Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Less Than Jake at Summit Music Hall

Stu Kennedy of skfunphotos.com was at the sold out Less Than Jake show this past weekend and got some seriously wicked shots. Here a few of them be:

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Wedding Singer - Aurora Fox Theater

The Aurora Fox is pleased to present the regional premiere of The Wedding Singer - The Musical Comedy (with music by Matthew Sklar, lyrics by Chad Beguelin, and book by Chad Beguelin and Tim Herlihy) running February 11 - March 6, 2011 (Feb. 11, 12, 18, 19, 25, 26, March 4, 5 at 7:30 pm and Feb. 13, 20, 27, March 6 at 2:00 pm). Tickets: Adults - $24/Seniors and Students - $20/Groups of 10+ - $18. Not appropriate for young children due to adult language and situations. For reservations contact The Aurora Fox Box Office at
303-739-1970 or order tickets online: www.AuroraFox.org.

Based on the hit movie starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, The Wedding Singer celebrates the 80’s in earnest. Nominated for five Tony Awards, and with a score that pays loving homage to the pop songs of the 1980s, The Wedding Singer offers three weddings, a bar mitzvah and a zany trip to a Vegas chapel of love, keeping things hopping in this affectionate look back to the days when hair was big, greed was good, collars were up, and a wedding singer just might be the coolest guy in the room.

Robbie Hart (Ben Dicke) is New Jersey's favorite wedding singer. He’s the life of the party - until his own fiancĂ©e (Amanda Earls) leaves him at the altar. Broken-hearted, Robbie proceeds to make every wedding as disastrous as his own. Enter Julia (Brianna Firestone), a sweet, girl-next-door-type who befriends Robbie and wins his affection. But Julia is about to be married to a slimy Wall Street shark (Travis Risner), and unless Robbie can pull off the performance of the decade, the true girl of his dreams will remain nothing more than a dream.

The Fox is excited to welcome special guest Emmy-nominated Director/Choreographer Mandy Moore back to Colorado for this production. Ms. Moore has been a choreographer and guest judge on FOX’s hit dance show, So You Think You Can Dance for the past 6 seasons. She has also appeared on television shows such as The Drew Carey Show, Malcolm in the Middle and That '70s Show, as well as the films Austin Powers and Bubble Boy. In addition to So You Think You Can Dance (for which she earned an Emmy Nomination during Season 3), Mandy has choreographed for several television shows including American Idol.

Specializing in jazz and contemporary dance, she also worked for Celine Dion on her Taking Chances concert tour. She currently teaches at the Edge Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles.

Mandy and her sister Missy Moore (a local actress, theatre arts instructor, fight choreographer and Assistant Director for The Wedding Singer), both from the Denver area, are pleased to be teaming up together to bring the retro splash and color of the 80’s to the Aurora Fox stage, including several outstanding production numbers, and a few fun surprises.

Ben Dicke* as Robbie Hart
Brianna Firestone as Julia
Sue Leiser as Rosie
Piper Arpan* as Holly
Amanda Earls as Linda
David Nehls* as George
Robert Michael Sanders as Sammy
Ensemble: Travis Risner . Noah Lee Jordan, Rob Costigan*, Benjy Schirm, Danny Harrigan, Steven Burge ,
Michelle Sergeef*, Ashlie Amber Harris, Jennifer Gilliam, Andrew Fisk, Emma MacNeil, Wyatt MacNeil
Band: David Nehls, Jason Tyler Vaughn, Scott Smith, Tag Worley, Robert Michael Sanders
* member of Actor’s Equity
Directed/Choreographed by Mandy Moore, Assistant Director – Missy Moore, Music Direction by David Nehls, scenic design by Charles Dean Packard, costume design by Meredith Murphy, lighting design by Nick Kargel, sound design by El Armstrong, Props design by Katrina Niemisto, and Stage Management by Equity Stage Manager, Lindsay Sullivan.

