DCTC Ends 1999-2000 Season June 10; Miser and Mystery Close

News   DCTC Ends 1999-2000 Season June 10; Miser and Mystery Close Denver Center Theatre wraps a busy season June 10 with the closing of The Miser and Give 'Em a Bit of Mystery in the Space and Ricketson theatres, respectively.

Denver Center Theatre wraps a busy season June 10 with the closing of The Miser and Give 'Em a Bit of Mystery in the Space and Ricketson theatres, respectively.

Moliere's The Miser, translated, adapted and directed by Nagle Jackson, opened May 11 following previews that began May 4. Randy Moore leads the cast in the title role. Jackson has set the production in post Revolutionary, 1820s France.

Director Jackson is a playwright (Taking Leave, The Quick-Change Room, The Elevation of Thieves) and former artistic director of McCarter Theatre in Princeton, NJ, and Milwaukee Repertory Theatre.

The DCTC Miser company includes Douglas Harmsen as Cleante, Stephanie Cozart as Elise, Jared Reed as Valere, Gloria Biegler as Mariane, William Denis as Anselme, Kathleen M. Brady as Frosine, Mark Rubald as Master Simon, Richard Risso as Master Jacques, Robert Westenberg as La Fleche, Gabriella Cavallero as Dame Claude, Jamie Horton as The Magistrate and Archie Smith as the Clerk.

Designers are Vicki Smith (set), Kevin Copenhaver (costumes), Dawn Chiang (lighting) and Matthew C. Swartz (sound). Meanwhile, in Give 'Em a Bit of Mystery: Shakespeare and the Old Tradition, acting traditions from the 1500s to the edge of the 21st century are charted in the world premiere.

Tony Church performs, conceived and wrote the new piece, rich with theatre history. Church is a founding member of the Royal Shakespeare Company who now calls the Denver Center Theatre Company his artistic home.

"Stories passed down from actor to actor indicate that there is a tradition of the use of props, movement, stage business and gesture that has propelled an evolution of acting style," according to production notes. "The tradition extends from the actors that first performed Shakespeare to those that play the roles today."

Bruce K. Sevy directs the production, with scenic and costume designer Andrew V. Yelusich transforming the jewelbox Ricketson into an 1830s proscenium theatre with a worn wood plank floor cluttered with props and costumes.

The illusion of candlepower footlights is created by lighting designer Charles R. MacLeod. Sound designer is David R. White.

Give 'Em a Bit of Mystery: Shakespeare and the Old Tradition, opened May 4 DCTC's Ricketson (following previews April 26).

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The Tony Award-honored DCTC is wrapping up a 1999 with a half-dozen new works under its belt, including A Hotel on Marvin Gardens, Waiting to Be Invited, Barrio Babies and The Laramie Project. Jackson's new version of The Miser, though based on a classic, is also being billed as a world premiere by DCTC. Give 'Em a Bit of Mystery, a love letter to the Shakespearean acting tradition, was recorded on audio tape, for Shakespeare buffs.

The Laramie Project, presented by DCTC is association with Tectonic Theater Project, is the season's breakaway hit. Commercial producers picked up the production and opened it Off-Broadway May 18; it earned rave reviews and continues at the Union Square Theatre.

The annual USWest Theatre Fest, a series of new play readings, was also part of the mix in 1999-2000.

DCTC is looking forward to 2000-2001, when Peter Hall directs the world premiere of the 10-play, 15-hour Greek-classics-inspired cycle, Tantalus, a rare collaboration with the Royal Shakespeare Company. The Trojan War epic (written by John Barton) plays Sept. 15-Dec. 17. Rehearsals for the complicated staging have already begun.

For information, call (303) 893-4100 or (800) 641-1222, or try the website at www.denvercenter.org.

-- By Kenneth Jones