Arvada Center Blog

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





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2015-16 Theater Season Announced!


The Arvada Center’s 2015-2016 season is an impressive line-up of plays and musicals that spread across several generations of the human experience including themes of self-discovery, romance, humor, and imagination. The three musical and three play season is filled with popular titles and includes one world premiere, two regional premieres and an ongoing collaboration with Creede Repertory Theatre.

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Saturday Night Fever at Arvada Center

Regional Premiere

Saturday Night Fever

Based on the Paramount/RSO Film and the story by Nik Cohn
Adapted for the stage by Robert Stigwood in collaboration with Bill Oakes
Directed by Rod A. Lansberry

Main Stage Theater

September 15 – October 4
Previews September 11 – 13

Please note: This production contains adult situations.

Pull out your leisure suit, put on your hot pants, polish your platform shoes and get ready to boogie down when we present this regional premiere musical based on the classic 70s film. Set in the historically significant era of post-Vietnam, Watergate, and years of civil unrest; America was ready to embrace something new. When disco blazoned on the scene, it created a cultural shift by embracing a blending of dance styles from high-energy jitterbug, to mid-century rock and roll and the classic grace of ballroom dance. Disco helped launch a new era that resulted in lifestyle changes and musical genres that have become part of our contemporary culture. Saturday Night Fever features all the great Bee Gee disco hits including “Stayin’ Alive”, “How Deep Is Your Love”, “Night Fever”, “If I Can’t Have You”, “You Should Be Dancing” and more! Saturday Night Fever will have you dancing in your seat!

In 2010, the film, Saturday Night Fever was deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the Library of Congress and is preserved in its National Film Registry. The film’s soundtrack was added to its National Recording Registry in 2013.

Saturday Night Fever is presented through special arrangement with and all authorized performance materials are supplied by Theatrical Rights Worldwide (TRW), 570 Seventh Avenue, Suite 2100, New York, NY 10018. (866) 378-0757

Good on Paper at Arvada Center

Creede Repertory Theatre presents the World Premiere of

Good On Paper

By George Brant



Black Box Theater

September 29 – October 25
Previews September 25 – 27

Please note: This production contains some mature language and adult situations.

In this quirky romantic comedy, Peg, a lonely police-sketch artist, prefers the company of her many drawings of criminals to the real men in her life. But when her romance-novelist sister gives her a mysterious hand-carved pencil, her sketches come to life. This is great, except when the people you draw are criminals. This modern Pygmalion tale begs the question: does love define or defy perfection?

Irving Berlin's White Christmas at Arvada Center

Irving Berlin’s White Christmas

Based Upon the Paramount Pictures Film
Written For the Screen by Norman Krasna, Norman Panama and Melvin Frank
Music and Lyrics by Irving Berlin
Book by David Ives and Paul Blake
Original stage production directed by Walter Bobbie
Orchestrations by Larry Blank
Vocal and Dance Arrangements by Bruce Pomahac
Directed by Gavin Mayer

Main Stage Theater
November 24 –December 23
Previews November 20 – 22

Veterans Bob Wallace and Phil Davis have a successful song-and-dance act after World War II. With romance in mind,  they follow two sisters to a Vermont lodge where they are performing in a Christmas show. This 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.” Irving Berlin’s White Christmas is a must see for the holidays and guaranteed to fill your entire family with the joy of the season. 

“This cozy trip down memory lane should be put on your wish list.” – New York Times 

“A holiday card comes to life.” – New York Daily News

White Christmas is enchanting as a first snow… Audiences drank it up like spiked egg nog.” – San Francisco Examiner

White Christmas is the perfect holiday musical…” – Talkin’ Broadway

Mrs. Mannerly at Arvada Center

Mrs. Mannerly

By Jeffrey Hatcher
Directed by Edith Weiss




Black Box Theater
January 26 – February 21, 2016
Previews January 22 – 24, 2016

Please note: This production contains some mature language.

Inspired by hilarious memories of a 1967 childhood etiquette class, playwright Jeffrey Hatcher conjures up the world of a ten-year-old studying manners. Young Jeffrey is a misfit little boy who wants nothing more than to be good at something, and he finds his unlikely niche at etiquette school. Mrs. Mannerly is a demanding teacher with a dedication to Emily Post, and no student in her thirty-six years of etiquette classes has achieved a perfect score. When he discovers her mysterious past, Young Jeffrey leverages what he knows so he can be the first to attain the highest score. The plot mimics stories by humorists like David Sedaris and is a delicious, comic tale about coming-of-age in a simpler time.

“ Mrs. Mannerly mixes nostalgia with a spritz of astringent… a carefully crafted coming-of-age story” – Durango Herald

Mrs.Mannerly…is playwright Jeffrey Hatcher’s delightful yet melancholy valentine to lost innocence.” – Riverfront Times

The Mountaintop at Arvada Center

The Mountaintop

By Katori Hall
Directed by Gavin Mayer





Black Box Theater
March 22 – April 17, 2016
Previews March 18 – 20, 2016

Please note: This production contains some mature language and is performed without an intermission.


The Mountaintop reimagines the last night of the historic life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Exhausted from delivering one of his most memorable speeches, Dr. King rests in his room at the Lorraine Motel when a unanticipated visit from a feisty, young maid compels him to confront his own humanity and the fate of our nation. Winner of the Olivier Award for “Best New Play,”
The Mountaintop’s captivating storytelling fuses the dramatic and spiritual to reach a summit that will leave audiences riveted, wanting to know more about the legacy of Dr. King.

Original Broadway production was produced by Jean Doumanian, Sonia Friedman and Ambassador Theatre Group

“Stunning… Sensitive and moving.” – Washington Examiner

“Deeply personal, powerful, and engaging.” – Broadway World

“…a wonderful trip, as audacious as it is inventive.” – Associated Press

Death Takes A Holiday at Arvada Center

Regional Premiere

Death Takes A Holiday

Music and Lyrics by Maury Yeston
Book by Peter Stone and Thomas Meehan
Directed by Rod A. Lansberry


Main Stage Theater
April 26 – May 15, 2016
Previews April 22 – 24, 2016

It’s just after World War I, a time of renewal after years of sadness and human suffering. A mysterious individual disguised as a handsome young Prince arrives at an Italian villa. It is Death himself, who has decided to take a short vacation to be among the living, hoping to understand why he is so feared and why humans are so reluctant to leave life behind. As Death enjoys discovering the simple charms of life, he also begins to comprehend the strength of human love. This stunning musical features rich melodies and beautiful lyrics that will leave audiences breathless as the story unfolds.

Produced by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.

“One lush, soaring number after another… ”  – New York Times

“Maury Yeston is one of the few Broadway composers who has demonstrated the ability to weave the necessary spell, and his score for Death Takes a Holiday hits splendid heights.” – Variety