The Ballad of Baby Doe.The best acting of the Central City Opera's season can be found in this, the company's signature piece. The sordid love story about Baby Doe and Horace Tabor may make for a tragic bit of history, but it's the stuff of grand melodrama--and all the more enjoyable when staged in a nineteenth-century mountain opera house. Through August 11 at the Central City Opera House. Reviewed July 25.

My Fair Lady.The American musical team of Lerner and Loewe didn't just adapt English playwright George Bernard Shaw's smash hit Pygmalion; they paid loving homage to it. And the Boulder Dinner Theatre's bright production, buoyed by Scott Beyette's exuberant choreography, continues the tradition. The subject fits the form, the comic songs are still funny, and the romantic numbers are spooned out without any sugar to help the medicine go down. If one or two performances are overstated, the rest toe the line. Through October 27 at the Boulder Dinner Theatre. Reviewed August 1.

Rigoletto. Giuseppe Verdi's exquisite opera gets a luscious staging by the Central City Opera. Sung in English, the revenge-doesn't-pay tale first penned by Victor Hugo is highly accessible, beautifully sung and still profoundly moving, even if its protagonist is a bitter, hunchbacked jester. When a licentious duke seduces our hero's daughter, he swears revenge--until fate and the iron will of a lovely young woman conspire against him. For those with a taste for payback in their musical theater, Hugo's hunchback has a lot more to offer than, say, Andrew Lloyd Webber's. Through August 11 at the Central City Opera House. Reviewed July 25.

Stanton's Garage. Joan Ackermann's lively comedy about breakdowns, automotive and otherwise, gets a terrific slice-of-life staging in a real mechanic's garage--"environmental theater," they call it. Terry Dodd's spirited direction and a talented cast carry home the modest insights of this charming play about strangers who meet in a small-town repair shop. "A pygmy in the rainforest understands his world," the protagonist tells us, but most of us don't. Still, there are creative solutions at hand, even under the hood of a Volvo. Through August 24 at the old Storz Garage. Reviewed July 4.

Youth in Revolt. Energetic but asinine, this production ostensibly satirizes the lousy state of American parenthood and the perilous condition of America's adolescents. The story, about a fourteen-year-old in hot pursuit of his first sexual experience, never bothers with subtleties of any kind. You could count the penis jokes on your...oh, never mind. Through August 30 at Chicken Lips Comedy Theatre. Reviewed August 1.


For a complete guide to local theatrical productions, see Thrills listings.

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