Beth Malone in concert


Beth Malone in concert at the Arvada Center. Photo by Matthew Gale.

Beth Malone in concert at the Arvada Center. Photo by Matthew Gale.

'It's going to be a thoughtful, mindful, meaningful, fun, joyful show'

By John Moore, Senior Arts Journalist

The ongoing COVID shutdown has left audiences hungry for the return of live performances and, just in time, Broadway star Beth Malone is coming back to the Arvada Center with a heaping serving of soul food.

Beth Malone 2020Malone, a Castle Rock native who was nominated for a 2015 Tony Award (“Fun Home”) will perform her new concert at 7 p.m. on Friday, September 4, in the socially distanced expanse of the Arvada Center’s amphitheater. Outdoor capacity is normally 600, but to accommodate physical distancing, the Arvada Center is limiting attendance to 130 at each 75-minute performance.  

Malone will be performing what she calls "a very eclectic song list" ranging from an old-school Judy Garland arrangement (“Just in Time”) to country to pop to showtunes.

“I am going to sing the kind of songs that I would want to hear right now,” Malone said. “Music really does speak to universal things that are bigger than the moment. Music can level the playing field and make everyone feel seen and heard – and that’s what our show does. 

“I want people to leave with a lot of hope and to feel like everything’s actually going to be OK. There is going to be a way out of this, and a way through it. That’s what I want.

“And I think our set list is kind of awesome.”

That set list includes the pure pop of Five for Fighting (“Above the Timberline”), the inspirational country of Luke Bryan (“Most People are Good”) and plenty of showtunes (from “Tootsie,” “Fun Home,” “Sister Act,” “Ring of Fire” and “The Unsinkable Molly Brown.”)

Malone was starring in the New York debut of the Denver-born “Molly Brown” revival when theatre around the world was shut down by the coronavirus on March 12. Dick Scanlon's so-called “revisal” of the 1960 Broadway hit was warmly received by audiences and critics, culminating a long creative journey that began at the Denver Center’s 2009 Colorado New Play Summit. Malone signed on to play Colorado’s iconic Titanic survivor for its 2014 world premiere at the Denver Center.

Go to Matthew Gale's complete photo gallery from the Beth Malone concert

She couldn’t have known on March 12 that the long quest to bring Molly Brown all the way back to New York was over. (The show will not come back when live theatre returns to New York stages next year.) But Malone did get to see the show validated with an extended run, warm reviews “and a boatload of awards,” she said, calling it "the perfect production in the perfect theatre," if not the perfect ending for Molly Brown's journey.

“It was a truncated journey, but we did get to create Leadville in the middle of New York City, which is what I really wanted,” she said.

Malone also could not have known then that she would not perform again before a live audience for nearly five months, when she recently introduced a shortened version of her concert for her hometown audiences at Theatre Aspen. It’s hard to keep Malone indoors for long, but she and her wife have been mostly sheltering at their condo in nearby Snowmass Village. Beyond developing her concert and binge-watching all of “Game of Thrones,” Malone has made the most of her time, casually dropping a couple of rather significant upcoming creative projects into the conversation.

Watch the official music video for the new musical 'Jeannette,' with Beth Malone

Malone will have a supporting role in the upcoming Broadway musical "Jeannette," written by pop star Ari Afsar and Lauren Gunderson, America's most produced playwright three years running and author of the DCPA Theatre Company's world premiere hit "The Book of Will." "Jeannette" is based on the story of America’s first congresswoman, Montana's Jeannette Rankin, who was elected to congress in 1916 (three years before some women first won the right to vote). Malone will play Rankin's top aide, opposite Broadway star Karen Olivo

More: John Moore's 2017 video interview with Lauren Gunderson

But then there's this: "I am actually writing a musical adaptation of Cyrano de Bergerac," Malone said. "The music is being written by Emily Saliers of Indigo Girls.”

Malone’s three Aspen concerts quickly sold out but, she says, people are generally of two polar mindsets when it comes to performing, even outdoors, during the pandemic. “People are either really supportive or really suspicious of performing in front of people right now,” she said. “It’s either judgy or jealous – there is no middle of the road. But the people who came to our show in Aspen were so grateful. They were shocked and thrilled that we were doing it.”

Beth Malone in 'Joseph.'That's Beth Malone up top and in the back leading the Arvada Center's 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.'

