A Christmas Tale

Joaquin Liebert gave up on sex, drugs and rock and roll (well…he cut down, anyway) to pursue his love of theater. Now, after struggling for years and honing his chops in supporting parts, Liebert may have landed his meatiest role yet. The Denver actor plays Angel the talking dog in El Centro Su Teatro’s upcoming holiday offering, Joaquin’s Christmas.

When his early forays into the Denver theater world fizzled, Liebert turned to his other vice: rock and roll. For ten years he fronted local bands the Redemptions and the Risk, as well as street-punk and Chicano garage-band side projects. The groups cut their teeth at all the best East Colfax and South Broadway venues, including the hi-dive, Herman’s Hideaway (where the Risk was banned for life), the Lion’s Lair and Streets of London Pub. But the rock-and-roll lifestyle started catching up with Liebert when he was kicked out of his own show at the Bluebird. And so he returned to the stage, where the rusty actor was embraced by Denver’s Chicano theater.

In its latest production, Su Teatro spins a tale about a young boy, his talking dog and a Christmas wish that might not come true if the local foundry workers go on strike. It’s a fun, cultural, musical play for the entire family -- A Christmas Carol meets Pee-wee’s Playhouse.

After a string of noteworthy performances with Su Teatro, Liebert says the role of the talking dog is the one he feels most connected to. “He’s a gruff dog with a panza who just wants to eat and sleep,” he says. “That’s me.”

Joaquin’s Christmas opens tonight at the King Center on the Auraria campus and runs through December 21. Catch it Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays at 3 p.m. Tickets are $15 to $18; call 303-296-0219 or visit www.suteatro.org.
Thursdays, Fridays, 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays, 3 & 7:30 p.m.; Sundays, 3 p.m. Starts: Dec. 11. Continues through Dec. 21, 2008

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John Kuebler

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