AURORA | As trees across the metro area begin to jettison their chlorophyl-filled fruits and white pants become forbidden, this latte-riddled time of year signals much more than the arrival of all-pumpkin everything: It’s the beginning of a new season of theater across the metro area.
And with that comes a new cast of monsters, lovers and chocolate-wielding madmen on a slew of local stages.
Here’s an abbreviated list of what to expect behind the curtains in Aurora and beyond this autumn.
Performances at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays. Oct. 7 – Nov. 16. The Aurora Fox Arts Center, 9900 E. Colfax Ave. Call 303-739-1970 or visit aurorafoxartscenter.org for more information. Adult tickets start at $33.
The Aurora Fox Arts Center is starting off its 32nd season with some Gothic romance, unrequited love and at least one pair of spooky fangs. The Fox is kicking off its 2016-17 season, which boats the theme “life on the margins of polite society,” with “Dracula” the classic tale of the hypnotic vampire who lures unsuspecting lovers into his clutches. A perfectly spooky tale for the month of October, this show will get audiences primed and ready for those end-of-the-month costume parties.
Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka — The Musical
Performances at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2:30 p.m. Sundays. Sept. 16 – Oct. 30. The Vintage Theatre, 1468 Dayton St. Tickets start at $28. Call 303-856-7830 or visit vintagetheatre.com for more information.
Pumpkin-spice won’t be the only autumnal flavor floating through the air in Aurora this season. There will be a few snozberries (that taste, and presumably smell, like snozberies, of course) sprinkled along Dayton Street as well. Vintage Theatre Productions is pumping some life into the story of Roald-Dahl’s zany chocolatier with the musical adaptation by Leslie Briccuse and Anthony Newly. The show follows Charlie Bucket as he meanders through Mr. Wonka’s kooky candy factory riddles with chocolate rivers, bratty children and more than a few orange-faced, green-haired oompa loompas. Deb Flomberg directs this eternal children’s classic.
The Oldest Boy
Performances at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2:30 p.m. Sundays. Sept. 16 – Oct. 23. The Vintage Theatre, 1468 Dayton St. Tickets start at $27. Call 303-856-7830 or visit vintagetheatre.com for more information.
The Vintage Theatre is hosting more than just chocolatiers next month. In a novel collaboration with fellow Aurora production company Theatre Esprit Asia (TEA), The Vintage is staging “The Oldest Boy,” a spiritual tale of enlightenment and parental sacrifice. After learning that their son may be the reincarnation of a Buddhist teacher, an American mother and Tibetan father are faced with a difficult decision when a pair of monks ask to train the boy in India. Vintage Executive Director Craig Bond directs.
Nevermore: The Imaginary Life and Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe
Performances at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2:30 p.m. Sundays. Oct. 21 – Nov. 13. Crossroads Theatre, 2590 Washington St., Denver. Adult tickets are $24. Call 866-811-4111 for more information.
Fans of one of modern history’s most enigmatic yet prodigious creatives will be able to “quoth the raven” to their “Tell Tale Heart’s” delight (see what we did there?) this autumn at Ignite Theater’s first production outside of Aurora in nearly a decade. “Nevermore: The Imaginary Life and Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe” depicts, via many a song, the tortured and fascinating life of the 19th century’s master of macabre literature, Edgar Allan Poe. With a book and lyrics by Jonathan Christenson, the Ignite Production is slated to feature a potpourri of musical styles, ranging from cabaret to power ballads. Peter Dearth directs.
Showtimes vary Tuesdays through Sundays Sept. 30 – Oct. 30. No performance on Mondays. The Denver Center for the Performing Arts Stage Theatre, 1101 13th St., Denver. Tickets start at $35. Call 800-641-1222 or visit Denvercenter.org for more information.
It seems to be the season of monsters for Denver metro stages. Mary Shelley’s reanimated monster will be joining The Aurora Fox’s “Dracula” this fall just across town at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. Making its U.S. premier at the DCPA, the production by playwright Nick Dear and based on the timeless novel by Mary Shelley follows the tormented life of a complex creature forced to wrestle with demons and his place in society. The DCPA production is set to feature a pair of actors who swap between the role of Victor Frankenstein and the creature in an effort to further enhance the cerebral descent into madness.
The Glass Menagerie
Showtimes vary Tuesdays through Sundays Sept. 9 – Oct. 16. No performance on Mondays. The Denver Center for the Performing Arts Ricketson Theatre, 1101 13th St., Denver. Tickets start at $35. Call 800-641-1222 or visit Denvercenter.org for more information.
Based on a Tennessee Williams short story entitled “Portrait of a Girl in Glass,” “The Glass Menagerie” dissects the buttoned-up mayhem of the Wingfield family, a semi-proper southern clan that slowly, but systematically unravels. The tribe consists of Tom, a poet drowning in self-inflicted mediocrity who’s forced to provide for his mother and sister by working for $65 a day in a shoe factory; Laura, a disabled shut-in who is socially paralyzed by her own anxiety; and Amanda, the hen-like southern matriarch obsessed with the opulence of a former life. The plot centers on Amanda’s relentless quest to match her daughter with a gentleman caller, despite her child’s cripplingly anti-social tendencies. Laced with an ongoing skirmish with Tom over his happiness and commitment to the family, the show weaves in and out of different planes of reality and memory in a manner akin to the magical realism spun out by Williams’ Latin American contemporaries.
Performances at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays. Oct. 8 – Nov. 5. The John Hand Theater, 7653 1st Pl., Denver. Tickets start at $25. Call 303-562-3232 or visitfirehousetheatercompany.com for more information.
There’s something disturbingly poignant about Firehouse Theater Company’s decision to stage this Arthur Miller classic amid one of the most tumultuous and downright bizarre election cycles in recent memory. A lesson on the danger of a mob mentality, the show centers on the Salem witch hunts of the 17th century. No matter what side of the aisle you favor, it couldn’t hurt to brush up on the crippling impacts of political fear mongering before heading to the ballot box this November. Peter Hughes directs.
Water by the Spoonful
Performances at 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays; 2 p.m. on Sundays. Sept. 3 – Oct. 15. 1080 Acoma St., Denver. Tickets start at $24. Call 303-623-0524 or visit curioustheatre.org for more information.
If ghouls and other seedy personalities are off your theatrical radar this season, Denver’s Curious Theatre Company is here to satiate your dramatic druthers. Curious is staging “Water by the Spoonful,” the 2012 Pulitzer Prize winning drama centers on the struggles, and galvanization, of a 21st century family. Penned by Quiara Alegria Hudes and directed in Denver by Chip Walton, the production is a devastating and powerful analysis of what gels, and destroys, a struggling clan. Gabriella Cavellero stars as Odessa.
Middle Aged People Sitting in Boxes
Showtimes vary. All non-Sunday performances begin at 8 p.m. Sunday matinees begin at 3 p.m. See buntport.com for details. Sept. 2 – 24. 717 Lipan St., Denver. Tickets start at $25. Call 720-946-1388 for more information.
Literally. The title of this quirky ensemble show is about as plain as it gets seeing as the production is all about, well, people sitting in boxes. The show centers on four people, sitting in, you guessed it, boxes, performing their daily tasks. But don’t be fooled into thinking that this is some sort of mundane, high-brow outing — the show recently won a Colorado Theatre Guild Henry Award for “Outstanding Ensemble Performance.”