Best local theater company season

Whether professional or amateur, mainstream-minded or avant-garde, a theater company rises or falls on its willingness to reconcile commercial interests with artistic demands. And while engaging a pail of local Equity actors would normally be considered a financial risk for smaller theater companies, that's exactly what the Aurora Fox Theatre Company did for its final show of the season. That calculated -- and laudable -- gamble capped a successful string of highly entertaining, modestly professional efforts. From the hauntingly poetical Wings to the zanily philosophical The Ice-Fishing Play to the bitingly satirical Nixon's Nixon, the publicly funded troupe discovered newfound potency by injecting itself, as well as its audiences, with a healthy dose of creative Viagra.

Readers' choice: Denver Center Theatre Company

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