Arvada Center Blog

19 concerts at the Arvada Center this summer!


The Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities is excited to announce its 2017 Summer Stage Concert Series, featuring a wide array of critically acclaimed and award-winning artists including Marc Cohn, Three Dog Night, The Robert Cray Band, Boz Scaggs, Chris Botti, Clint Black and more!

In partnership with Swallow Hill Music, the 2017 Summer Stage Concert Series also features  dance and music concerts from 3rd Law Dance/Theater, Wonderbound, Colorado Symphony, The Denver Brass, Colorado Ballet, and Colorado Jazz Repertory Orchestra.


Tickets are on sale now! Check out the full lineup and purchase tickets on our webpage.


Arvada Center spring musical is an iconic rock opera!


Jesus and his apostles are in the building until Easter – and the music they’re singing comes straight from the 1970’s! Jesus Christ Superstar opens Friday, March 24 and runs until April 16! Watch a sneak peek in the video below. Tickets are on sale now!

Sensational or sacrilegious – and definitely controversial – Jesus Christ Superstar centers on the character of Jesus Christ as a social and political rebel. Filled with iconic music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice, the musical is loosely based on the Gospels’ accounts of the last week of Jesus’s life. Adapted from a rock opera concept album, Jesus Christ Superstar was nominated for 5 Tony Awards when it opened on Broadway in 1971.


All photos: M. Gale Photography 2017

Attend Talk Backs with the director, designers and members of the cast after three performances: Tuesday, March 28, Thursday, April 6 and Saturday, April 15 after the evening performances.

And stay after select performances for social Happy Hours with the cast! The bar will be open and snacks will be provided. Happy Hours will be held  Friday, March 31 after the 7:30 p.m. performance, Sunday, April 9 after the 2 p.m. performance and Wednesday, April 12 after the 1 p.m. performance.


The cast features Billy Lewis, Jr. in the lead role of Jesus of Nazareth. He was last seen as Mason McCarthy on the FOX television show Glee, as well as Claude in the national tour of Hair.


Additionally, the cast features Matt LaFontaine (Judas Iscariot), Jenna Bainbridge (Mary Magdalene), Stephen Day (Caiaphas), Joe Callahan (Annas), Markus Warren (Pontius Pilate) and Wayne Kennedy (King Herod).

The ensemble includes Adam Estes, Aaron M. Davidson, Michael Bouchard, Reace Daniel, James Francis, Barret Harper, Tyler Nielson, Damon Guerrasio, Drew Horwitz, Brett Ambler, Rob Janzen, Jeremy Rill, Norrell Moore, Satya Chavez, Sheryl McCallum, Rae Leigh Case, Kitty Skillman Hilsabeck, Sarah Rex and Piper Arpan.





Bus Stop opens Friday!


The Arvada Center’s Black Box repertory theatre series kicks off this weekend! Bus Stop, directed by Allison Watrous, opens this Friday.


Jenna Moll Reyes as Elma and Emily Van Fleet as Cherie. Matt Gale Photography 2017

Bus Stop is written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright William Inge, known for his portraits of small-town life in America’s heartland. Bus Stop is a drama infused with comedy and honesty, and was nominated for four Tony Awards when it opened in 1955.


Geoffrey Kent as Will and Josh Robinson as Carl


The play takes place inside a street-corner restaurant in a small Kansas town after a blizzard has forced an inter-state bus is forced to stop for the night. The restaurant fills up with an eclectic cast of characters, each bringing their personalities and problems with them as they seek refuge.


Josh Robinson as Carl and Kate Gleason as Grace

Central to the story is Bo, a boastful but innocent cowboy who plans to get Cherie to the altar, kicking and screaming if necessary. But Cherie, a worldly nightclub singer, has plans of her own and they don’t include Bo! As the night goes on, these snowbound strangers share their secrets and dreams. William Inge mixes moments of uproarious comedy and heartbreaking tenderness to explore the many nuances of love and longing.


Sean Scrutchins as Bo

Bus Stop marks the launch of the Arvada Center’s spring repertory theatre season. It’s presented by members of the Center’s new ensemble company of actors, directors, technical artists and designers, and performed as part of the Center’s three-play repertory rotation. Play the video below to meet the actors!


