Sometimes when you just don’t know what to do with all of your unhealthy energy…you can go to a play for a purge and catharsis.
The current staging of the play “Ann” at the Cherry Creek Theater, a retrospective on the pioneering life of one-term Texas governor Ann Richards, took on unexpected urgency this week with the leak of reports that the Supreme Court is about to end the constitution of a woman’s right to an abortion.
There, on the small stage at the Mizel Center, stands veteran Denver actress Martha Harmon Pardee as Richards, giving a statement to a reporter about Roe v. Wade:
“I think it’s really important, not only that we talk about women’s right to choose – but what about this current attitude towards children who are already on this Earth?” Harmon Pardee says that Richards. “They say, ‘There’s no money to help the kids you already have, but we’re going to force you to have some more that you can’t afford. “”
This scene took place… in 1993.
“Ann Richards was frustrated and angry with abortion rights and reproductive choice at the time – and here we are 30 years later backtracking,” Harmon Pardee said.
Richards’ life in state politics began when she helped elect Sarah Weddington to the Texas House of Representatives in 1973 – the same year Weddington successfully argued Roe v. Wade in the Supreme Court.
In 1991, Richards became the first woman elected governor of Texas since Ma Ferguson in 1933 – helped, in large part, by opponent and oil millionaire Clayton Williams, who sadly declared during the campaign trail: “If anyone should being violated, she should just lay back and enjoy.”
“Having more women and minorities actively involved in a government that was and remains enmeshed in white male patriarchy was Ann Richards’ crowning glory,” said Harmon Pardee, who interprets the news of the week as a call to action. action of Richards itself:
“We need to stop whining and start participating,” the actor says as Richards in the play. “Monsignor, half the country doesn’t even vote. Listen. It’s not that good things always happen when good people vote. But he’s damn sure bad things happen when they don’t vote.
“Ann,” written by veteran theater actor Holland Taylor (perhaps best known as Charlie’s mother on the sit-com “Two and a Half Men”) plays through May 15 at the Pluss Theater at the Mizel Center .
Heeeeeere’s… Johnny’s axe!
The iconic ax Jack Nicholson wielded in the chilly pursuit of his family in Stephen King’s ‘The Shining’ was bought at auction last week for $175,000 – and the anonymous bidder promptly donated it for to be the centerpiece of the new Stanley Film Center in Estes Park. The Film Center will be a major film and music entertainment complex on the grounds of the iconic Stanley Hotel, which inspired King to write “The Shining.” Plans call for a museum that will celebrate the horror film genre.
Something fantastic happened during Saturday’s matinee performance of “The Phantom of the Opera” on Broadway: the musical’s three leading ladies were from metro Denver: Elizabeth Welch (Rangeview High School and University of Colorado Boulder) as Christine, Rebecca Eichenberger (Denver East High School) as Madame Giry, and Patricia Phillips (George Washington High School) as Carlotta. (She made history as the first woman of color to ever play this role.) …
Greeley West graduate Alex Esola, who performed with the Colorado Shakespeare Festival in the summers of 2013 and 2014, plays Hank in the new movie “Tankhouse,” which premieres May 13. It’s a comedy about a couple of hardcore and hopelessly pretentious comedians. who get blackballed from the New York theater scene and move to Fargo, ND, “to start a theatrical revolution.” The cast includes Richard Kind and Christopher Lloyd.
Tucker Shaw’s new novel
Tucker Shaw, who grew up in Denver and served as a restaurant critic, food editor and arts editor at the Denver Post from 2006 to 2014, has released his highly anticipated book ‘When You Call My Name’, a heartbreaking romance about two teenage boys. coming-of-age gays in New York City at the height of the AIDS epidemic in 1990. According to one review, “This is a book for anyone who enjoys unforgettable books.”
The Bobby G Awards are back
The eighth annual Denver Center for the Performing Arts Bobby G Awards — a variation of the Tony Awards for Colorado high schools — returns May 26 to the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. Judges judged musicals at 41 Colorado high schools, and the winners of the top two individual categories – outstanding actor and actress – will move on to the national Jimmy Awards in New York. Hosting the Bobby G’s will be Abby Lehrer, who won Outstanding Lead Actress in 2018 and recently performed on “American Idol.” See the full list of nominees at denvercenter.org.
The problem with ‘The Northman’
Mathias Nordvig, a professor of northern studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder, isn’t a fan of Robert Egger’s new Hollywood blockbuster “The Northman,” starring Nicole Kidman and at least two of the many Skarsgård brothers. It is the story of a young Viking prince’s quest to avenge the murder of his father. Nordvig says the film and its all-white cast play into the stereotype of Scandinavians as “bloodthirsty barbarians” and that the continued hijacking of Viking culture fuels nationalism among white supremacist groups. “The idea that the Scandinavians represent some sort of superiority – that’s of course problematic,” says Nordvig.
Cleo Parker Robinson Dance’s spring concert, titled “Equinox,” will include a a cappella tribute to the late co-founder Tom Robinson by Grammy Award-winning Denver jazz artist Dianne Reeves, Friday-Sunday (May 6-8) on cleoparkerdance.org…
The Aurora Fox has announced that its 38th theatrical season will include the one-woman stage adaptation of Joan Didion’s memoir ‘The Year of Magical Thinking’ and a new indie-rock musical titled Caesar’s ‘Futurity’. Alvarez and his New York-based. group, The Lisps. Also: “The Jedi Handbook” by Stephen Massciotte; “Toni Stone” by Lydia R. Diamond; a new musical adaptation of “Treasure Island” and the US premiere of an intentionally lowercase piece titled “Leaps of Faith” by David Yee. Information at aurorafox.org.…
It’s been pretty well-told that Denver singer-songwriter Nathaniel Rateliff is living his best life right now. But it doesn’t get any better than April 28, when Mavis Staples joined The Night Sweats for a set at Mardi Gras World in New Orleans…
There will be a kick-off party tonight (Thursday) for the 2022 Denver Cinco De Mayo Festival from 4-11 p.m. at Number Thirty-Eight, 3560 Chestnut Place. Lineup includes Los Mocochettes, Voz de la Clave, Colorado Poet Laureate and spoken word artist Bobby LeFebre and more. Proceeds of $10 will benefit the NEWSED Community Foundation…
Fox TV’s competitive singing show “The Masked Singer” will tour nationally at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House on July 18. A different mysterious celebrity, it is promised, will also be unmasked in each city. Until Sunday, May 8, you can buy one ticket and get a second one free at axs.com.
Gene GeBauer, who starred in six Broadway musicals including “Hello Dolly!” with Carol Channing, died Sunday at age 87. The husband of local playwright Judy GeBauer was a legend at Destination Dance in Arvada, where he taught five classes a week well into his 80s…
Walter Newton, a key figure in the Morrison Theater Company and its 2003 transition to Miners Alley Playhouse in Golden, died April 20. “1984”, sometimes playing small roles himself. At the time, I wrote that “Rose Garden” was perhaps the most significant undertaking – and achievement – in the company’s 15-year history. Most recently, Newton worked as a writer and editor at The Flume newspaper in Bailey until his retirement in 2020. A memorial gathering is scheduled for May 15 at his home in Conifer.