Moore: Cleaning up at Henry Awards is a validation for Miners Alley
Say what you will about the Colorado Theatre Guild’s Henry Awards: they certainly make for a great show. but while Monday’s fifth annual gala featured several roof-raising performances, 2010 will go down as the year that put MAP on the map.
That would be Golden’s Miners Alley Playhouse, which morphed out of the old Morrison Theatre Company, opening in 2003 above a now-shuttered drugstore on Golden’s main drag. but as MAP was collecting six of the guild’s 21 awards Monday, including a shocking win for best season by a company, probably few were aware of just how close the now 22-year- old company came to closing in 2004.
Rick Bernstein had decided the searing premiere of “I never Promised You a Rose Garden” would be his financially strapped little theater’s last. but with “Rose Garden,” based on local author Joanne Greenberg’s seminal treatise in schizophrenia, things got just better enough to carry on.
That was 40 MAP productions ago — including the new Henry winners “Grace and Glorie” (best ensemble) and “A Picasso” (best play). both were helmed by Robert Kramer, who won best director for “Picasso.”
He talked afterward about survival: MAP’s — and his own fight with prostate cancer. All the more special given that “Glorie” is a play about an old woman dying of cancer. “The real enemy in life is giving up,” Kramer said. “It’s one thing to be alive — but it’s another to really experience life every day, and that’s what ‘Grace and Glorie’ was about.”
People were buzzing Monday about Beth Flynn‘s “Be Italian,” from the Arvada Center’s “Nine,” Matt LaFontaine’s “Sit down You’re Rockin’ the Boat,” from Town Hall’s “Guys & Dolls,” and the Lake Dillon Theatre’s sensational closing medley from “Hair.”
Another great moment: Daniel Lowenstein winning a special Henry for scenic painting. He’s the son of awards namesake Henry Lowenstein.
Kramer called Monday’s awards a validation for MAP and its loyal audience. but while the coronation brought euphoria to company members, it didn’t settle ongoing questions about the fairness and credibility of the Henry Awards, which honored only five of the Colorado Theatre Guild’s 81 member companies.
Consider: the Denver Center Theatre Company, Curious, Paragon, Town Hall and Colorado Shakespeare Festival — combined — won one-third the Henrys that MAP collected Monday: Two.
You’ll get no apologies from MAP.
“This is proof positive that high-quality theater is not the sole bastion of big houses and enormous budgets,” said Mari Carlin Dart, star of MAP’s “Dietrich & Chevalier.”
See for yourself: “The Underpants” runs through Aug. 29 (303-935-3044).
See and read more from the 2010 Henry Awards
To read our live story from Monday’s Henry Awards with the complete list of winners, click here To see the complete list of nominees, click here To see the complete list of eligible productions, click here Video: Lake Dillon performs excerpts from “Hair” Video: Beth Flynn and the Little Guidos from the Arvada Center’s “Nine” Video: Matt LaFontaine, Carla Kaiser Kotrc and the cast of Town Hall’s “Guys & Dolls” Video: Paul Dwyer presents bill McHale with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Video: Cajardo Lindsey remembers members of the Colorado theater community who have passed away since July 2009. look for more video to come at denverpost.com/theater Two theater deaths mourned
The handicapped company PHAMALy has dedicated Monday’s 7:30 p.m. performance of “Beauty and the Beast” to 13-year core company member Chaz Jacobsen, who died Tuesday at home. he appeared in many shows including “Damn Yankees” (as Joe Boyd), “Urinetown” and, most recently, in last year’s “Man of La Mancha,” as the Governor.
“Chaz had the gift,” said director Steve Wilson. “He played this old, grizzled governor who had been through everything. he had the weight of years on him. part of that was his disability (a disease of the central nervous system), but more of it was pure acting talent.” Read more about Chaz Jacobsen here …
Meanwhile, Su Teatro is mourning former board president Frank Trujillo, who was instrumental in realizing the company’s dream of creating a regional Latino cultural arts center. Trujillo put down the initial $5,000 for land acquisition. he will be celebrated from 1 to 3 p.m. Aug. 21 at Su Teatro, 721 Santa Fe Drive. for info, call 303-296-0219.
Ritchie puts up $500,000 matching challenge
Denver Center chairman Daniel L. Ritchie has announced the “Ritchie Challenge”: He’ll personally match any new or increased donation between now and June 30, 2011, up to $500,000. It’s mostly to help fund the Center’s theater-education programs for more than 50,000 students in the community.
“The world has changed,” Ritchie said. “We face endowments that must be rebuilt, facilities that must be not only maintained but improved, and funding that is less secure than it was just two years ago.” call 303-446-4813 or go to denvercenter.org/ritchie
Posner wins Do something Award
In case you missed it: Jessica Posner, who produced her first professional play in Denver at the tender age of 18, was named the biggest world-changer under age 25 at the Do something Awards last week. she won $100,000 for the school she opened for young girls in Africa’s largest slum.
Jane Lynch of “Glee,” who hosted the nationally televised awards, told Posner: “I’m so glad you go in there and actually create environments for women where they can heal and recover and gain their power.”
here are our previous stories on Jessica Posner: our initial expanded profile story: Changing lives in a hell on Earth Announcing Posner’s win on Monday: Denver woman named top world-changer under 25 the day after: Posner celebrates, then flies back to Africa how to contribute to her organization: Hopetoshine.org
John Moore: 303-954-1056 or firstname.lastname@example.org
This week’s theater openings
Opening Thursday, July 29, through Aug. 8: Cabrini Productions’ “Jacques Brel is Alive and well and Living in Paris” Littleton Thursday, July 29, through Aug. 1: Little Theatre of the Rockies’ “Chicago” Greeley Thursday, July 29, through Aug. 7: Theatre Company of Lafayette’s “G-Men in G-Strings: the J. Edgar Hoover Follies” Friday, July 30, through Aug. 22: Town Hall Arts Center’s “The love List” Littleton Friday, July 30, through Aug. 14: Jester’s Dinner Theatre’s “The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged)”Longmont Friday, July 30, through Sept 19: Union Colony Dinner Theatre’s “Bye, Bye, Birdie” Greeley Friday, July 30, and Saturday, July 31: the Manitou Art Theatre presents Jim Jackson’s “Big Bubble Circus” Manitou Springs
This week’s theater closings
Today, July 25: Little Theatre of the Rockies’ “The Lady With All the Answers” Greeley Today, July 25: E-Project’s “Sylvia” Lakewood Today, July 25: Jester’s Dinner Theatre’s “The Music Man” Longmont Today, July 25: Platte Valley Players’ “Our Town” HendersonToday, July 25: Parker Arts Council’s “I’m Getting Murdered in the Morning” (at the Victorian Peaks Collection) Saturday, July 31: Lannie’s Clocktower Cabaret’s “Sinatra: Nothing but the Best” Saturday, July 31: Springs Ensemble Theatre’s “Glengarry Glen Ross” Colorado SpringsSaturday, July 31: Inspire Creative’s “Guys and Dolls” (at the Newman Center) Saturday, July 31: Westcliffe Center’s “Arms and the Man” Sunday, Aug. 1: National touring production of “South Pacific” (at the Buell Theatre) Sunday, Aug. 1: Applebox’s “Summertree” (at University of Colorado-Denver)
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 theater news and dialogue: denverpost.com/runninglines
<a href="http://www.denverpost.com/headlines/ci_15580541tag:news.google.com,2005:cluster=http://www.denverpost.com/headlines/ci_15580541Sun, 25 Jul 2010 07:03:01 GMT 00:00″>Moore: Cleaning up at Henry Awards is a validation for Miners Alley