Malone made her Broadway debut in 2006 originating the role of June Carter Cash in "Ring of Fire." Her Colorado performance roots also span the Country Dinner Playhouse (where she starred in “They’re Playing Our Song,” which will be staged by the Arvada Center next year) and Aspen’s Crystal Palace. Now she’s looking forward to returning to the Arvada Center, where she played Marta in “Company,” an urchin in “Little Shop of Horrors” and five holiday seasons starring as The Narrator in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” all produced by Arvada Center Artistic Director of Musicals Rod Lansberry.

Beth Malone at the 2015 Tony Awards"It's going to be very, very fun," she said of her return. "Rod is an old friend, so I am excited to come home to the Arvada Center and have all of the memories flood back, because I spent a ton of time there. I’m sure as soon as I get back there, I am going to say, ‘That’s where the ’90s went!’ "

Five years of “Joseph” stagings meant about five dozen actors who played Jacob’s sons. “Every single year there was an entirely different group of brothers,” Malone said. “So sometimes I’ll be walking across the street in Manhattan and suddenly I’m yelling, ‘Hi, Simeon!’ ”

Malone will be joined on the Arvada Center outdoor stage by guitarist and vocalist Damian Smith of True Story Band, pianist (and longtime best friend) David Dyer, and vocalist Sonya Meyer, who was nominated for a 2020 Henry Award for her performance in “The Doyle & Debbie Show” for the Thunder River Theatre Company.

Malone describes her three-act musical narrative as “a tongue-in-cheek joy bomb” designed to oxygenate her audience’s blood.

 “People are just so desperate for entertainment and connection right now,” she said. “This is what people need right now. This is going to be a thoughtful, mindful, meaningful, fun, joyful show."

John Moore was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the U.S. by American Theatre Magazine during his time at The Denver Post. He also is the founder of The Denver Actors Fund, and is now contributing reports on the arts community for ArvadaCenter.Org. Reach him at

Photo by Kristen Goodwin for Theatre Aspen.

CALL 720-898-7200 FOR TICKETS

  • Beth Malone in Concert
  • 7 p.m. Friday, September 4
  • Arvada Center Amphitheatre, 6901 Wadsworth Boulevard
  • Tickets: $65
  • Available only by phone at 720-898-7200

Set list:

And here’s the set list:

