Coming Attractions

Preparing for a fall and winter on the stage

Recommended activities for the coming week


Summer winding down means a lot of things, including the starting of schools for children and faint glints of autumn starting to spring up. And for stages all over the metro area, it means it’s time to get ready for a new season.

The Arvada Center, 6901 Wadsworth Blvd., and Town Hall Arts Center, 2450 West Main St. in Littleton, are among the first, kicking off their seasons on Friday, Sept. 6, followed by Lone Tree Arts Center, 10075 Commons St., which starts on Friday, Sept. 13. The next week the Lakewood Cultural Center, 470 S. Allison Parkway, and the Parker Arts Center, 20000 Pikes Peak Ave., kick off their seasons on Friday, Sept. 27. Golden’s Miners Alley Playhouse, 1224 Washington Ave. comes online on Friday, Jan. 24.

With all these cultural institutions rolling out their line-ups, metro area audiences are going to be swimming in high quality ways to spend an evening.

For music lovers there are options in all manner of genres - the Lone Tree Arts Center will be hosting “Night in Memphis: Presley, Perkins, Lewis, and Cash” in October, while jazz fans will find a bevy of choices, including The Lao Tizer Quartet featuring Nelson Rangell in April at the Lakewood Cultural Center. And well-known pop performers like Melissa Etheridge and Jackie Evancho will be swinging by Parker.

A quick glance at the line-ups of local stages reveal a treasure-trove of classic and contemporary works.

For example, Miners Alley will stage a production of Arthur Miller’s masterwork, “The Crucible” in June, the Town Hall Arts Center will be hosting “Little Shop of Horrors” and the Arvada Center will be producing the Bard’s “A Midsummer’s Nights Dream.”

There will also be exciting new works coming, like “Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune” at Miners Alley, “Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical” at Parker and the Arvada Center will host Steve Martin and Edie Brickell’s “Bright Star.”

Those in search of something different won’t want to miss the Lakewood season, which features a large amount of dance and other international performances, like vaudevillian Tomáš Kubínek. His performances include everything from strongman stunts, couples counseling and mass hypnosis.

The Lone Tree Art Center’s Executive Director, Lisa Rigsby Peterson, captured the spirit of the entire area, in her season announcement.

“From your seat, you’ll enjoy Broadway stars; guitar virtuosos; pop, country, rhythm and blues, and jazz; thrilling tales of adventure and exploration; holiday traditions and celebrations; and so much more,” she said. “Our patrons love our welcoming environment, professional performances, free parking, and, most of all, the opportunity to explore a host of cultural offerings available nowhere else in Colorado.”

Multi-talented Robinson stands up in Denver

There are some people that just seem to be able to do it all, and comedian, writer and actress Phoebe Robinson is such a person.

You might recognize Robinson as the voice behind the definitive pronunciation of “Yas” from the podcasts 2 Dope Queens and Sooo Many White Guys, or perhaps you’ve read one of her two books, “You Can’t Touch My Hair & Other Things I Still Have To Explain” and “Everything’s Trash, But It’s Okay.” She’s also acted or been a writer on “Ibiza,” “What Men Want” and “Broad City.”

Robison will be performing at Comedy Works Downtown in Larimer Square, 1226 15th St. in Denver, this weekend at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 1, 7:30 and 9:45 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 2 and Saturday, Aug. 3.

You don’t get to see this kind of talent often, so be sure to get your tickets at

All is faire in downtown Louisville

One of the most reliably excellent summer street events is the Louisville Downtown Street Faire, held at the Steinbaugh Pavilion, 824 Front St. The faire runs through Aug. 2, with the community entertainment portion beginning at 5:45 p.m., the first main stage band starting at 7 p.m. and the headliners at 8:15 a.m.

Visitors to the free event will sample food, drinks, children’s activities, as well as arts, crafts and more.

For more information on the event, visit

Clarke’s Concert of the Week - JJ Grey & Mofro and Jonny Lang at Denver Botanic Gardens

I’m a big supporter of anyone in 2019 who is working to keep the blues alive, and both Florida’s JJ Grey & Mofro and North Dakota’s Jonny Lang have been laborers in this particular field for years.

Lang’s debut major label release, “Lie to Me” kicked off decades of searing blues-guitar work. Grey and Mofro have been making an endlessly listenable blend of blues, rock, gospel, funk and R&B since their 2001 debut.

This dynamite pairing will be playing at the gorgeous Denver Botanic Gardens, 1007 York St., at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 6.

Head over to for all the details.

Clarke Reader’s column on culture appears on a weekly basis. He can be reached at


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