with Buntport Theater for a silly evening of voyeuristic performance-art fun called "Black Sheep Friday" on Nov. 11. You can win a date with Denver's theatrical collective — yes, all six members — by competing in a "Dating Game"-style game show. The date will take place right away after the contest: An evening at the museum, which will have just opened a new exhibit, "West of Center: Art and the Counterculture Experiment in America 1965-77." If you don't get picked, or just want to tag along, you can stay and watch the entire date play out on closed-circuit TV. $5 after 5 p.m.; museum stays open until 10 p.m. Call for sign-up info: 303-298-7554. Hosted by the Museum of Contemporary Art, 1485 Delgany St., 303-298-7554. If you want to be a game-show contestant, email MCAemail@example.com
Best bet: "Frost/Nixon"
The venerable Longmont Theater Company has landed an unusual coup: the first Colorado staging of the recent acclaimed Broadway hit, "Frost/Nixon." British talk-show host David Frost has become a lowbrow laughingstock and Richard M. Nixon has just resigned the presidency in disgrace over the Watergate scandal. Determined to resurrect his career, Frost risks everything on a series of in-depth interviews in the hope of extracting an apology from Nixon. The cagey president, however, is equally bent on redeeming himself in his nation's eyes. The result is the interview that sealed a journalist's career — and a president's legacy. 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays; also 7:30 p.m. Nov. 14 at 513 Main St., 303-772-5200 or longmonttheatre.org. Pictured: Robert Mess, left, as David Frost, and Stuart O'Steen as Richard Nixon.
Most recent theater openings
"Accomplice" In this comic mystery thriller by Rupert Holmes, Janet and her lover plan to murder her husband, Derek. She and the lover act out how they will poison Derek's cocktail. However, the intended victim has a tape recorder hidden in the room and is aware of what is going on. Through Nov. 19. Presented by Devil's Thumb Productions at the Dairy Center for the Arts, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder, 303-506-5868 or devilsthumbproductions.org
"Billy the Poet" In this new play by Bill Thompson, Billy is a vagrant poet who lives in a shelter with his three disturbed wives. In this dark journey to the twilight world of society's dispossessed, he is preparing his "family" for the upcoming Helter Skelter that will bring the end of the world. Through Nov. 20. 73rd Avenue Theatre Company, 7287 Lowell Blvd., Westminster, 720-276-6936 or the73rdavenuetheatrecompany.com
"Night of the Assassins" In their dingy basement, three siblings re-enact a violent assassination in this new play by exiled Cuban playwright José Triana. But we do not know if they are imitating a heinous crime they may have previously committed, or if they are planning a murder they will commit in the future, or simply playing around. Triana was exiled after writing this play. Through Nov. 16. Presented by the 11 Minutes Theatre Company at the Arvada Festival Playhouse, 5665 Olde Wadsworth Blvd., 720-333-3499 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
"Pieces of Eight" Red Rocks Community College's annual fall presentation of eight original, short plays by local writers including Richard Dresser, William Missouri Downs, Jean Egdorf, Rebecca Gorman, Brenda Hoskins, Pamela Jamruszka Mencher and Jason Karuza. Through Nov. 13. 13300 W. Sixth Ave., Lakewood, 303-914-6458
"South Pacific" "South Pacific" is best-known for its extraordinary 1949 score, including "Some Enchanted Evening," "Younger Than Springtime," "Bali Ha'i" and "There Is Nothin' Like a Dame." But it also a deeply felt drama about Americans stationed in an alien culture in wartime. This national touring production plays at 7:30 p.m. today and Sunday; and at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Fort Collins' Lincoln Center, 417 W. Magnolia St., 970-221-6730 or lctix.com
"A Streetcar Named Desire" Tennessee Williams' 1947 Pulitzer winner is about the violent culture clash that results when Blanche DuBois, a pretentious, fading relic of the Old South, moves in with her sister and brother-in-law, Stanley Kowalski, a rising member of the industrial, urban immigrant class. This is the play that makes beer-drinkers around the country order in a scream, "Stella!!!!" Through Dec. 11. Germinal Stage-Denver, 2450 W. 44th Ave., 303-455-7108 or germinalstage.com
"Trinidad: Our Stories, Vol. One"The Southern Colorado Repertory Theatre presents an original play based on the inspiring and humorous stories of those who make up the former mining town of Trinidad, 200 miles south of Denver. Through Nov. 13 at the Mount Carmel Community Center, 911 Robinson St., 719-846-4765 or scrtheatre.com
Complete theater listings
Go to our complete list of every currently running production in Colorado, including summaries, run dates, addresses, phones and links to every company's home page. Or check out our listings by company or by opening date
The Running Lines blog
Catch up on John Moore's roundup of the latest theater news: denverpost.com/runninglines