Arvada Center Blog

White Christmas opens to a packed house at the Arvada Center

Tuesday evening a packed Arvada Center Main Stage Theatre crowd was treated to a dose of holiday cheer before they even sat down to enjoy their Thanksgiving turkey. Hundreds flocked to the center to take in opening night of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas.

The holiday classic follows the tale of former Army buddies turned Broadway superstars Bob Wallace and Phil Davis as they spread Christmas cheer to an old friend, and find a little love of their own.

Wallace and Davis, portrayed by Ben Michael and Cody Williams respectively, are joined on their Vermont Christmas adventure by Judy and Betty Haynes, played by Erica Sweany and Lauren Shealy.

The sentimental musical is filled with Christmas cheer, wonderful dance numbers and some of the greatest songs ever written, including “Blue Skies”, “Happy Holiday”, “Sisters”, “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm” and the unforgettable title song, “White  Christmas.”

Whether you’re looking to get in the holiday spirit yourself or spread some Christmas cheer to friends and family, White Christmas at the Arvada Center is sure to do the trick.

White Christmas runs through December 23 at the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, but tickets are moving quickly. Click here to see show times and buy tickets.

Renowned Cartoonist Guest Teaches at Arvada Center



Award-winning cartoonist Drew Litton made a guest teacher appearance on July 29th as part of our kids illustration summer camp class series. Best known for his 25+ years of work as the creator of the popular Rocky Mountain News “Win, Lose & Drew” sports cartoons, Drew Litton is currently nationally syndicated and draws for 9NEWS, Rockies Magazine, Mile High Sports Magazine, The Boulder Daily Camera and the Denver Broncos among others.

Litton has been drawing cartoons since he was a young child. Litton explained that as a child, he had asthma which inhibited his ability to play sports, so he drew them instead.  In high school, Litton knew he wanted to draw cartoons as a profession and in college he had his own weekly comic. Now, he draws for some of the biggest publications in the country and is thinking about starting an online comic series.

At the Arvada Center, he taught our summer campers about building characters on the page. Litton started with a basic image and then expanded the sketch by giving the character certain traits, a “job”, and a personality by illustrating elements about how the character would interact with others.

Tips from a Pro

Litton also discussed illustrating action scenes.  Litton explained, “to get yourself ready to draw action, give yourself a “warm up time”.” He suggested drawing a static figure during a set time limit and focus on the fluidity of the drawing.  Litton also stated that when drawing action, an illustrator should exaggerate the gestural positions of the character. Litton also demonstrated a favorite trick in his illustrations  – using arcs to create a sense of motion.

Melanie Mayner, Public Relations Manager at the Arvada Center, said, “It was very cool to have Drew Litton teaching a cartooning class here at the Center. Maybe it will just be the beginning!” She was lucky enough to get a peronsalized autograph in her very own “Win, Lose & Drew” book.

Litton’s website can be found at



Artist Daryll Peirce explains the Exquisite Corpse


Artist Daryll Peirce explains his portion of one of four Exquisite Corpses at Arvada Center through August 29, 2015.

Raffling four exquisite corpse works of art to Keep Our Galleries Free!
This is part of our Summer Galleries Exhibition 2015 series  –> see more at

Conscious and Unconscious: Subjects of the Real & Surreal
Parts I, II and III

The summer exhibition at the Arvada Center examines Surrealism and Realism and the line between the two by presenting works by contemporary local and regional artists. Drawing from the surrealist thoughts on the unconscious mind and dreams, works in this exhibition will not only explore Surrealism and Realism, but they will feature subject matter and techniques that blur the lines between real and surreal. This exhibition will be split into three parts, each displayed in one of the Arvada Center’s three galleries, and each part will investigate the real and the surreal.

5 New Concerts added to Summer Stage Concert Series


Five New Concerts Added to Summer Stage Concert Series Line up for 2015 Summer Concerts in Denver


Announced today!

Time for Three – Friday, July 24 at 7:30 p.m.

Asleep at the Wheel with Kat Edmonson – Saturday, July 25 at 7:30 p.m.

Colorado Jazz Repertory Orchestra – Thursday, August 13 at 7:30 p.m.

Rhiannon Giddens – Friday, August 14 at 7:30 p.m.

Los Lonely Boys – Thursday, September 3 at 7:30 p.m.

All performances listed above will take place rain or shine in our Outdoor Amphitheater.



Click on the images below for more information.

The Waterboys summer concert in Denver Steep Canyon Rangers summer concert in Denver Wonderbound Summer Performance in Denver at Arvada Center Big Bad Voodoo Daddy summer concert in Denver at Arvada Center
Toad the Wet Sprocket, Smash Mouth and Tonic summer concert in Denver at Arvada Center Jonny Lang summer concert in Denver at Arvada Center Colorado Symphony Summer Concert in Denver at Arvada Center Laurie Berkner summer concert in Denver at Arvada Center
Sweet Harmony Soul summer concert in Denver at Arvada Center Time for Three summer concert in Denver at Arvada Center Asleep At The Wheel summer concert in denver at Arvada Center Los Lobos summer concert in Denver at Arvada Center
Colorado Symphony summer concert in denver at Arvada Center Colorado Jazz Repertory Orchestra summer performance in Denver at Arvada Center Rhiannon Giddens summer performance in Denver at Arvada Center Colorado Ballet summer performance in Denver at Arvada Center
Denver Brass summer concert in Denver at Arvada Center Los Lonely Boys summer concert in denver at Arvada Center David Grisman Bluegrass Experience and The Jeff Austin Band summer concert in Denver at the Arvada Center

Bringing The Curtain Back to Life


Recycle, reuse, repurpose —- that’s all the buzz these days – right? Well, that can apply to theater productions too!

A partnership between the Arvada Center and the Elitch Gardens Theatre has brought new life to theater ~  all in a timely, historically-significant icon, an integral piece of fabric – the stage curtain.

Elitch Gardens Theatre Foundation historian and Arvada Center music director David Nehls explains, “the curtain is what separates the reality from the fantasy” and like 9NEWS Anchor/Reporter Kyle Dyer says, “it’s no doubt the curtain is vital to setting the stage in a theater”.

The historic curtain that hung in the Elitch Gardens Theatre has been re-purposed, raised from shreds and stains, to be re-hung in the next production at the Arvada Center, A Man of No Importance. Arvada Center Scenic Designer Brian Malgrave was excited to be able to use this historic theater icon in the set design for A Man of No Importance. “Whenever we can, we look for opportunities to reuse things or to bring things of a more authentic quality to our productions,” he explains. “This particular curtain was created in 1950 and our scenic design was set in 1964 so it felt very appropriate,” Mallgrave says. “This curtain is really cool for this production because its actually centered around working class people that are putting on kind-of a community theater production and the whole idea behind the curtain opening to present what is their art is such a big part of the show.”

Read on  / View Video

The historic Elitch Gardens Theatre curtain has been repurposed as part of the set design for current Arvada Center production A Man of No Importance.



photo by Kyle Dyer, 9NEWS





{parts of this blog post are from the article written at}