Theater geeks and casual goers alike are spoiled for choice these days when it comes to catching a show anywhere along the Front Range.
This summer is no exception.
With nearly a half-dozen stages within a few blocks in Aurora, the theatrical megalopolis that is the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, and myriad boards cast throughout the region’s many crannies, it seems that particularly histrionic humans are increasingly able to hit a performance space with a well-lofted playbill.
And thankfully, the talent has kept well-sung, well-acted and well-directed pace with the ever-evolving face of the metro scene. Both familiar faces and novel names will be gracing the stages this season, embodying personages ranging from the quintessential Roxie Hart to modern mainstay Dieter Muehler. If the latter doesn’t trigger any recognition neurons, it will soon — and maybe a watery eye, too.
In honor of the region’s surging talent, here’s a list of shows that we’re all that jazzed to catch before Aspen leaves teeter toward golden and the air carries that notorious October zip. At best, it’s merely a sizzle reel, but, hey, gotta start somewhere. Even given the brevity, based on the names, titles and talent below, we’re already squirming to get to our seats.
Chicago: The Musical
June 4, 5 and 6, 7 p.m., Stapleton Founder’s Green, 7601 E. 29th Ave., Denver. Admission is free. Call 303-739-1970 or visit aurorafoxartscenter.org for more information.
Free admission, a twilight performance and the longest-running American musical in Broadway history make for a pretty great equation any time of the year, but the first weekend with hints of sun in the forecast in what seems like eons is particularly apt timing. With a firm finger on both the meteorological and dramatic pulse of metro Denver, The Aurora Fox and the Stapleton Master Community Association are serving up just that concoction with the perennial favorite “Chicago” June 4 to 6. Not that there’s ever really a bad moment to stage the 1975 musical powerhouse, although catching the tunes of Roxie, Velma and Billy at an outdoor venue in June just feels so, so right.
Brighton Beach Memoirs
Through June 28
7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 6 p.m. Sunday. Miners Alley Playhouse, 1224 Washington Ave., Golden. Tickets are $23. For more information, call 303-935-3044 or visit minersalley.com.
Through July 5
7:30 p.m. Tuesday – Sunday, additional curtains at 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The Buell Theatre, 950 13th St., Denver. Tickets start at $35. Call 800-641-1222 or visit denvercenter.org for more information.
June 27 – July 25
7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. The John Hand Theatre, 7653 E. 1st Pl., Denver. Tickets are $21 for adults. Visit thisisspotlight.com for more information.
July 19 – Aug. 9
2 p.m. July 19, Broomfield Auditorium, 3 Community Park Road, Broomfield. Tickets are $25.
7:30 p.m. July 25, Highpoint Church, 6450 Southlands Pkwy. Tickets are $18.
7:30 p.m. July 31 and Aug. 1, or 2 p.m. Aug. 2. Boulder Dairy Center, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder. Tickets start at $17.
6 p.m. Aug. 8, 4 p.m. DeLaney Farm, 170 S. Chambers Rd. Tickets are $8 at the door.
(Ticket prices and show times vary. Call 303-739-1970 or visit aurorafoxartscenter.org for details.)
It’s official: Dwight Kurt Schrute is no longer the only beet farmer you need to care about. Enter: Franz, Karl, Dieter, Johnny, Bobby, Jim and the entirety of the Hunt family. Local playwright Rick Padden scored big with that bunch in his titillating production of “Beets” this winter — so much so that the entire cast is coming back for a limited run around the metro area mid-summer. The show exploits a fascinating historical quirk in all the best ways, and with the entirety of the original actors in tow, this summer’s rendition promises to be as good, if not better, than the run at the Aurora Fox five months ago. History buffs, commence swooning.
The Spitfire Grill
June 26 – Aug. 16
7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2:30 Sunday. The Vintage Theatre, 1468 Dayton St. Tickets are $32 at the door, $28 in advance. Call 303-856-7830 or visit vintagetheatre.com for more information.
Always a Bridesmaid
July 17 – Aug. 30
7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2:30 p.m. Sunday. The Vintage Theatre, 1468 Dayton St. Tickets are $32 at the door, $28 in advance. Call 303-856-7830 or visit vintagetheatre.com for more information.
For The Defense
Aug. 7 – 30
7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. The Aurora Fox Studio Theatre, 9900 E. Colfax Ave. Tickets are $25. Call 303-739-1970 or visit aurorafoxartscenter.org for more information.
La Cage aux Folles
Aug. 14 – Sept. 6
7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2:30 p.m. Sunday. The Aurora Fox Arts Center Mainstage, 9900 E. Colfax Ave. Tickets are $28. Call 866-811-4111 or visit ignitetheatre.com for more information.
Much Ado About Nothing
June 5 – Aug. 9
Shows at 6:30 p.m.or 8 p.m.
Alternating as part of the iconic 2015 Colorado Shakespeare Festival. Directed by Jim Helsinger, one of the Bard’s all-time favorites is certain to make for a fun night of ribaldry under the stars at the famous Boulder Mary Rippon Theater. It’s a raucous comedy that never disappoints. Think Shakespeare is stuffy and dull? You don’t know what “nothing” was a euphemism for in Shakespeare’s England. Show rotates with Othello, King Henry V, King Henry VI, Part I and Wittenberg. Tickets are $10-$64. Call 303-492-8008 or visit ColoradoShakes.org.
The Book of Mormon
Aug. 11 – Sept. 13
7:30 p.m. Tues. – Sun., additional curtains at 2 p.m. on Sat. and Sun. The Ellie Caulkins Opera House, 1101 13th St., Denver. Tickets start at $35. Contains adult language and material. Call 800-641-1222 or visit denvercenter.org for more information.
That’s right, the most celebrated musical of the 21st century is coming back to Denver this summer. Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s cultural juggernaut has sold out shows across the country since first taking the Broadway stage in 2011, and this season’s storm through Denver promises to be no exception to that trend. Scathing, hysterical and oddly educational, don’t miss the chance to finally be in the know on a show The New York Times called “the best musical of this century.” We’d say that carries some clout.