Denver Center Theatre Company, one of the most industrious nonprofits west of the Mississippi, opens its 2001-2002 season Oct. 4 with Nagle Jackson's new translation of Cyrano de Bergerac.
Edmond Rostand's romantic classic, about the lover-warrior with a heart as big as his unsightly, overlong nose, opens at DCTC's Stage Theatre following previews that began Sept. 27. The 19th-century classic, heard here in verse and prose, is directed by Jackson, who uses rhymed verse to show Cyrano's biting wit and flair. Performances continue to Nov. 3 in rep with Dinner With Friends (Oct. 17-Dec. 8) and A Skull in Connemara (Oct. 4-Nov. 17), on DCTC's sister stages.
The Cyrano cast of 29 includes Bill Christ as Cyrano, Ryan Shively as Christian, Mario Cabrera as Count de Guiche, Libby Christophersen as Roxane, John Innes as Ragueneau and Greg Thornton as LeBret.
Designers reimagining the period of Louis XIII are Rosario Provenza (set), Andrew V. Yelusich (costumes), Dawn Chiang (lights) and David R. White (sound). Fight director is Steven White.
The 1898 play, like others written by the French romantic dramatist, was written in response to the naturalistic plays that were flourishing in Europe. The story of a young man who woos a lady with the help of ugly Cyrano's gift of poetry and wit has endured over the years. It was the writer's greatest triumph. Tickets to productions by the Tony Award-honored DCTC range $26-$42. DCTC is located at 14th and Curtis Streets in Denver. For information, call (303) 893-4100 or (800) 641 1222 or visit www.denvercenter.org.
Denver Center Theatre Company will be on a "Rocky Mountain High" in its 2001-2002 season, when the music and life of the late John Denver are celebrated in a world premiere musical, Almost Heaven: Songs and Stories of John Denver.
DCTC will also offer the regional premiere of the musical version of Mark Harelik's The Immigrant (which had its world premiere in a limited Off-Broadway engagement in 2000), and the world premiere of Jeffrey Hatcher's new work, Pierre, adapted from a Melville novel whose subjects included incest and "moral relativism."
Produced in association with Harold Thau, Almost Heaven is written, adapted and directed by Peter Glazer, with songs by longtime Colorado resident John Denver and others, with orchestrations, vocal arrangements and musical direction by Jeff Waxman and with musical consultation by Milt Okun.
Singer-songwriter Denver, who sang sweetly of nature, simplicity, the country and love, became disillusioned with the record industry in his later career and had expressed his sadness that his hit songs — and his new work — failed to get airplay in the 1980s and 1990s. His life story is told through his songs in the new musical. Denver died when a plane he was piloting crashed into the ocean. Almost Heaven premieres in DCTC's The Stage Theatre March 21-April 27, 2002.
The DCTC season includes A Christmas Carol at The Stage Theatre, Nov. 23-Dec. 23; Rebecca Gilman's Spinning Into Butter at The Ricketson Theatre, directed by DCTC artistic director Donovan Marley, Jan. 9 March 2, 2002; the Steven M. Alper-Sarah Knapp musical, The Immigrant, with book by Mark Harelik, based on his 1985 DCTC play and directed by the play's original director, Randal Myler, at The Stage Theatre, Jan. 17-Feb. 23, 2002; Hamlet, directed by Anthony Powell, at The Space Theatre, Jan. 24-March 9, 2002; August Wilson's Jitney, directed by Israel Hicks, at The Space Theatre, March 28-May 11, 2002; a world premiere play chosen from TheaterFest 2001, at The Ricketson Theatre, April 3-May 25, 2002; and Hatcher's Pierre, seen in TheaterFest 2000, directed by Bruce K. Sevy, May 9-June 8, 2002 at The Stage Theatre.
— By Kenneth Jones