Backstage to Hollywood presents ‘A Night at the Movies’ |

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Backstage to Hollywood presents ‘A Night at the Movies’

Special to the Daily/Backstage TheatreDancers practice their Elvis bit for the Backstage Theatre's Labor Day production, opening tonight.

The Backstage Theatre presents its annual Labor Day production at the Riverwalk Center this weekend with the high energy revue show, “Backstage to Hollywood: A Night at the Movies.” The show features a series of skits and songs that give community members the opportunity to be stars in Breckenridge’s own Tinseltown production.

“The show is an homage to Hollywood since it is the 150th anniversary of its existence,” said vocalist Michelle Marzo. “I enjoy participating because I get to let out my inner diva, especially while singing ‘Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend.'”

Among the numbers to be performed are an all-kids ET sketch, “Moses Supposes” tap number, “I See the Light” from “Tangled” sung by Jenilyn Bartolo and Ryan Turner, Louella Parsons’ “slightly tipsy ‘Hollywood Beat'” and “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” from “The Life of Brian.”

The Backstage Theatre’s Labor Day productions date back to 1997, alternating from fully-staged musicals and concert versions to musical revues, artistic director Chris Willard said. “The goal has always been to involve as many local performers as possible. We’re pleased to be featuring 39 local dancers, singers and actors in this production.” Among them are dancers from Summit School of Dance, local musicians, actors featured at the Backstage and other performance venues, and “the very best talent from the Denver metro region,” Willard said.

“‘Backstage to Hollywood: A Night at the Movies’ is probably one of the most unique productions I’ve seen the Backstage do,” said assistant director Kevin Abernathy, listing Keystone Cops, James Bond, Fred and Ginger and Elvis among the characters to make an appearance.

“It’s good for audiences of all ages, from toddlers to vigorous seniors,” said Bob Cottrell, lauding Willard as “a creative genius” and “a great mentor to those of us who do this after our day jobs.”

“The Backstage always offers great opportunities for locals to play in theater; it’s an amazing asset to the community,” Cottrell said.

“What I love about the format is that, because there are so many individual acts, everyone has a chance to be featured in the show. No one performer gets relegated to the chorus,” Willard said. “Everyone is front and center out there, doing what they love, giving it their all. It’s a wonderful feeling to experience so many people having the time of their lives. The performers are all excellent, and the show is going to be the highlight of the summer for us – and the audience.”

Proceeds help fund workshops and children’s theater programs at the Backstage, and many of the performers and staff share their talents for free.

“Singing, dancing, comedy – what else do you need in a show?” said Katie DeSantis, who choreographed several numbers for “Backstage to Hollywood: A Night at the Movies.” Shows run at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

“This is Chris Willard we are talking about,” DeSantis said. “He always puts on a spectacular show.”

Tickets info online:

Backstage: 39th season Flex Pass and donor packets are now on sale; visit