Not unlike the homeless denizens of Barbara Lebow's Tiny Tim Is Dead, the Theatre Group found itself on the street after being evicted last May from its longtime home, the Theatre On Broadway. But the troupe's heavily gay-centric fan base from the old days at TOB aren't the only folks who should rejoice when artistic director Steven Tangedal and company try to resurrect themselves with a strong new season at the Theatre Off Broadway (formerly the Phoenix Theatre, a venue they already owned). Tiny Tim is more than just the first production in a sequence running through January of 2009, when Tangedal hopes to top everything off with a lavish staging of The Who's Tommy; it's also an experiment in broadening the ensemble's public appeal.
"When we first purchased the Phoenix Theatre, we decided to make it more family-oriented," says veteran company member Shelly Bordas. "Now that we've lost Theatre On Broadway, we have to blend." Tiny Tim, written by Lebow, whose A Shayna Maidel was a hit years ago at TOB, is a heartwarming story with a message suitable for all ages. Bordas, who's also involved in the Acting Up! Theatre Arts Program for teens, notes, "It's nice to have something here that I can invite my students and their parents to come see." But don't worry: Theatre Group's old friends will still have their pick of gay-oriented plays to choose from in the coming season, including Paul Rudnick's Jeffrey and a restaging of Howard Crabtree's When Pigs Fly.
Tiny Tim opens tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Theatre Off Broadway, 1124 Santa Fe Drive, and continues through January 5; for tickets, $22 (or two for one on Thursdays), call 303-777-3292 or visit www.theatregroup.org.
Thursdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; Mon., Dec. 10, 7:30 p.m. Starts: Nov. 23. Continues through Jan. 5, 2007