Bubs Boy

As an actor, Erik Sandvold’s been around the block: A regularly seen face in productions at some of Denver’s upper-echelon troupes, from the Denver Center to Curious Theatre, he’s taken on more than a few challenging roles, including a turn two years ago as German transvestite Charlotte von Mahlsdorf (and more than thirty other characters) in the one-man show I Am My Own Wife.

But he’s never done anything quite like Bubs, which opens today at the Avenue Theater, 417 East 17th Avenue. Cast again in a one-actor vehicle (as Sandvold notes, it’s not quite right to call it a one-man show, because he shares the stage with a crack six-person combo), he says Bubs is the kind of thing that “will appeal to people who don’t like musicals, but who do like going to see a live band.” And throughout the ninety-minute production about the relationship between a songwriter and his son, Sandvold not only switches gears to portray sixteen characters, but also gets to perform as a singer, a role he calls a return to his first love.

“Unlike most songs in musicals, which usually advance the plot, these songs advance the scenes,” he says. “Each song is a self-contained performance by a different singer and band.” Assisted by Colorado-based musicians Joe Kelly, Peter Huffaker, Edd Nichols, Kristen Schirmuhly, Dean Kielian and Shauna Earp, Sandvold is in perpetual motion as an entity on stage, buoyed by the play’s music and wit.

See Bubs Thursdays and Fridays at 7:30 p.m. or Saturdays at 7 or 9:15 p.m. through September 20; for tickets, $25, go to www.bubsthemusical.com or call 303-321-5925.
Thursdays, Fridays, 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays, 7 & 9:15 p.m. Starts: Sept. 4. Continues through Sept. 27, 2008