Confronting the Past

THURS, 7/15

Dramatist Martin Moran was twelve when he began a sexual relationship with an older man he'd met two years earlier at a church camp outside Estes Park. The former Denver resident shares what he calls "that collision where a young, Catholic boy is suddenly in the arms of the flesh" in his one-man show, The Tricky Part, which opens at 8 p.m. tonight. The play is "not in any way a vilification of the Catholic Church or the man I was involved with," Moran says. Rather, the work is practice in "assiduously looking at all of the angles of the situation." Moran was so determined to explore different perspectives of his experience that he spent an entire day with that man (whom he hesitates to call a "perpetrator," despite the illegality of the contact) thirty years after their three-year relationship ended. Their meeting is scripted into Tricky Part in a scene that Moran describes as "the confrontation and inquiry of a 44-year-old man facing that sixty-year-old man that I slept with as a boy. [I was] trying to uncover meaning, grace, reality and terror."

Denver's Curious Theater, at 1080 Acoma Street, is only the second stop for the show, which won an Obie during its New York run. But seeing his play in the Mile High City will be especially poignant, Moran says.

"It feels like an incredibly culminating moment to come home and tell the truth, very much about a story that has to do with growing up as a Catholic boy in Denver," he says. "It feels like I've been preparing for this for many years."

The Tricky Part runs through August 8. Tickets range from $13 to $26; call 303-623-0524 or visit for more information. -- Caitlin Smith

Girl Giggles
A.C.E. crafts a comedy of, and for, women
THURS, 7/15

Last year, Linda Klein and Barbara Gehring stumbled across their middle-school diaries and were fascinated by their teenybopper accounts. "It's riveting to read about what was interesting to a twelve-year-old," says Klein. Such entries as "Scott bumped into me today, I think he meant to" inspired Klein and Gehring to write a new show for A.C.E., their comedy group. Girls Only: The Secret Comedy of Women is a mixture of "sketches, improvisation and general mischief" rooted in the "milestones you go through from girlhood to womanhood," Klein explains. Partly because the third A.C.E. member, Matthew Taylor, was going on vacation, Klein and Gehring decided to take advantage of the Y-chromosome-free environment and focus on feminine side-splitting. In a further twist, they're performing Girls Only exclusively in front of an all-female audience.

"It won't be about man-bashing," Klein promises. Instead, the no-jock-strap policy is intended to create the "safety of that indescribably giggly girl atmosphere."

But guys shouldn't feel too left out: Tonight's 7:30 p.m. show at Theatre du Quirque, 2119 East 17th Avenue, is the only planned performance. Doors open at 6:30, as does the cash bar. Tickets are $17 and available at the door. For reservations, call 303-322-6750. -- Caitlin Smith

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Caitlin Smith