Cultural programming at the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities has long been the product of partnerships with other arts organizations, something executive director Gene Sobczak credits with the center's growth over the past couple of years. "So I wanted to see if the same model could fit with our theater series," he says. That noted, he called a friend, Maurice "Moe" LaMee of the Creede Repertory Theatre in the remote hills of Mineral County. "I determined that we needed to partner with organizations we felt were comparable to us in scope, ambition and execution, and it seemed like perfect match. Plus, they don't have a home on Front Range."
As a result, a restaged version of CRT's summer production of Charles Moray's French farce The Ladies Man opens tonight in the center's Black Box Theater. And more and more, especially after the good audience reaction in previews, Sobczak is sticking to his assessment: "We asked them to put out something that not only showcased their qualities as a theater producer, but also something that would be a complement to our subscription series," he says. "We didn't have any comedies planned, and we started the season with Sunset Boulevard which, as you know, is a very different thing -- the uncomedy, as it were. And we knew we were going to go with a classic in the winter." The Lion in Winter is scheduled to open in January.
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And the CRT partnership isn't the Arvada Center's only theatrical mashup in the next year or so: In addition to presenting PHAMALy's production of Beauty and the Beast this past summer, the center will begin shipping shows, lock, stock and barrel, to the new Lone Tree Performing Arts Center in 2011. "Import/export works," Sobczak says. "But to what extent we still need to measure. We're looking at ways of making a diversified theater business here. Being solely producers is risky for all of us, so it really makes sense for all parties concerned."
The Ladies Man continues daily except Mondays, through October 31, at the Arvada Center, 6901 Wadsworth Boulevard. Tickets start at $35.