Dakota Ridge High School of Littleton, Colo. performed The Laramie Project for large crowds on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Nov. 14-16.
Before Friday night’s performance, patrons gathered in the halls of the high school, unsure of the acting capabilities of teenagers. The Laramie Project‘s heavy subject matter seemed to be too much for this young class to fully comprehend and relay to an audience.
The Laramie Project, created by Moises Kaufman and members of the Tectonic Theater Project, details the actors traveling back to Laramie nearly two years after Matthew’s murder to conduct more than 200 interviews and citing research through documents, letters and news coverage.
As the house lights went down and the 14-member high school cast took the stage, the set became illuminated. Headlines from the 19098 tragedy were pasted to a fence resembling the site of Matthew Shepard’s torture. Images of Matthew were displayed on the back curtains.
For the next few hours, the teenage actors delivered an incredible performance. They recounted the reactions of Laramie residents about Matthew and his attack. It was clear that much practice and research had taken place. Each student had at minimum three roles, as there are more than 60 in The Laramie Project.
The hate crime that took place in October of 1998 will be forever remembered, in the hearts and minds of many, and through theater productions of The Laramie Project.
By Lauren Archuletta November 8, 2013 | 11:12 am (Updated: November 11, 2013 | 9:52 am)
If you’ve passed through Pueblo, Colo. in the last 30 years it’s possible that you meandered into the Pirate’s Cove. Wedged between two other bars, a pirate’s flag waves in the air, welcoming you into the town’s only LGBT bar.
A large, loyal crowd could always be seen gathered around the pirate ship-themed bar, ordering $1 kamikaze shots from fan-favorite bartenders Janice and Anthony.
Every other Saturday one would be greeted at the door by a bouncer charging a $2 cover for drag queen night. Inside, Pueblo’s finest Whitneys and Britneys sashayed across the small dance floor, their weaves glistening under the overhead ceiling fan’s lights.
But that was the past. Now, the Cove is making big changes. The small-town staple is giving itself a makeover.
With a sudden change in both staff and management, the Cove will also be launching a new entertainment lineup starting in the month of November. Drink specials to be included each Saturday, as well as a $2-$3 cover charge.
Saturday, Nov. 16: Male strip show starting at 10 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 23: DJ night
Saturday, Nov. 30: Beverly Hillbillies contest
Though the kamikaze shots are now orange and the ceiling fans will soon be replaced by spotlights, the people of the Pirate’s Cove remain constant. It may be out with the old and in with the new, but the queens will still reign over the pirates.
By Kristin Ziegler October 18, 2013 | 10:59 am (Updated: October 18, 2013 | 11:08 am)
Within a traditional medical setting, a doctor named “Miss Chief Eagle Testickle” might leave a patient a little wary and confused.
But Miss Chief’s “patients” need fear not as they enter the “doctor’s” examining room, a gallery within the Denver Art Museum, for Miss Chief is highly knowledgable. Chief specializes in diagnosing and treating art suffering from cultural oppression, stuffy gender roles and expectations, and suppressed sexuality.
Miss Chief Eagle Testickle is the “celebrity artist, aristocratic socialite and patron of the arts” alter-ego of world renowned artist Kent Monkman. Monkman is, according to the DAM, one of the leading voices in contemporary American Indian art and examines the experiences of people of color and queer-identified individuals across many mediums- including painting, performance and film. His work has been celebrated in such prestigious venues as the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, Museum London, the National Gallery of Canada, and the Toronto International Film Festival.
On Friday, October 18, Monkman will be performing “Casualties of Modernity” at the DAM, a performance art piece that takes viewers through history as Monkman (as Miss Chief) “diagnoses” the misrepresentation of marginalized people and “the sick and ailing parts of art.” The work is part of a current featured exhibit at the DAM- Sovereign: Independent Voices. The modern art display explores the works of three prominent American Indian artists, including a multi-medium piece by Monkman (who is of Cree descent) called “Lot’s Wife.”
“Lot’s wife was punished for looking back at her homeland as she was being expelled from it. I have transposed the punishment of Lot’s wife to my alter ego Miss Chief for looking back, and for the sin of having a memory,” Monkman told the DAM.
Casualties of Modernity will show Friday, October 18 at 8 pm. Tickets are available online, and their is a discount for DAM members. To buy tickets or for more information on Kent Monkman, Casualties of Modernity or Sovereign: Independent Voices, please visit the museum website here.
Composing the perfect Halloween costume can be a difficult task, and using makeup to maximize your look for the holiday is something many beginners can struggle with when attempting to make their character come to life. Owner of Devious Designing Danny Dupree specializes in face and body paint and has some tips for beginners looking to create a dynamic look this Halloween.
