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A glorious show for theater lovers

KIMBERLY NICOLETTI
summit daily news

What happens when your dreams are so big, your visions so grand and your ego so determined to cling on to old ways that no longer work? If you’re like Flaminio, the main character in “The Glorious Ones,” you yearn to know that you’ve made an impression upon the world, even when you’re dead.

The Lake Dillon Theatre’s performance of “The Glorious Ones” is a musical about the lives, loves, ambitions and art of a group of performers in the 16th-century.

Artistic director Chris Alleman steps out of the shadows for this one and plays the flamboyant main character Flaminio, who gathers a group of misfits off the streets and transforms them into improv actors. The beauty of his plan is that these misfits needn’t act; they simply portray their characteristics to the world: Columbina is a lady of the night, in love with Flaminio. Other creatures of the stage include a miserly tailor, a lowly palm reader and a crooked elixir salesman.

The troupe performs their vulgar, tearful, tragic melodramas in the streets of Italy, until one day, the French court invites them to entertain. But, as soon as they expose their crude and sordid skits, the Church kicks them out of the country, disapproving of their lewdness.

Flaminio has no intention of allowing the Church’s death threats faze him; he is committed to loud, rowdy, offensive improvisation. But his troupe realizes times are changing, and they, too, might be wise to clean up their act.

Enter the lovely Isabella, an upper-class young lady who falls in love with one of the troupe members. Secretly, she has written plays – actual scripts – but when it comes time for the troupe to decide if they’ll change their ways and follow a more proper story, Flaminio balks. Who will they side with – their fearless leader, or this new muse?

“The Glorious Ones” showcases this summer’s acting talent in an outstanding – and boisterous – manner.

Alleman chose these actors – Garrett Bruce, Rosalie Burke, Brian Loveland, Candace Neal, Andrew Tebo and Alex Valle -for their ability not only to sing challenging verses and fit specific characteristics necessary in “The Glorious Ones,” but also for their flexibility to fit the other roles in six other shows the theater presents this summer, ranging from children’s musicals to sophisticated comedies.

Sitting through about a thousand auditions to find the right actors was difficult, Alleman said, but he feels he has one of the most talented groups of actors ever brought to the theater.

Aside from the stage talent, an incredible backstage crew contributes to the success of “The Glorious Ones.” Perhaps the most apparent and stunning backstage creativity comes from Denverite Meredith S. Murphy, who fashioned elaborate 16th-century costumes from scratch.

Just the colors and patterns of the attire is enough to excite the audience’s senses, but the high quality of song, dance, acting and, well, over-the-top melodrama makes for a stimulating evening.


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