  • “Above the Timberline,” by Five for Fighting
  • “Just in Time," Judy Garland arrangement
  • “Jackson,” from “Ring of Fire”
  • “What’s Gonna Happen,” from “Tootsie”
  • “The Life I’ve Never Lived,” from "Sister Act"
  • “Telephone Wire,” from “Fun Home”
  • “Ring of Keys,” from “Fun Home”
  • “The Eye,” Brandi Carlisle
  • “The ABCs of Love,” from “The Doyle & Debby Show,” sung by Sonya Meyer
  • “Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken,” Pink
  • “Most of All,” Brandi Carlile
  • “Most People are Good,” Luke Bryan
  • “Flight,” by Sutton Foster, duet with Sonya Meyer
  • “An Old-Fashioned Love Story” from “Wild Party”
  • “Moon River”
  • “Raise Up Your Glass,” written and sung by Damian Smith
  • “The Life of the Party,” by Idina Menzel, a duet with Sonya Meyer
  • “I Ain’t Down Yet,” from “The Unsinkable Molly Brown”
Home,Reignite the Arts,Art at Home,Support Arvada Center Artists,Virtual Auction,Donate Now,Donate Now,Corporate Giving,Art Circle,2023-2024 Theatre Season,Renew,Visit Us,View All Events,Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express,Roland Bernier: In Other Words,Word Play,Animal Farm,Cleo Parker Robinson Dance presents Summer Suite,Big Band Royalty,Lola Montejo: After Another After,Floyd D. Tunson: Ascent,Anthony Garcia Sr: Pigment,A Tribute to the Boston Pops,The CJRO presents A Night of Sizzling Soul with Larry Braggs,Pink Martini featuring China Forbes,Carlou D,Pamela Webb: Hand + Hammer,Lauri Lynnxe Murphy: Seeing the Trees For the Forest,Pink Progression: Collaborations,Imprint: Print Educators of Colorado,528.0 Regional Juried Printmaking Exhibition,Wood.Works,Carley Warren: Three Pieces,Viral Influence: Art in the Time of Coronavirus,Brady Smith: (Don’t be embarrassed by) Your Trouble with Living,Melody Epperson: 100 Years + 1,Blurring The Line,Dawes,Melissa Etheridge,Narkita Gold: Black In Denver,Australian Pink Floyd,José González,Art of the State 2022,Into The Woods,Rockley Instrument Sale,Elle King,Madeleine Peyroux In Concert,One Sheet,The River Bride,Fine Art Market,Holiday Pottery Sale,The History of African American Music Part 3,Hazel Miller and the Collective: Christmas with Soul,Disney’s Beauty and the Beast,Colorado Abstract +10: A Survey,Gary Staab: Second Nature,Flora: Scientific Botanical Illustrations of Colorado Plants,Charlotte's Web,Art + Science,Jeffco Schools Foundation High School Art Exhibition,Arts For All Gala,Wendy Kowynia: Following the Thread,Spring Pottery Sale,Teacher Appreciation Concert,A Year With Frog and Toad,Damn Yankees,Bueno: Mark Bueno,Mary Poppins,A Tribute to Chick Corea with Eric Gunnison,Big Band Royalty: Nothin’ But the Blues,Latin Sounds From Legendary Artists,Swing, Swing, Swing: Benny and Beyond ,Denver Gay Men's Chorus: Divas, Icons and Justice Warriors,Keb' Mo',Ben Folds,Lucero,Face Vocal Band,George Thorogood and the Destroyers,Toad the Wet Sprocket and Cracker,A Night at the Movies with the Colorado Symphony,The Denver Brass: In Pursuit of Leisure,Our Town,The Book Club Play,Boz Scaggs,The Ladies of Soul,Guitar Stars and Friends,Rocky Mountain Guitar Stars,Mozart Under Moonlight,Big Draw Colorado,Beautiful - The Carole King Musical,Drawn: From The Source,Collective Soul,Ramón Bonilla: The boundary lines have fallen in pleasant places for me.,Indigo Girls,Dining Partners,Amplify,Amplify Performers,Theatre,Upcoming Shows,2023-2024 Theatre Season,Performances for Students,Auditions,Million Dollar Quartet Auditions,The Laramie Project Open Auditions,Cinderella Local General Auditions,Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 Local Auditions,Holiday Plays,Galleries,Current Exhibitions,Wood.Works Know Before You Go,Gallery Events,Upcoming Exhibitions,Art Sales,Art Submissions,Viral Influence Call for Entry,Big Draw Colorado,Sculpture Field,History Museum,Archive,Education,View All Classes,Summer Camps,Full Day,Summer Camp Performances,FAQ,Classes for Kids,Classes for Adults,Ceramics,Front Range Youth Symphony,Dance Academy,Arts Day,Arts Day Outreach,Ageless Adults,Scholarships,Yesterado,Teen Intensive 2021,Yesterado,Field Trips and Outreach,ECE Field Trips,K-5 Field Trips,Middle and High School Field Trips,Outreach Programs,Preschool Partnership Program,Music and Dance,Jeffrey Siegel,Colorado Jazz Repertory Orchestra,Summer Concerts,AEDA Summer Concerts,Humanities,On