Live Musical Theater Returns September 11!

Almost Heaven, The Songs of John Denver
Presented by Town Hall Arts Center in the Rose Garden at Hudson Gardens
6115 S. Santa Fe Drive, Littleton, CO 80120

September 11 through October 11, 2020. Evening performances begin at 7:00 PM and matinees at 2:00 PM.

The audience will be seated on the lawn so feel free to bring a blanket or lawn chairs for your comfort. Hudson Gardens will provide event chairs for any patron that does not have lawn chairs.

A variety of rose blossoms surround a decorative fountain and romantic pergolas. With ample space for outdoor seating on the adjacent lawn, this garden exhibit is the perfect backdrop for our production of Almost Heaven: The Songs of John Denver.

PLEASE READ ALL INFORMATION BEFORE PURCHASING TICKETS

Masks covering mouth and nose are required for all persons during the entire performance and while on the grounds at Hudson Gardens. Any patron not wearing a mask will be asked to put one on or leave the event. The only exception to this rule is the actors, who will be unmasked to perform. The audience and actors will be distanced by at least 25 feet for safety.

Patrons must observe social distancing of at least 6 feet with persons you do not quarantine/live with.

No tickets printed by Town Hall Arts Center or Hudson Gardens. All patrons who purchase tickets will receive e-tickets. Any patrons experiencing difficulty with the technology aspect of e-tickets may contact the box office. In order to assist with limiting germ transmission it is not necessary for patrons to bring their paper ticket – this is for your confirmation.

On days of performance, we will have an active box office on site at Hudson Gardens to assist patrons. However, we strongly recommend patrons purchase in advance and online rather than at the door. the box office will not be available for any transactions other than day-of ticket sales. Please contact the box office during regular hours for any other inquiries or issues. box office hours are currently Monday through Friday from 10:00am to 3:00pm.

To assist with limiting germ transmission, there will be no hard copy program available. On the day of their performance, patrons who have purchased tickets will receive a pdf version of the program in their email. The program will also be available on our website.

Hudson Gardens is wheelchair accessible. there are accessible bathrooms adjacent to the performance space as well.

Parking is free at Hudson Gardens. overflow parking is available next door at Denver Seminary.

Typical concessions will not be available. Bottles of water will be on sale for $2.00 a bottle. Patrons are welcome to bring their own water bottles, however no liquor is allowed on the grounds.

In the event of inclement weather we will hold curtain for 30 minutes to see if it clears up enough to proceed. Patrons may wait in their cars or in the event center (while observing social distancing). If we are forced to cancel we will offer refunds or exchanges to another performance date.

SEATING
We are able to fit 35 socially distanced pods with varying capacity on the lawn of the rose garden. Seating is on the lawn and patrons are encouraged to bring blankets or lawn chairs for their comfort. Lawn chairs cannot be of the type that stick into the ground. Event chairs will be available for any patrons without lawn chairs.

Check-in will begin at 6:00pm for evenings and 1:00pm for matinees. The Rose Garden will be accessible though the pods may not be set that quickly. We will have chairs for people to sit in and wait, or patrons are welcome to wander the other gardens until the pods have been set up. Seating will be no later than 6:30 for evenings and 1:30 for matinees.

Pod types include:

  • Blanket only (max 2 people) – Bring a blanket or legless lawn chair and enjoy the performance right on the lawn.
  • Chair only (max 2 people) – Bring your lawn chairs or utilize the Hudson Garden event chairs.
  • Chair only (2 – 4 people) – bring your lawn chairs or utilize the Hudson Gardens event chairs.
  • Wheelchair Accessible (2 – 4 people) – Wheelchair accessible seating on the brick pathway. companions – bring your lawn chairs or utilize the Hudson Gardens event chairs.

New Policies & Procedures – 2020-2021 Season

The upcoming 2020-2021 season has become known as our “Make-It-Work” season and we have implemented many (temporary!) protocols to move forward with creating art as safely as we can.  Our intention is to open our 39th season on September 11, 2020.  However, amid this global pandemic, everything is subject to change.