February 11 – Opening night party (post-show). Eat, drink, mix and mingle with cast/crew/staff and fellow Fox attendees following the opening night performance.
February 13 – Renew Your Vows at The Fox! During intermission, we’ll have an officiant onhand to re-marry love-struck patrons who will receive a special “I got married at the Fox” certificate and a photo of the ceremony. A great gift for that special “Valentine”. There is no charge to participate in the vow renewal ceremony. February 18 – Free Beer Friday. Enjoy a beer on the house before the show!
February 19 – 80’s Karaoke Contest (pre-show). Bust out your inner-Duran Duran, Cyndi Lauper, Poison, or Whitesnake for this fun 80’s sing-off. The winner gets to sing with the band following the show.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Saturday's Met Opera in HD: "Nixon in China"

This Saturday, February 12, American composer John Adams makes his Metropolitan Opera debut when he takes the podium to conduct his 1987 opera, Nixon in China. The performance will be seen in movie theaters across America, courtesy of the ongoing Met in HD series and its partnership with Denver's Fathom Events. The opera begins promptly at 11:00 Mountain Time, with a running time (including intermissions) of about four hours.

Colorado venues will include several Denver-area Regal Cinemas (Downtown Pavilions, So. Colorado Blvd, Greenwood Plaza, Colorado Mills), AMC Theatres (Westminster, Highlands Ranch), and Cinemark Theatres (Aurora, Boulder), as well as movie complexes in Fort Collins, Greeley, Colorado Springs, Pueblo, and Durango. Check local listings for your nearest location.

This Adams opera is appearing for the first time on the stage at New York's Metropolitan. The work received its world premiere at Houston Grand Opera (one of its commissioning agents) and deals specifically with a single historical moment, the momentous face-to-face meeting between Richard Nixon, the sitting American president, and legendary Chinese ruler Mao Zedung. Four other main characters are depicted in the opera (libretto by Minnesota poet Alice Goodman): First Lady Pat Nixon, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Jiang Qing ("Mrs. Mao"), and Premier Zhou Enlai.

Appearing as Nixon is baritone James Maddelena, the man who created the role nearly 24 years ago. This is a reunion of sorts since the producer of the Met's debut, Peter Sellars, was also responsible for the Houston premiere. The remaining cast includes soprano Janice Kelly [Pat Nixon], tenor Robert Brubaker [Mao], soprano Kathleen Kim [Jiang], bass Richard Paul Fink [Kissinger], and baritone Russell Braun [Zhou].

Composer Adams is known for his minimalist musical style, and the score to Nixon in China is straight out of his most minimal period. A review of last week's opening night performance by New York Magazine columnist Justin Davidson cites, "the importance of a transformative score that demonstrated the full range of what Minimalism could accomplish." The concept that minimalism has a "full range" seems incongruous, but the music does create a surprisingly fulsome sound behind the singers.

Anyone who has come of age in the decades since Nixon's historic 1972 visit is probably puzzled by all the hoopla. But China was seen then in the role of the great unknown, a Communist giant so intent on its own internal vision of ethnic cleansing— a twenty-plus year orgy of the subjugation of its intellectual elite, even to the point of mass murder on a near-Stalinistic scale— that it had virtually no political or economic links to the outside world during that time. The China of today, with its Western-style industrialization and modernity, is vastly different from the country Mao and his cronies had ruled with an iron fist. Some historians claim only a Republican president like Nixon could have bridged the gap with a Communist regime and survived what might have been another "Red" hunt, had a Democratic president made a similar effort. Others liken Nixon's efforts to those of Commodore Perry in the 1850s, when a Shogun-dominated Japan finally opened its doors to trade with the West.

The events depicted in Nixon in China occasionally seem as distant from us as the world of the Genoan doge appears in Verdi's Simon Boccanegra. But the music serves to remind us that this is truly a modern work, no matter how much librettist Goodman tried to create a timeless story of the clash of two cultures.