Their Shoulders We Stand,Private Event Rentals,Caterers,Vendors,Straight Talk Series ,Straight Talk with Philip Sneed,COVID’s toll on Colorado theatre: 224 productions and counting ,Straight Talk with Lynne Collins,Straight Talk with Rod Lansberry,Straight Talk with Phamaly, Buntport, Colorado Shakes and Rocky Mountain Rep,Straight Talk with Creede Rep, Town Hall, Candlelight and Theatre Company of Lafayette,Straight Talk with Aurora Fox, BDT Stage, Cherry Creek Theatre and Misfits,Straight Talk with Su Teatro, Vintage, Backstage and Counterweight,Straight Talk with Local Theater Company, Theater 29, The Source and Equinox,Straight Talk with the Denver Center, Jesters Dinner Theatre, Glenwood Vaudeville Revue and Germinal Stage-Denver,Actors' union issues safety guidelines for re-opening,Straight Talk with square product, Forge Light, Springs Ensemble Theatre and Coal Creek Theatre of Louisville,Straight Talk with the Fine Arts Center, Miners Alley Playhouse, Dangerous Theatre and Lone Tree Arts Center ,Straight Talk with Lake Dillon Theatre Company, Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company and Northglenn Arts,Straight Talk with The Catamounts, Bas Bleu and Thingamajig,Straight Talk with Curious Theatre Company,Straight Talk with OpenStage, Firehouse and Adams Mystery Playhouse,Straight Talk with Platte Valley Players and Theatreworks,Straight Talk with Parker Arts, Stories on Stage and Thunder River ,Staight Talk 2 with Philip Sneed: This much is uncertain,Pivoting With,Pivoting with The Black Actors Guild,Pivoting with ... Emily Van Fleet and Nathan Jones,Pivoting With ... Tammy Franklin and the Curtain Playhouse,Pivoting With Nick Sugar and the Town Hall Arts Center,Pivoting With Helen Murray and the Aurora Fox,Pivoting with Edith Weiss and Christy Montour Larson,Pivoting With Scott RC Levy and the Fine Arts Center Theatre Company,Pivoting with Todd Debrecini for Halloween,Pivoting with Ashley Campbell,Pivoting with Meghan Anderson Doyle,Pivoting with Jenna Moll Reyes,Pivoting with Erik Fellenstein,Pivoting with Ray Bailey ,Pivoting with Tara Falk,Community News,Inside the Arvada Center,Director's Notes: A Midsummer Night's Dream,All About Printmaking Techniques,Humans of the Arvada Center: Meet Collin Parson ,Arvada Center Makes Masks,Christina Noel-Adcock,"Bright Star" cast unveils video as message of hope,Humans of the Arvada Center: Meet Christine Moore,Humans of the Arvada Center: Steven Cogswell,Humans of the Arvada Center: Ashi K. Smythe,City of Arvada to install new sculpture in Hoskinson Park,Humans of the Arvada Center Jessie Page,Here are the 2019-20 Henry Award nominations,Arvada Center to Offer Students World’s First Zoom Musical,Humans of the Arvada Center Cal Meakins,Humans of the Arvada Center: Adam Stolte,Supreme Court workplace ruling hits home for Lisa Leafgreen,'Time for talk is over': Arvada Center launch 'Amplify' series to raise black male voices,Humans of the Arvada Center Jon Olson ,New Arvada Center, Aurora Fox seasons reflect current complexities,It's virtually impossible not to have fun in our summer camps,News roundup: Who The Denver Actor's Fund DEAR Fund has helped,Humans of the Arvada Center: Abygail Rosales,Pink Progression Collaborations: Jina Brenneman and Margaret Kasahara,Pink Progression: Julia Rymer and Drew Austin,Revealing The Dialogue,Amplify Epiode 3 launches, series expanding to include black women,Photo Blog: Sweeney Todd Rehearsals,Humans of the Arvada Center: Gabriel Morales,Pink Progression: Sangeeta Reddy and Jodie Roth Cooper,Front Porch Series Kickoff,Cleo Parker Robinson dances back in the box with Arvada Center,Amplify turns the mic over to local Black women ,Beth Malone bringing 'joy bomb' to Arvada Center oon September 4,Theatre news: Live streaming panel Monday on a big new 'Idea',Humans of the Arvada Center: Meet Emily King,Amplify Women Episode 2,Special Book Honors Special Dance Teacher,Arvada Center pivots to radio-play series for fall ,amplify-series-comes-to-powerful-conclusion,How COVID is impacting individual artists,Take a stroll through 'Sculpture in the Field',Arts In Education Week,Colorado Theatre News: Miscast pivots to CAST ,Essay: Was the Aurora Fox a safe house on Opening Night? ,Lessons from a summer of outdoor theatre in the time of COVID ,Humans of the Arvada Center: John Hamilton,Theatre