We are keeping a diligent eye on the situation and will remain flexible while maintaining the highest level of safety possible.  If at any time we can reverse any of these suspensions, we absolutely will.  We appreciate your patience through these temporary changes.

Main Stage Productions

We have filled the season with shows that feature smaller casts, yet still uphold the quality that we have come to be known for.  This way we can stay under the maximum number of people allowed in the space as dictated by local government/health expert recommendations.

We will not be announcing our entire season all at once as we normally do.  We will only be focused on the current and upcoming show through the course of this season.  This is so that we can make any changes necessary to stay on top of any COVID issues that may arise.

Seating

To follow social distancing recommendations, we are limiting our audience to 50 patrons per performance (about 20% capacity).  This allows us to keep ample space between occupied seats as well as our actors and musicians socially distanced from the audience.

Season Packages

Unfortunately, due to the way our season packages are built and the new distancing requirements, we are suspending season packages for the 2020-2021 season.  Subscribers will be offered advance sales opportunities for each production before sales are opened to the general public.

We know that one of the biggest perks for our season package holders is having your same seats for every production.  DON’T WORRY!! Your seats will be rolled over from the 2019-2020 season when we begin to renew for the 2021-2022 season.  You will be back in your favorite seats before you know it!

Coupons

Due to limited seating capacity and suspension of concessions, we will not be issuing “Bring-A-Friend 1/2 price” coupons or any of the standard concession coupons during the 2020-2021 season.  However, we will have many offers and promotions over the course of the season to allow our loyal subscribers to get a great deal!

Ticketing

Until the COVID situation is under control and resolved, we are suspending all in-house printed paper tickets.  All ticket sales, whether purchased online, over the phone, or in-person, will receive Print-At-Home tickets via email.  Patrons can either print these tickets at home or download them on a phone/tablet/device to be shown when they arrive at the theater.  Our staff and volunteers will be trained to scan these e-tickets without touching either the Print-At-Home ticket or the device.  It is our focus to reduce as much germ transmission as we can.  Any patron experiencing difficulty with the technology side of e-ticketing can contact the Box Office during regular Box Office hours and we will do everything we can to find a work around.

Box Office During Performances

To negate crowding, germ transmission, to observe social distancing, and keep patron traffic flowing, the Box Office will not be available for advanced sales or exchanges during a performance.  Staff will be present for the performances, however, they will be assisting traffic flow, running the elevator, and assisting with seating.

Will Call

There will also be no Will Call since all tickets will be sent as e-tickets.

Programs

To assist with limiting germ transmission, there will be no hard copy programs provided at the performances.  Ticket holders will receive an email containing a PDF version of the program the day of the performance.  The program will also be available on our website during the run of a production.

Masks & Social Distancing

Everyone in the building during a performance will be required to wear a mask and observe social distancing behavior.  The only exception to this rule is the actors on stage who will perform mask-less or wear face-shields.  Patrons will be asked to observe all traffic designations (Example:  Enter Only Staircase vs. Exit Only Staircase).  Patrons who live/attend together may ignore distancing within their group.  Elevator runs will likewise be limited to patrons who live/attend together.

Concessions

To further assist with limiting germ transmission and crowding we will suspend concessions until that time as we feel we can once again offer them safely.

Board of Directors – 2020-2021 Season

20-21 Board of Directors - Town Hall Arts Center

Greetings!  While I am excited to be the new President of the Town Hall Arts Center Board of Directors, I confess to you I had imagined coming into this role under different global circumstances.  Fortunately, because of the work of outgoing President, Denise Kato, and the boards and board presidents before her, our organization is in a unique position to weather the COVID storm.  We have an amazing staff, capable of navigating the operational and programming changes happening every day, and we have a tremendous group of patrons, such as yourself, whose historic and ongoing support of Town Hall Arts Center will keep us solvent.  On that note, I want to personally thank everyone who converted their purchased ticket into a donation at the end of the last season – it made a huge difference!

In the coming year, the Board of Directors will be focusing on a strategic plan that is based on three priorities: offering quality programming, enhancing your patron experience, and connecting to our community.  Additionally, we will be taking a hard look to ensure Town Hall Arts Center truly represents our whole community.  This will include everything from reviewing our policies and practices, to ensuring we offer programming that is relevant and reflective of everyone we serve.

