With the arrival of the new year comes several exciting new productions on stages all over the Denver area. From big musicals to adaptations of historical plays, there is a little something for everyone. Why not kick off the new year with a live production or two? Use those last few days off to enjoy one of these five exciting new shows opening in the Denver area in January. Mark your calendar, get your tickets ahead of time and support live theater in your own backyard.
January 2 through 24, 2016
Based on the concept album of the same name, “American Idiot” took the bit band Green Day to the Great White Way. The multiple Tony Award-winning show is the story of three young men who search for meaning in a post-9/11 world. It’s an energy-packed rock opera with little dialogue and lots of great Green Day covers that are used to tell the storyline of the show. This modern jukebox musical is being given its regional premiere thanks to Ignite Theatre from January 2 through 24 at the Aurora Fox Mainstage. Tickets range from $20 to $28 and are available online.
“The Big Bang”
January 2 though February 6, 2016
This two-person musical is all about two actors who are desperate for money to fund their latest musical, “The Big Bang.” The pair is forced to act out an audition for a potential backer, but they must do the audition in the living room of a Manhattan apartment, using anything and everything they can find to act as costumes, set dressing and props for the show. Their musical then takes the audience through all the big events of history, from Adam and Eve to Cher. This great new musical hits the John Hand Theater on January 2 and tickets range from $22 to $25.
The Taming of the Shrew
Lost and Found Productions
January 7 through 17, 2016
Brand new theater company, Lost and Found Productions, makes its debut with this unique adaptation of William Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew.” This version has the actors all swapping places, as the women step into all the roles that were originally written for men and the men stepping into all the roles that were originally written for women. It’s a totally different look at one of the most legendary and controversial Shakespeare shows ever, and is a great way to get to know this new company. “The Taming of the Shrew” opens January 7 at The Bug Theatre and tickets range from $13 to $20 online. (full disclosure: The author of this article works with Lost and Found Productions)
“The Normal Heart”
January 15 through February 21, 2016
This powerful drama details the public and private reactions to the AIDS crisis. The show follows Ned Weeks, a gay activist who deals with the terrifying toll of AIDS first-hand when his lover dies of the disease. The cast features Charles Wingerter as Ned Weeks plus Henry award-winner Emma Messenger as Dr. Emma Brookner. This also marks the return to the stage for Vintage Artistic Director, Craig Bond, who is taking on the role of Felix Turner. “The Normal Heart” runs January 15 through February 21 and tickets range from $20 to $30 online.
Town Hall Arts Center
January 15 through February 7, 2016
Opening January 15 at Town Hall Arts Center is “Violet” which is based on “The Ugliest Pilgrim” by Doris Betts. It tells the story of Violet, a young woman who dreams of achieving beauty through the power of her faith, as she is convinced that a televangelist from Oklahoma can heal her. As she hops a bus to Oklahoma she meets many new friends and learns much more about what real beauty truly is. “Violet” runs at the Town Hall Arts Center through February 7 and tickets range from $39 to $42 online.