by Tracy Shaffer
Curious Theatre Company’s Denver Stories is an open book. Now in its sixth edition, this annual fundraiser unites local legends with a playwright, director and a troupe of Curious actors to tell their life stories on stage in 15 minutes or less. A big part of the magic is in the mix of selected luminaries: a cultural icon, a politician, a culinary wiz, a do-gooder, and the like. Part tribute, part roast and always a celebration, the house is packed with friends, fans and nail-biting “celebrities” waiting for the artistic interpretation of their lives to unfold before their very eyes… and those of everyone they know. The singular quality in the Denver Story is a sense of community, and as we learn about those who’ve shaped our fair city and how they came to their passions, we feel closer to them and to the institutions they’ve helped to create.
This year’s honorees are Living Blues Reader’s “Best Blues Entertainer”, Otis Taylor; nationally recognized restaurateur, Paul Attardi (Fruition, Aubergine, Mizuna); Denver’s original “Shear Genius” and master coiffeur, Charles Price; and real estate developer/preservationist/”Queen of Lodo”, Dana Crawford.
The evening includes a pre-show cocktail hour with food and beverages provided by Fruition, individualized auction packages (unlike any you’ve ever seen before), and the four plays, all hilariously strung together by another Denver legend, actor/juggler/raconteur, Paul Borillo as emcee.
Previous years have told the tales of Governor Bill Ritter Jr.; philanthropist Holly Kylberg; Rockmount Western Wear founder “Papa” Jack A. Weil; TAG restaurant owner Troy Guard; DAM Chief Curator Lewis Sharp; MCA Denver’s Adam Lerner; and songstress extraordinaire Lannie Garret among others. I’ve written plays for three of these events, attended all five, and if history repeats itself, it’s bound to be another not-to-be-missed evening.
Tickets benefit Curious Theatre Company (a 501c3) and are $150 individual, or $2500 for a VIP Box (seats 8 and features personal cocktail service). On sale beginning March 1st at www.curioustheatre.org, 303-623-0524, or at the Curious Theatre Company box office at 1080 Acoma in Denver.