Stage and Comedy

There are times when listening to a recording of Holiday instills guilt, taking such joy at her performance when the tragic ending we know is waiting for the artist once the song is over. And it is in that conflict for an audience that “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill” lives in, and why the show has been so successful since it premiered more than 30 years ago. 

“Red” is a pressure cooker of a show. For 90 minutes the audience is never allowed a moment of rest, even during the most quiet scenes of the script. This isn’t a nice night out at the theater, but it’s a rewarding one. This is a tour de force of emotion as Rothko and his painting assistant Ken delve into the meaning of art, life, death and fragility. 

The biographical one-woman show retells the life of Denver native Hattie McDaniel, whose role as Mammy in “Gone with the Wind” led to her becoming the first African-American to win an Academy Award. “Hi-Hat Hattie” lets McDaniel, played by Anna High, tell the audience her life’s story while mixing in some classic blues and jazz tunes from the turn of the 20th century.