Finally, be sure to stay tuned for more opportunities to join us online.  Our virtual educational programs have been a smashing success – and our staff has been hard at work building online content that is meant for our entire patron base to enjoy.  While we are anxious to have you back in our historic downtown Littleton location soon, there is no reason not to support and enjoy live theater from the comfort of your living room.

Be well,

J.D. McCrumb

Town Hall Arts Center – June 3, 2020

Town Hall Arts Center is deeply saddened by the injustices and cruelty that have destroyed the lives of so many people of color in our country, most recently George Floyd.

While THAC focuses on theater as entertainment, we do look for opportunities to support and celebrate people from every race, religion, gender identity, and sexual orientation. In working with artists to create theater we strive to bring a community of humans together, to share, to be moved, to experience, to grow, and to be entertained.

THAC at its core is committed to enriching the cultural, social and educational life of our community through live theater. As an organization, we recognize the programming choices we make impact our stakeholders in many different ways, and we strive to make those decisions with awareness and consideration for everyone. We pledge to cast our shows so that ethnic roles are portrayed by ethnic actors and actresses.

In 2019 we began transforming our Board to be more inclusive of diversity and look to expand that diversity in the future in an attempt to recognize people of every race, religion, gender identity, and sexual orientation.

Finally, we recognize that this statement isn’t the end of the work or efforts. Like our society as a whole, Town Hall Arts Center will begin a process of reflection to identify and take action on further opportunities to truly realize our mission of enriching the cultural, social and educational life of our entire community.

Denver metro area arts go online

by Paul Albani-Burgio (Centennial Citizen)

Some Denver area institutions say digital approach could become lasting element

Town Hall Arts Center in Littleton was just about to start its spring kids’ classes when the arrival of COVID-19 changed everything.

“Once that all came apart, I, like everybody else, sort of sat back and said: ‘What do we do?’” said Robert Michael Sanders, the education manager at the arts center.

But as the situation came into clearer focus, Sanders realized the center had an opportunity to do something good to help preserve a sense of normalcy for kids and the parents who are struggling to keep them entertained and engaged.

“What we did is we sort of created a pile of classes and decided we could put them together online and just put it out there for people,’” Sanders said. “And we decided that the best thing we could do for the kids stuck at home is just offer something (free of charge) and not add a financial hit to the parents who may or may not be working.”

Sanders said the arts center is offering 10 classes that take place on weekdays between 3:30 and 5:30 p.m. to mimic a traditional after-school program. About 90 kids are currently enrolled.

“The response has actually been pretty overwhelming,” Sanders said.

It’s a new way of teaching for Sanders and his team and a new way of learning for the students, but one that has become increasingly commonplace in recent weeks as museums, libraries and other cultural institutions and organizations have responded to the closure of their physical facilities by pivoting to offering content and experiences virtually.

Letter from the Board of Directors

Dear patron,

We’d like to begin by thanking each and every one of you for your support of Town Hall Arts Center.

Town Hall Arts Center was founded 38 years ago by people who were true visionaries; people who wanted to bring the community together, who understood the immense power of art to entertain us, to transport us to other worlds, to transform us, to remind us that we are not alone, to give a voice to those who have been silenced, to present other viewpoints, and to bring joy.  The work wasn’t easy, but this group labored tirelessly because they believed that the citizens of Arapahoe County and South Metro Denver deserved to have outstanding family entertainment and educational programs that were affordable and conveniently located in the heart of Littleton.

Since our founding, hundreds of thousands have been entertained in our beloved, iconic building, which has endured for nearly 100 years through good times and bad.  We are all facing a difficult time right now, and in efforts to keep our community safe and healthy, our Gothic doors are temporarily closed to you, our dedicated patrons.

However, be assured the board and staff of Town Hall Arts Center are still hard at work realizing our mission to enrich the cultural, social and educational life of this community.

