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Seeing the world in ‘Parallel Lives’

Miners Alley kicks off season with two-woman show

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Miners Alley's production of "Parallel Lives" reunites the award-winning team from 2011 that performed the show in Evergreen and in several competitions.
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Miners Alley Playhouse is ushering in 2014 with laughs and insight in its first production of the year.

“Parallel Lives” will open at the theater, 1224 Washington Ave., on Jan. 31 and run through March 9. Showtimes are at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 6 p.m. on Sunday.

The two-woman show was written by Mo Gaffney and Kathy Najimy and has a long production history for the team that are putting it on.

“We first did this show in Evergreen, and it was extremely successful. It ended up going to these play festivals and kept winning,” Len Matheo, director of the show said. “We ended up being invited to perform it for the troops in Germany.”

The production ended up taking top honors at the American Association of Community Theatre Regional Theater Festival and went on to the National Festival in Rochester, New York, in 2011.

According to Lisa DeCaro, who acts alongside Gail Montgomery, the two actresses play 36 different characters throughout the show.

“It’s a blast do do this show — the characters are so extreme in some ways, but they all have such depth,” DeCaro said. “There is a certain wildness there, but there are also very real reactions. It never gets boring.”

The play kicks off with two goddesses planning the beginning of the world with all the irreverence and dry wit that is reserved for only the closest of friends. From there the audience is treated to a journey through a variety of characters in a hilarious mix of situations, including teenagers on a date, funeral attendees and a football game.

DeCaro said that she and Montgomery are on the stage the entire show, and only have quick costume tweaks to use to bring each character to life.

“Conceptually the show is very minimal. We have closets for the women, two benches and stools,” Matheo said. “There are a few props, but the actresses are still able to create these different worlds around them.”

As a director, Matheo said the trick for the show is to create a balance of letting the actresses find the characters and getting to tell the stories as poignantly as possible.

“The director needs to to know what kind of story they want to tell,” DeCaro said. “Since we did the show on and off for two years it came back ridiculously fast — the lines just make sense.”

Matheo said the show, while funny throughout, will take audiences on the full gamut of emotions.

“Since this is our first show of the season we wanted to start out with something strong, and give audiences some exciting theater,” he said.

DeCaro said both sexes will find something to relate to in the show.

“I think everyone will see somebody they recognize on the stage during the show,” she said. “It’s a great acting exercise and far out play.”

For more information call 303-935-3044 or visit .

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