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Coming Attractions

New DCPA artistic director brings lifetime of preparation to role

Recommended activities for the coming week


When Chris Coleman’s mother shelved her acting dreams to be a mom, she started doing theater programs in the family’s local Southern Baptist church. That’s where Coleman first discovered the magic of the theater while he was growing up.

So, you might say he’s been training for his new position as the artistic director of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts’ Theatre Company his entire life.

“Digital entertainment and screens have become so ubiquitous that they’ve exhausted their ability to fascinate us,” Coleman said. “Theater is an antidote to that because it’s human. Instead of staying close to the surface, it invites to go deeper.”

Coleman is the fourth person to have this title in the company’s nearly 40 years, and will join the company in May. Until then, he will work with managing director Charles Varin and associate artistic directors Nataki Garrett and Charlie Miller to finalize the 2018-19 season.

Before coming to Denver, Coleman served as artistic director of Portland Center Stage for the past 17 years, where be developed seasons that blended classic, modern and new works, as well as a playwrights’ festival, education programs and community events. Of its world premieres, 52 have gone on to play on more than 115 stages across the country and internationally.

As artistic director, he will oversee programming of the company’s eight- to 10-play season of shows; the annual Colorado New Play Summit, and the experimental works of Off-Center. Additionally, the Theatre Company provides artistic and production support for select productions by DCPA Cabaret and DCPA Education.

“I like the focus Denver has on community,” he said. “There’s so much to work with here, and I’m excited to understand what’s possible on these stages.”

When he was first getting started, Coleman co-founded and was artistic director at Actors Express in Atlanta, a company he co-founded in the basement of an old church in 1988. This experience taught him about the theater world, and running a business — both skills that have proven useful over and over in his career.

Now he’s ready to bring his talents to the Denver theater world.

“I’m most excited about making work in these rooms,” he said. “I’ve never felt more strongly about the ability of art to impact audiences and the world.”

A night of magick at the MCA

We’re drawing near to the winter solstice, so why not get in touch with your metaphysical side at the Museum of Contemporary Art’s Black Sheep Friday: Let’s Get Metaphysical event from 5 to 9 p.m. at the museum, 1485 Delgany St.

Attendees will have the chance to make their own sigils — a symbol believed to have magical powers — and practice chaos magick — a contemporary magical practice which emphasizes the pragmatic use of belief systems and adds in original or created belief systems. There’s also a happy hour from 5-7 p.m. Visit www.mcadenver.org.

The dream of the ‘90s is alive in Golden

I have a special place in my heart for the 1990s, seeing as that’s when I first became aware of, and engaged with, the arts and pop culture.

For me and others like me, Golden’s Zone Sports Bar and Grill, 15600 W. 44th Ave., is throwing an I Love the ‘90s night from 8 p.m. to midnight Dec. 9.

The free event includes music from local cover band 90s Til Dawn, who will play music from some of the decade’s biggest bands, including Green Day, Nirvana, Blink-182, Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Foo Fighters. The evening also features contests and prizes, ‘90s trivia and a ‘90s dance-off. Go to www.inthezonebar.com.

Remember John Lennon through songs

John Lennon’s life was tragically cut short when he was shot and killed on Dec. 8, 1980, and for the past two decades, Denver’s Mercury Café has honored the musician and The Beatles with a special performance.

From 2-5 p.m. Dec. 10, Beatlemaniacs can attend the 20th Beatles and John Lennon Memorial Sing-Along concert at the café, 2199 California St. Lyric sheets will be provided, and attendees can also grab an organic bite between songs. Go to www.mercurycafe.com.

An evening with not-so-Silent Bob

Writer, director and actor Kevin Smith has had one of the most eclectic and entertaining careers in Hollywood, and his knack for writing hilarious, pop-culture driven dialogue is one of the great joys that comes along with watching movies like “Clerks,” “Dogma” and “Mallrats.”

Fans can see the man up close and learn more about his life story during An Evening with Kevin Smith, which will be held for two nights at the Comedy Works Downtown, 1226 15th St., and Comedy Works South, 5345 Landmark Place in Greenwood Village. Smith will perform downtown from at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 10, and 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 11, and in Greenwood Village at 7:15 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 12, and 7:15 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 13.

Smith is an extremely eloquent and hilarious presence, and seeing him in a small room like these should not be missed. For tickets, go to www.comedyworks.com/comedians/kevin-smith.


Clarke Reader’s column on culture appears on a weekly basis. A community editor with Colorado Community Media, he can be reached creader@coloradocommunitymedia.com.


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