Bus Stop Cast

Emily Van Fleet – Cherie

Sean Scrutchins – Bo

Sam Gregory – Dr. Lyman

KIate Gleason – Grace

Jenna Moll Reyes – Elma

Michael Morgan – Virgil

Geoffrey Kent – Will

Josh Robinson – Carl


Sam Gregory as Dr. Lyman

In addition to director Allison Watrous, the creative team includes Clare Henkel (Costume Design), Jason Ducat (Sound Design), Brian Mallgrave (Scenic Design), Shannon McKinney (Lighting Design) and Megan O’Connor (Wig Design). The Artistic Director of Plays is Lynne Collins.


Sean Scrutchins as Bo and Michael Morgan as Virgil

Bus Stop opens Friday and runs until April 15. Tickets for opening night are almost sold out – but you can come see it opening weekend!

Visit our website for information on upcoming Black Box productions The Drowning Girls and Waiting for Godot!

Arvada Center Bus Stop Cast M. Gale Photography 2017

A Year With Frog and Toad opens today!


The cast of the Arvada Center’s spring children’s theatre production are ready to hop, slither, crawl and fly their way across stage! A Year With Frog and Toad, an adaption of the beloved children’s stories by Arnold Lobel, opens today.


Brandon Bill (Frog) and Matt LaFontaine (Toad) – all photos M. Gale Photography 2017

The musical features bright, intricate costumes and an upbeat and humorous score. It’s perfect for kids of all ages.

Arnold Lobel’s daughter Adrianne Lobel commissioned a musical based on her father’s treasured characters, a friendly Frog and uptight Toad. It was written by a pair of brothers, Robert and Willie Reale, and Adrianne Lobel designed the original set based on her father’s art.


Maggie Tisdale, Carter Smith, Lindsay Weidig, Ben Griffin and Melissa Morris (left to right)

The musical broke new ground by bringing professional children’s theatre to Broadway and was nominated for 3 Tony Awards – including Best Musical.

A Year With Frog and Toad follows the woodland adventures of two amphibious friends, a worrywart toad, and a perky frog, with their assorted colorful hopping, crawling and flying companions, over the course of a year.


Lindsay Weidig, Carter Smith, Maggie Tisdale, Ben Griffin and Melissa Morris

The two best friends celebrate and rejoice in their differences that make them unique and special. Part vaudeville, part make-believe, all charm, A Year With Frog And Toad tells the story of a friendship that endures, weathering all seasons.


Brandon Bill (Frog) and Matt LaFontaine (Toad)

The jazzy, upbeat score of A Year with Frog and Toad bubbles with melody and wit, making it an inventive, exuberant and enchanting musical for the whole family. A Year With Frog and Toad opened February 2, and it runs until May 19. For details on performance dates and to purchase tickets, visit our website.

Accessibility is important to our children’s theatre program. Select performances of A Year With Frog and Toad will be Audio Described for the sight impaired, and Shadow performed for the hearing impaired. Shadow – interpreted theatre utilizes specially trained American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters to perform as “shadows” on stage alongside actors.


A Year With Frog and Toad Cast

Brandon Bill – Frog
Matt LaFontaine – Toad
Melissa Morris – Mouse, Ensemble, Lady Bird, Squirrel, Mole
Ben Griffin – Lizard, Ensemble, Man Bird, Squirrel, Mole
Lindsay Weidig – Ensemble, Lady Bird, Squirrel, Mole
Maggie Tisdale – Turtle, Ensemble, Lady Bird, Squirrel, Mole
Carter Smith – Snail, Man Bird, Mole

The music is directed by David and Julie Payne, with musical direction by Keith Ewer and choreography by Piper Arpan. The Arvada Center Artistic Producer is Rod A. Lansberry.


Marlowe Awards recognize Sister Act, Tartuffe

Every year, local theatre reviewer David Marlowe presents his picks for the best performances and technical achievements in the Denver theatre community. The 2016 Marlowe Awards have been announced, and Arvada Center artists and productions staff won four of them! Click here to read the complete list of awards, and congrats everyone!


Best Supporting Actress – Jessica Austgen, Tartuffe


Matt Gale Photography

Outstanding Sound Design – Morgan McCauley, Tartuffe


Matt Gale Photography

Choreography – Kitty Skillman Hilsabeck, Sister Act


P. Switzer Photography

Best Production of a Play – Tartuffe


Matt Gale Photography