Up, Up and Away

The true saga of Lawnchair Larry, aka Lawrence Richard Walters, a Southern California trucker who built himself a flying lawn chair hooked up to a slew of helium-filled weather balloons in 1982 and famously took flight in it, ended sadly, several years later, with a suicide brought on by an inability to maintain the high set aflight by his fifteen minutes of fame. But while the life of Walter Griffin, the character based on Walters in Bridget Carpenter’s play, Up, doesn’t exactly unfurl happily, it still manages to become a metaphor on the meaning of hope. The uplifting denouement of Walter’s story, which becomes tangled up in the parallel life of his muse, infamous wire walker Philippe Petit, best known for his 1974 high-wire stroll between the twin towers of the World Trade Center, will have audiences leaving with a good feeling when Up comes to the Curious Theatre tonight as the Curious company’s season finale. “You’ll walk out of it talking to each other and feeling like things are possible,” says assistant director Kate Roselle. Despite the bittersweet plot, “the end is so full of the message that we must continue following our dreams.” Curious is at 1080 Acoma Street; Up takes flight at 8 p.m., with a special opening-night reception with the playwright after the show, and continues Thursdays through Sundays, through June 18. For information and tickets, $34 to $42, visit www.curioustheatre.org or call 303-623-0524.
Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 & 8 p.m. Starts: May 13. Continues through June 18, 2010
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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd