By Zoe Yabrove
By Bree Davies
By Byron Graham
By Susan Froyd
By Josiah M. Hesse
By Bree Davies
By Susan Froyd
By Kate Gibbons
Rose Colored Glass. Rose Fleishman, a Jewish refugee from Austria, runs a delicatessen in Chicago, right across the alley from a pub owned by Lady O'Riley, a dour Irish widow. Separated by centuries of history, culture and religion, the two women are coldly formal toward each other, but Lady's irrepressible granddaughter, Peg, won't have it. She's forever shuttling between the eateries, chatting, asking questions, thinking up stratagems, and slowly, reluctantly, the women begin speaking to each other. The relationship deepens as Lady learns more about Rose's predicament. It's 1938, and through the increasingly unreliable news channels from Europe, Rose finds out that her sister Sabena has disappeared from Vienna and is either dead or in hiding, and that her eleven-year-old nephew, Abraham, has fled to England. She and Lady join forces to bring the child to America. This is a gentle, nostalgic piece that would make a charming essay, short story or one-act, but there's not enough action to animate a full-length play. The tone is far-reaching and humanistic, however, and important ideas are aired: humankind's provincialism, for example, and the way we tend to ignore far-away tragedies unless there's a specific story and name attached to them. There are also salutary reminders of America's shameful reluctance to take in Jewish refugees during World War II, the bureaucracy and anti-Semitism that saw thousands of professionals, workers and people with prosperous relatives in the United States turned away on the grounds that they might become a public burden. The play also does a good job of re-creating the war as seen from the United States; along with the characters, we attempt to tease out the words from a radio's crackling static and contemplate the huge importance of papers — birth certificates, visas — that can mean the difference between life and death. But the script itself is fairly static. Presented by Miners Alley Playhouse through June 19, 1224 Washington Avenue, Golden, 303-935-3044, www.minersalley.com. Reviewed May 12.
Two One-Acts. At the beginning of This Is My Significant Bother Buntport Theater's take on a handful of James Thurber stories, four actors are lying on a large bed, their left arms over the coverlet and perfectly aligned, each wearing a wedding ring. Thurber didn't have a very positive view of marriage; his men tend to be put-upon dolts and the women bossy harridans. The tone of this piece is slightly waspish, also sad and, in an understated way, very funny. The actors — helped by the music of the Hoagies, who play things like "Making Whoopee" and "Two Sleepy People" — have caught it perfectly, giving their portrayals a sort of stubby elegance. A man kills a spider at his wife's behest and then huddles under the covers, terrified by a flittering bat; a couple argues in their car about where to eat and whether Donald Duck is a more significant cultural icon than Greta Garbo; a husband decides to kill his wife so that he can marry his stenographer, and the wife, having gotten wind of this, tells him exactly how he's to do it; a divorced woman fills in her successor on all her ex-husband's idiosyncrasies while he silently and meticulously makes up the bed. The second one-act on the agenda is Cinderella an extended piece of intense silliness, narrated by a be-rouged Evan Weissman in what can only be called Manglish; the rest of the cast speaks pure gibberish. The play begins when Cinderella's sweet-faced mother (Erin Rollman) gives birth and almost instantly transforms into the Wicked Stepmother. She does this through a very clever costume change that forces her to walk backwards through the rest of the action. Doubling is a central theme here. Both stepsisters are played by Hannah Duggan, wearing an asymmetrical wig and two different shoes. Erik Edborg, the tallest member of the troupe, is our heroine. He's comforted in his sad predicament by his own left hand, which sings opera to him. When he's dressed up for the ball, he's represented by a simpering doll through another piece of costume magic. The coach is signified by a pair of horses clipped to a hat, the importance of Cinderella's leaving the ball by midnight emphasized by the clocks on the breast of her ball gown. "Your Feet's Too Big," the Hoagies sing helpfully, as an ugly sister tries to cram on that mythical slipper. Presented by Buntport Theater Company through June 18, 717 Lipan Street, 720-946-1388, www.buntport.com. Reviewed June 9.
Find everything you're looking for in your city
Find the best happy hour deals in your city
Get today's exclusive deals at savings of anywhere from 50-90%
Check out the hottest list of places and things to do around your city