Dante Martinez as a zombie. Makeup by Danny Dupree. Photo by Ako Pah.
Most importantly, it’s best to use a high quality makeup for your costume. Although large mass produced retail store makeup is inexpensive, your look can suffer due to the quality of the makeup.
“Cheap makeup is often blotchy upon application, and many beginners don’t have the skill set to work with this kind of makeup,” Dupree said.
Instead purchase makeup from a costume store, Dupree suggests. Brands like Ben Nye cream based makeup tend to be the most durable and efficient when creating a dramatic look.
The way in which you apply your makeup is also a highly important factor in determining how your overall look will turn out. Use a variety of tools that you can find at your nearest retail store, including cosmetic wedges, Q- tips and sea sponges for a more textured look. For the ever popular zombie costume, Dupree suggests using tissue paper and liquid latex to display a fleshy more realistic look.
“You don’t have to go to an expensive makeup school to create a good look. There are resources out there that are readily available for anyone to learn how to do it themselves.” Dupree, who is self taught, suggests looking at YouTube tutorials if you are going for a specific character look.
Simple practice and getting experience playing around with the look you want to go for is another way that you can ensure you have a dynamic costume.
Halloween makeup can either make or break your costume. If you are looking to impress others with a well thought out costume keep in mind that makeup is what sells a character.
As Dupree puts it “You have to be willing to go the whole nine yards so you can create one cohesive look. Learn from others and play around with your look. After all it’s just makeup, go out and have fun.”
As the second most important gay holiday (Halloween) approaches, it’s time to get your scream on. No, we’re not talking about the mask party at Midtowne Spa. We’re talking about actual haunted houses. Here are 10 we think you should check out this Halloween season.
By Kristin Ziegler October 9, 2013 | 2:58 pm (Updated: October 9, 2013 | 3:08 pm)
The concert Wicked Divas traces its dazzling and resounding roots back to one of the most legendary Broadway divas of all, Kristen Chenoweth. When the big voice in a small package stage queen could not make a concert appearance in Cincinnati, event promoters pulled together two vocalists who had previously performed in Wicked, asked them which songs they most liked to sing, and that, as they say, was that.
Nicole Parker will co-headlines in Wicked Divas, a concert with the Colorado Symphony.
“It turned out to be a very successful and really a lot of fun show,” said Nicole Parker, who has previously brought Wicked’s Elphaba to life on the stage on Broadway and in last year’s national tour. Now, Parker is on her way to the Colorado Symphony Oct. 12 to celebrate the history of Broadway and pop divas. Out Front caught up with funny gal Parker to chat about divas, shiny things, and the always anticipated film adaptation of Wicked.
Hi, Nicole! You last hit the Denver as Elphaba in the national tour of Wicked, and we’re about to welcome you back as part of the show Wicked Divas. Could you tell our readers a little bit about this performance?
Wicked Divas is much more than just Wicked, it’s more focused on the “diva” part. Wicked refers to me and Emily Rozek having played at one point, respectively, the green witch and the blonde witch. We highlight not only the big, epic songs from Wicked, but also big, epic diva songs. So, you’ve got things from Phantom of the Opera; we do Barbara Streisand and Donna Summers, so some disco divas; we do “Diva’s Lament” from Spamalot; I sing a song by Liza Minnelli. We kind of cover a lot of divas throughout history, so it’s a lot of high impact, really fun, really entertaining songs from start to finish.
That’s definitely quite the diverse catalog. Do you have a favorite number or two you perform in the show?
I really do love them all, but I have to say doing “Diva’s Lament” from Spamalot is a really fun and funny song. And obviously, there’s “Defying Gravity.”
Being cast as Elphaba is probably every theater performer’s dream come true, but if you could play any character on the Broadway stage, who would it be? Has the “sampler plate,” so to speak, that is Wicked Divas influenced this choice at all?
Yes, it is a sampler plate! I just finished a run of Funny Girl last weekend, in a rare revival in California, and after doing it once I’d love to do it again! And I do sing “Don’t Rain on My Parade” in the show. If that’s ever brought back, I’d love to toss my hat in the ring.
In addition your work on Broadway and in national tours, you are a comic. Have you ever felt torn between your passion for theater and comedy or has the marriage of the two been organic?
It’s been both! It’s been organic and easy, and other times really challenging. My first show on Broadway was with Martin Short, it was called Fame Becomes Me, and it was the perfect marriage because he’s humor — he has a sketch and improve background, but he also has a great musical background and ability. So that show combined everything I like to do: impressions, characters, music, and singing. That was great! Other times, I’ve had to have one foot in New York and one foot in Los Angeles. I write pilots, and I try to balance that with voice lessons and musicals. It can be very difficult, but I wouldn’t give up either one. It’s made my life richer, and I’m always looking for the opportunity to combine them again.
