Encore

Broadway Brunch. You've heard of dinner theater; now there's breakfast theater. On Sunday mornings the Westin Hotel offers a musical review featuring four talented performers singing Broadway hits--sometimes in character, sometimes straight--in a good mix of salty and sweet. Reece Livingstone's masterful presence demands attention and gets it; he's particularly adept at tongue-in-cheek humor. Kathryn Jan Coons, a lovely, highly trained soprano, sings the dreamier romantic tunes with wistful grace. Brash comedy is where Jan Giese really shines, especially in the gutsy, jazzy "When You're Good to Mama." Mark Alan Ford rounds out this elegant quartet with his fine musical-comedy voice. The piano accompaniment by Don Wagner is consistently fine--never cheesy, but lyrical, light and lovely. Through August at the Westin Hotel. Reviewed August 8.

My Fair Lady. The American musical team of Lerner and Loewe didn't just adapt English playwright George Bernard Shaw's smash hit Pygmalion; they paid loving homage to it. And the Boulder Dinner Theatre's bright production, buoyed by Scott Beyette's exuberant choreography, continues the tradition. The subject fits the form, the comic songs are still funny, and the romantic numbers are spooned out without any sugar to help the medicine go down. If one or two performances are overstated, the rest toe the line. Through October 27 at the Boulder Dinner Theatre. Reviewed August 1.

Raised in Captivity. Despite a few good lines and a very impressive opening scene, playwright Nicky Silver doesn't seem to know what to do with the issues he raises or how to create involving characters. The story concerns twins raised in a dysfunctional family who find each other again after years of alienation; a lousy psychologist, a dentist-turned-painter and a convicted murderer stand in their path, but sibling love will find a way. Although an excellent director and a highly talented cast can't compensate for mediocre writing, the energy and intelligence that has gone into this production take the material as far as it can go. Through September 7 at the Avenue Theatre. Reviewed August 8.

Stanton's Garage. Joan Ackermann's lively comedy about breakdowns, automotive and otherwise, gets a terrific slice-of-life staging in a real mechanic's garage--"environmental theater," they call it. Terry Dodd's spirited direction and a talented cast carry home the modest insights of this charming play about strangers who meet in a small-town repair shop. "A pygmy in the rainforest understands his world," the protagonist tells us, but most of us don't. Still, there are creative solutions at hand, even under the hood of a Volvo. Through August 24 at the old Storz Garage. Reviewed July 4.

Youth in Revolt. Energetic but asinine, this production ostensibly satirizes the lousy state of American parenthood and the perilous condition of America's adolescents. The story, about a fourteen-year-old in hot pursuit of his first sexual experience, never bothers with subtleties of any kind. You could count the penis jokes on your...oh, never mind. Through August 30 at Chicken Lips Comedy Theatre. Reviewed August 1.

--Mason

For a complete guide to local theatrical productions, see Thrills listings.

 
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