Fast-forwarding Machiavelli’s sixteenth-century Italian comedy La Mandragola (the Mandrake), into La Dolce Vita-era Naples actually makes a lot of sense; if you ask Spark Theater’s Michael Emmitt, the ’60s time period of his Machiavellian update, The Love Potion, not only offers an accurate mirror of humanist upheaval in Italy at the beginning of the Renaissance, but it also looks good. “Visually, it was a great-looking time, and we thought the costumes would be a lot more fun in that era,” explains Spark spokesman Sean Mahoney. “It’s hard to do glamour in the 1500s.”
True that, but there are a lot of other reasons to give Spark’s 2012-2013 season opener a chance, beginning with the troupe’s brand-new fifty-seat venue at 985 Santa Fe Drive, which is — if you can believe it — more spacious than their old second-floor stage on south Broadway. “We really wanted to make the theater more accessible, and though we can accommodate more people, we still do the same intimate, fly-on-the-wall kind of theater we did before,” Mahoney explains, noting that for The Love Potion, the audience-friendly theater will be turned into an environment re-creating the feel of sitting in an outdoor cafe on the piazza. And in keeping with the Spark mission of introducing Denver to “scripts that are not done all the time and faces that are not done all the time,” the ensemble will continue to rock plays we haven’t seen again and again here, with a fresh influx of actors.
The Love Potion opens tonight at 7:30 p.m. and plays Thursdays through Saturdays until August 25; admission is $10 on Thursdays and $20 on the weekends. For reservations and information, visit Spark online at sparktheater.org or call 303-346-7396.
Thursdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m. Starts: July 27. Continues through Aug. 25, 2012