Aerial Explosions

Dance festival gets above it all

Play Time
Take a dip in the local talent pool
FRI, 8/8

Hang loose at Our Effin' Show.
Hang loose at Our Effin' Show.
Christopher Smith

In a small pool, it would seem to help if the fish banded together. Perhaps that's why so many of Denver's independent theater ensembles are utilizing staged readings, repertory productions and mini-festivals to highlight work by local playwrights. Now we can add the Theatre Group to that hometown-friendly pond: The company will finish the summer with an unprecedented New Playwright Series, a run featuring two plays in repertory by Theatre Group friends Josh Hartwell and Melissa Lucero McCarl. It's a new format for TG, says spokeswoman Shelly Bordas, but a hard one to pass up for two reasons: One, it provides a rare opportunity for local talent, and two, these two particular scripts "were just so good." Decide for yourself: Hartwell's Reaching for Comfort, which ties two lonely people together in the era of John Lennon's murder, plays tonight and tomorrow at 7:30 p.m., and McCarl's Painted Bread, a life of artist Frida Kahlo interpreted through images from her paintings, opens next weekend at Theatre on Broadway, 13 South Broadway; performances continue through September 14. Admission is $10 ($20 for both); call 303-777-3292 or log on to www.theatregroup.org for a complete schedule. -- Susan Froyd

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