Your comedy landed you on MADtv, where you played a number of gay icons like Ellen DeGeneres, Britney Spears, Amy Winehouse, and Judy Garland. And of course, you’re a Broadway diva, which is gay-iconic itself. Do you feel your fanbase is subsequently largely LGBT?
I’m thrilled to say I do get a lot of response from the community, and I’m stoked they appreciate it. But I actually get a pretty wide range of demographics. If we are talking MADtv, I’ve gotten a huge response from the young Latina community. Actually, anyone who was a young teen who grew up in the 90s seems to really identify with [my work on MADtv].
And of course, there are the letters from prison. Boy, they love MADtv in prison! But it can’t be easy, so it makes me happy that we can entertain them.
You were recognized by GLAAD for taking part in Proposition 8: The Musical. What inspired you to join in on that project?
It was a no brainer to me, honestly! My whole life has been in theater, so from the time I was a very young kid doing theater I was in plays with gay men. It was never an issue for me. It has always been really hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that there are still people, a large number of people, who don’t see the world as I do — which is you go and live your life and I go and live mine. We are all happy, and we all get what we want. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t live within my theater community, I don’t think I could live in other places where it’s not as accepting.
Prop. 8: The Musical was a really great, smart and funny project.
We could really extend it into a whole two-hour thing. We’ll get the Book of Mormon boys on it!
Speaking of starting up projects, there have been talks of a Wicked film adaptation for pretty much ever! Might we get to see you on the big screen as Elphaba?
Oh gosh, no! If I’m lucky, maybe I’ll play “Fifth Monkey.” I mean it, I’m gunning for “Flying Monkey #5.” And maybe all the previous Elphabas will get to play flying monkeys, too. No, but I mean, anytime you are talking about a movie, you accept the fact that the lead is going to be, like, Miley Cyrus.
But my monkey will have a great backstory. Maybe she’s befriended Elphaba, and she’s got all of these magical powers and she’s also a really great dancer who longs to break out. She’ll have a whole thing — a whole thing!
The Colorado Symphony presents Wicked Divas will be at 7:30 p.m., October 12. For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit tickets.coloradosymphony.org. Out Front readers use discount code “outpopular” for a buy-one-get-one free discount.
By Nic Garcia October 3, 2013 | 2:20 am (Updated: October 3, 2013 | 2:22 am)
Pulitzer Prize winning photographer Evan Semón, who spent three months documenting the last political lap of the Colorado Civil Union Act for Out Front, will host a solo art show at John Fielder’s Colorado Gallery & Denver Photo Art Gallery.
Semón’s show, Cycle Culture Colorado, will open Oct. 4 and run through Nov. 30. Fielder’s gallery is located at 833 Santa Fe Drive in Denver’s Art District on Santa Fe.
“Cycle Culture Colorado” features 10 large watercolor giclee prints that explore the different aspects of the state’s cycling culture while also showcasing cycling as an important mode of alternate transportation. The show features colorful images from the 2013 USA Pro Challenge, Bike to Work Day, Tour de Fat, Pedal the Plains and Denver Bike Sharing’s BCycle program.
The exhibit marks Semón’s first gallery show.
“The inspiration for this show comes from my recollection of what it meant to learn how to ride a bike as a child.” Semón said in a press release. “Riding a bike brings an undeveloped sense of freedom. It gives us our first taste of independence; we are never the same.”
By Nic Garcia October 2, 2013 | 8:21 pm (Updated: October 2, 2013 | 8:22 pm)
A good party deserves good music. So, as Out Front prepares for Saturday’s Power Party, we turned to DJ Markie, a resident at Tracks, to put some tunes together for us.
Like all of our honorees, she knocked it out of the park!
The Power Party is the celebration of ordinary people who do extraordinary things. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are available here. Use discount code “mix” to save 15 percent off.
Here’s what Markie had to say about the mix: “Thank you Nic Garcia from Out Front for inviting me to make a mix in honor of the brave leaders represented at this year’s OFC Power Party. These songs are dedicated to all of you!
By Nic Garcia September 8, 2013 | 8:10 pm (Updated: September 8, 2013 | 8:17 pm)
Priscilla Queen of the Desert – The Musical makes its stop at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts this week. And Colorado rock star of arts and entertainment reporting, Eden Lane, takes her viewers backstage to meet the cast, and on this installment of three she meets Gillian Austin. As the Wardrobe Supervisor Gillian oversee more than 500 costumes for this production. Priscillaruns through Sept. 15.