The spring theater season is winding down, and this is your last chance to catch Always... Patsy Cline at BDT Stage. Keep reading for a capsule review of that show, as well as two more on local stages.
Always...Patsy Cline. After Louise Seger heard Patsy Cline singing “Walkin’ After Midnight” on the Arthur Godfrey Show in 1957, she became a devoted and committed fan, eventually pestering her local radio station in Houston to play Cline’s “I Fall to Pieces” every morning. Seger met Cline when she performed at the Esquire Ballroom, and the two became fast friends. The true-life relationship between these two women provides the framework for this musical, and if the script, based on letters and an interview with Seger, doesn’t do it much justice, that doesn’t really matter, because the evening is all about music. The songs — ranging from country to pop, with a touch of Cole Porter (“True Love”) — are well chosen, and the wonderful Norrell Moore plays Patsy Cline. Presented by BDT Stage through May 20, 5501 Arapahoe Avenue, Boulder, 303-449-6000, bdtstage.com. Read the full review of Always...Patsy Cline.
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Bullets Over Broadway. Bullets Over Broadway the Musical, based on the Woody Allen movie, is full of familiar ‘20s characters: comic, gun-toting gangsters; a dopy, talentless actress who wants to be a star; an aging diva with a drinking problem; a leading man with an eating problem; and a young male protagonist who has a lot to learn about the world. But since Allen adapted the film script for this, Bullets is more witty, wry and self-referential than the traditional ‘20s musical — though it’s equally frothy and has all the tap dancing anyone could want. Olive is the dumb broad who longs to play Lady Macbeth, and this time not in pasties. She’s loved by mafioso Nick Valenti, and he intends to help her fulfill her ambitions by buying her a production, a pretentiously awful play by the young David Shayne. Turns out Cheech, the muscle sent by Valenti to watch over his Olive, has a creative soul, and as he suggests changes and finally takes over the writing, David’s script gets better and better. Olive’s terrible delivery grates on his delicate authorial ego, however, and Cheech knows only one way of solving his problems. In this Denver premiere, director John Ashton has pitched things just right; the pace is human, you have time to get the jokes, the songs — jazz and musical numbers from the era, given new lyrics — delight without overwhelming. The big finale is “Yes, We Have No Bananas,” which doesn't make sense but that doesn't matter: By now the audience is on its feet laughing and applauding. And the laughter continues in the lobby and as everyone spills out into the street — a clear signal that if you haven’t seen this production yet, you need to get tickets. Now. Presented by Vintage Theatre through May 27, 1468 Dayton Street, Aurora, 303-856-7830. vintagetheatre.com. Read the full review of Bullets Over Broadway .
Your Best One. We’ve met this family before: cantakerous Oscar grumbling in front of the television; his son, Richard, a practical-minded and emotionally subdued doctor, who was left by David, his longterm lover, when Richard dithered too long about adopting a child; and daughter Laura, a successful businesswoman living in Shanghai and intent on avoiding her father — as she did her dying mother eight years earlier — to maintain her equilibrium. Playwright Meridith Friedman showed these folks’ struggles and contradictions in The Luckiest People, which had its world premieer at Curious a year ago. Now the company is mounting her sequel, Your Best One —another world premiere — and it’s such a pleasure to encounter these folks again and deepen our understanding of them. The core characters are the same as before, and at the same time changed. Richard, who once balked at the idea of Oscar coming to live with him, is urging his father to do just that. Josh, the child he hesitated too long to adopt, is now a lively teenager, both cocky and vulnerable. This is a quiet, deep story about parents and children, what constitutes family, people groping for love and not quite sure they can find it in each other, or even that they deserve it. Presented by Curious Theatre Company through June 10, 1080 Acoma Street, 303-623-0524, curioustheatre.org. Read the full review of Your Best One.