Over the years the Denver Center Theatre Company has attempted in various ways to encourage the art of play writing and the production of new and/or experimental works. They've held annual readings from which new productions were selected and mounted, and sponsored an in-house Playwrights Unit from which new and experimental pieces have been staged.
As it goes in theatre, many of these new works are never heard from again. Occasionally, however, something incredible comes out of all this hard work and a production is mounted across the country and, perhaps, overseas. In the past couple of years, The Laramie Project and Waiting to Be Invited are two such works.
Well, hold on to your hat folks, because we've got another hot property on our hands—Gary Leon Hill's inna beginning, which not only captures the dizzying overload of information, out of control materialism, and spiritual bewilderment that is the Millennium, but does so using innovative techniques befitting such an ambition.
Hill and his co-conceivers, director Jamie Horton and composer Lee Stametz, along with their supporting craftspeople, take us on a multimedia roller coaster ride along the subways, highways, and bi-ways of New York and the minds and hearts of some of its most eclectic inhabitants. In our breakneck journey we encounter Dodge, a ruthless yuppie fast lane publishing CEO, whose reckless quest for ever more money, power, and status results in a derailment that alters his life. Along the way he meets new age healers, a guitarist channeling music of the spheres, the timekeeper at the National Institute of Standards in Boulder, and a host of other refugees reeling from the maelstrom of the cybernetic age.
Paul Michael Valley, as Dodge, is cool and engaging as the ultimate devolved capitalist that meets his match in a thoughtful and passionate Devora Millman, as Flo, a tuned-in sound healing therapist. Shannon Koob as Skella, totters on a tightrope spanning her marginal employment, semi-homelessness, and psycho-emotional storm. Keith Hatten as Tsubo, the street musician, is a wonderful blend of fear and possession as he fronts for local guitar wiz Neil Haverstick's renowned 19-tone scale riffs. Michelle Shay, as wizened healer Ramona, provides a steady emotional anchor to the story. Great supporting work from Gabriella Cavallero, William Denis, and Rodney Lizcano in bringing to life a host of bizarre creatures.
While many have attempted to capture the zeitgeist of today's worldwide convergence of culture, consumption, and eco-brinkmanship, inna beginning stands as one of the few productions that successfully integrates so many of these seemingly disparate elements without losing itself in its intellectual musings. It runs through May 19th in the Ricketson Theatre. 303-893-4100.