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Lake Dillon Theatre announces summer lineup

Kimberly Nicoletti
summit daily news

How does the Lake Dillon Theatre Company follow up a spectacular summer season, where “Hair” sold out after two weeks and drew a huge crowd for its encore performance at the Dillon Amphitheatre, audiences filled the theater night after night for other shows, and the Denver Post awarded the company four Ovation Awards – best year by a company, best musical, best musical director and best choreography?

“More hippies!” was producing artistic director Christopher Alleman’s tongue-and-cheek (though not inaccurate) answer.

“There is pressure to sustain what we did last summer,” Alleman said in a later interview. “The success of last summer was so huge and the recent accolades … but in the backs of our minds we feel we’ve been producing high quality (theater all along).”

So the trick is, simply reproduce another great season. Alleman had already announced last year that the company would deliver “The Who’s Tommy,” but even in its 2011 edition of Ovation (the Lake Dillon Foundation for the Performing Arts’ magazine), it had listed only “Shout: The Mod Musical” as its second main show.

So at Saturday’s gala, Alleman announced the entire lineup, saying season passes will go on sale this weekend. It includes: “Godspell,” “Altar Boyz” (which Alleman described as a boy band on a mission from God – one of the funniest scripts that he can’t wait to produce) and “The Red Cape,” which is a children’s play that Alleman and executive director Josh Blanchard will write.

“Tommy” was a bit of a no-brainer; the rock opera paved the way for other rocking Broadway shows, like “Rent.”

“Godspell,” on the other hand, caused Alleman and Blanchard some pause because of its religious overtone.

“But apparently, people are excited,” Alleman said. “It’s like choosing any show; you have to weigh (its theatrical value). It’s one of the most popular musicals … and it’s not about the religion; it’s about the friendship and about acceptance and intolerance – that (same) subject matter many of the shows we’ve produced have touched upon.”

Alleman and Blanchard fly to New York City for auditions Tuesday through Thursday, then hold Feb. 19 auditions to round out a summer cast. The total cost of producing the five shows is $220,000, with royalties, costuming, building sets, paying actors (cost to bring one actor is $4,225) and more. (Oddly enough, when Alleman accepted the job at the theater in 2002, his budget for the entire year was $127,000.)

So, the question begs to be asked:

“Do You Think It’s Alright?”

“We think we have a lot of momentum,” Alleman said, “and we hope that carries through the summer.”

Indeed, it should be an “Amazing Journey.”


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