news of the week: DCPA launches Recovery Fund,Zachary Andrews take a one-man bite out of 'Dracula',Spotlight Manos Soap,Doreen Montalvo in Denver: Compassion and grit,What to do: Theatre happenings for October 23,Betty Hart's presidential promise: Build a bigger tent,Theatre happenings October 30,Virtual theatre sprouts a new branch with Arvada Center's 'The Family Tree',Humans of the Arvada Center: Brenna Clendaniel and Sophia Koop,Theatre happenings November 12,the barnstormers are back,On being Black in Denver and all the colors that it brings,Getting to Know: Dylan Thomas’s A Child’s Christmas in Wales,Theatre happenings November 19: Companies entering cancellation mode,2021 in live theatre: A look into the Crystal Ball,2020 True West Awards: Buntpivot ,2020 True West Awards: Lily Bradford,2020 True West Awards: The Scenesters,2020 True West Awards: Podcastic,2020 True West Awards: Phamaly takes 'Honk' to Japan,2020 True West Awards: Christine Moore,2020 True West Awards: Alive Inside,2020 True West Awards: Michael Ensminger,True West Awards: They Wrote the Book,True West Awards: Rent-A-Pals,True West Awards: Of Spacious Skies,True West Awards: Christopher Page-Sanders,2020 True West Awards: Suffer the little children,2020 True West Awards: Spirit of Giving,2020 True West Awards: Secret Gardeners,2020 True West Awards: Denis Berkfeldt,2020 True West Awards: Amplify,2020 True West Awards: Reclaiming One Star,2020 True West Awards: William Hahn and Jessica Robblee,2020 True West Awards: Lisa Wagner Erickson,'The Family Tree affords actors rare chance to work during pandemic,SCFD: New picture of COVID carnage on metro nonprofits,New Arvada Center video offers diverse slate of holiday stories,20 for 20,Meet the Frasers,Bev Newcomb-Madden: Colorado's feisty, ferocious fairy godmother passes away ,Lucy Roucis' final act is a gutpunch,Reunite the Arts Collin Parson,Jodie Steeves and Nancy Terry,Reunite the Arts Lisa Leafgreen,Remembering John Gratkins,Reunite the Arts: From our CEO,Adapting the Great Gatsby,Small Mouth Sounds returns,Danielle Johnson Q&A,Reunite the Arts Lynne Collins,The Show Must Go On,Diana and Mike Kinsey,Get to Know Kazu Oba,Meet Suzanna Champion,The Gear of Million Dollar Quartet,FRYS and the Symphony,Get to Know Carlou D,Stories From the Studio,Hispanic Heritage Month: Meet Lares Feliciano,21 for 21,An interview with Geoffrey Kent: The Liar,Art of the State 2022 Awards,An interview with Jada Suzanne Dixon: Stick Fly,An interview with Jessica Robblee: Animal Farm,Fast Facts About Kinky Boots,Costume Department Boots Up,Rod A Lansberry Announces Retirement from Arvada Center,Lynne Collins Named Artistic Director of Arvada Center Theatre,Getting to Know José González,2022 Henry Award Nominations,Getting to Know Joan Osborne and Madeleine Peyroux,Sit Under the Stars at the Front Porch Series ,The Many Sounds of Carlou D,The Tunes of the Daniella Katzir Band,Setting the mood: Into the Woods Set Designer Brian Mallgrave,Into the Woods Directors Note,The River Bride Director's Note,What is Magical Realism?,Hispanic Heritage Month: Meet Ana María Hernando,The CJRO Sessions featuring Robert Johnson,Meet Ceramics Artist Luanne Burke,From student to teacher: Hadley’s story,Tackling the Beast,Be Like Belle on Colorado Gives Day,Things to Know About Our Town,Creating the Look of Our Town: A Q and A with Set Designer Brian Mallgrave,Whatever Lola Wants - A Deep Dive into the Damn Yankees Signature Song,Selling Your Soul - A Pop Culture Favorite,The Book Club Play Reads,Metatheatre Elements in Our Town - When a Play Knows It's a Play,90s Throwback Vibe with Arvada Center 2023 Summer Concert Series,Colorado Jazz Repertory Orchestra at the Arvada Center,Arts Advocacy,Volunteer,About Us,Ticketing Policies,Group Tickets,Ticket Discounts,Contact Us,Accessibility,Health and Safety,Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Access,Careers,Know Before You Go,Tours,Adopt an Actor 2023,Adopt An Artwork,Temp,Virtual Theatre FAQ,New Website ,Pink Progression Events,On Demand Troubleshooting,Blog,Lorem ipsum,Lorem ipsum 2,Newk’s,Steuben’s Arvada,The Family Tree FAQ,Home for the Holidays,Land Acknowledgement,What To Expect at the Theatre,One Sheet Music,Gift Certificates,Gala,Gala Sponsors,Errors,404,The Family Tree Dining Offers,Privacy Policy,Our Town Synopsis,Concessions