After two months of bankruptcy proceedings, an eviction and at least one accusation of looting, the embattled Shadow Theatre Company opens its first production since it moved An Evening with Nina mid-run from its former space at 1468 Dayton Street to the Aurora Fox in January. The show, In Search of Eckstine, will run through March at the Denver Civic Theatre, home to the Chicano company Su Teatro -- a home it will share with Shadow when the company opens its fifteenth season in September.
"Su Teatro is a longstanding friend of Shadow," says Shadow House Manager Kiana Coney. "They've done productions at our facility, and we've done productions at their facility in the past. And in this economy, they're like family to us."
Indeed, the economy has not been kind to Shadow, Denver's only black theater company. After losing founder Jeffrey Nickelson to illness two years ago, the company suffered money problems upon management shakeups, could not make its rent for most of last year and was finally evicted from the space it had long occupied in early January. Since then, things have been less than amicable with the former landlord. "That's still in the process of litigation, so we can't comment on that," says Coney, "but this is a great choice for us, and Su Teatro has been really supportive. We're really grateful to them."
While Shadow will hold a couple of more productions this year at the Aurora Fox -- including its CRUNK summer youth program and its next production, Uncle Jed's Barbershop -- it will announce its lineup for next season at tonight's preview of Eckstine, all of which will take place at the Denver Civic.
Interestingly, Eckstine, a story of love and misguided wishes in 1955 Five Points based on the romantic poem "Tristan and Isolde," is a resurrection of a Shadow production originally authored in its second season by Nickelson and current Producing Artistic Director Hugo Jon Sayles, re-produced in homage to Nickelson and as part of what the Shadow is calling its "Sankofa" season. "It mean revisiting the past," says Coney.
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And in a time of tough transition, a little nostalgia couldn't hurt.
The show starts tonight with a reception at 6 p.m. Tickets are $25; for more information, call 720-857-8000 or visit Shadow's website.