  • First, all of our administrative and technical staff are working remotely.  Keeping these talented and dedicated individualsemployed is a top priority of the board and doing so is in the immediate and long-term interest of the organization.
  • While our spring educational programs have been cancelled, our Education Department is hard at work designing virtual experiences to continue engaging students at home, while we look forward to our traditional programming this summer.
  • The cast and crew of Almost Heaven are taking a hiatus from rehearsals right now, but as soon as it is safe to do so, we look forward to opening that show for audiences who will more than ever will appreciate the spirit of relationship and community so prevalent in the music of John Denver.
  • Finally, we continue to focus on the future of Town Hall Arts Center.  Planning for our 40th season will get underway in the next few months, and we look forward to celebrating the 100th anniversary of our iconic building later this fall. Additionally, we look forward to sharing more cultural and educational programming announcements with you all soon.

The saying goes “the show must go on” and it most certainly will.  Just as they did more than 38 years ago, and have night after night since, the people of Littleton will gather together to celebrate community, art and live theater. We are honored to play this important role in the lives of so many residents, visitors, seniors, students, teachers, actors, directors, artists, musicians and so many more.

Thank you for being a part of this family,

Town Hall Arts Center Board of Directors

Review: ‘Barefoot in the Park’ is iconic crowd-pleaser – Littleton Independent

Barefoot in the Park - Town Hall Arts Center

by Sonya Ellingboe (Littleton Independent)

Lights go up on an empty apartment in an old brownstone on East 48th Street in New York City. It’s February 1963. Only the kitchen is furnished. A restless young woman enters and stuffs things into the refrigerator as she tidies up a bit. Suitcases are in the room. We meet Corie Bratter (Lynzee Jones), the somewhat ditzy resident newlywed, who has rented this chilly fifth-floor space for herself and new husband, Paul (Tim Howard), an already-a-bit-stuffy lawyer.

She awaits Bloomingdales’ furniture delivery — and the next years of her life…

The audience settles in for “Barefoot in the Park,” a favorite comedy by American playwright Neil Simon (1927-2018). Many theater companies across the nation are honoring the late, always-popular Simon this season, with performances of his works — more than 30 plays, plus as many television scripts.

Stomping and puffing is heard. It’s the telephone repairman (Giovanni Roselli), here to hook them up and assign a phone number. Imagine! Her own number …

A winded Paul appears next — those stairs are an ongoing issue. Each character’s response is different.

The phone guy leaves and a brief lovey-dovey interlude is followed by arguing. He wants to work. She wants to play … More steps on the stairs announce the arrival of Corie’s mother (the always-entertaining Annie Dwyer).

Amusing Neil Simon-crafted conversation continues and eventually the quirky upstairs neighbor Victor Velasco (Tom Mullin) appears to add another voice and color to the scene. They decide to head to Staten Island for dinner, where something with flaming brandy is said to be on the menu … They return full of Greek wine and still talking, talking …

Director Bob Wells, a comic himself, has shaped this popular Simon work into an entertaining evening for audiences at Littleton’s Town Hall Arts Center, and it runs through March 22. Wells’ directors’ notes say it opened in October 1963 and played 1,530 performances, until June 1967 — and it’s been a steady favorite since. “In 1963, Simon became the only living playwright to have a New York City theater named after him, when the Alvin Theatre on Broadway was named The Neil Simon Theatre,” Wells continues.

Wells also added a quote from comedic actor Nathan Lane; “Neil often said … he was writing dramas with comic moments in them. The most important thing with his material was to always play it as you would a serious play and allow Neil to do his work.”

Review: Barefoot in the Park – Boulder Magazine

by Beki Pineda (Boulder Magazine)

Written by Neil Simon; Directed by Robert Wells.

All of you must remember the young and beautiful Jane Fonda and Robert Redford who brought this charming story to the public’s attention in 1967, one of their five movies together. Or maybe some of you were lucky enough to see Redford and Elizabeth Ashley in the original 1963 Broadway production. Regardless whenever you see a Neil Simon play on the callboard, you know you are in for a treat. His ability to put both heartfelt dialogue and snappy zingers together in the same speech never fails to delight. In this particular script, he takes the tiniest bit of plot and wraps it in charming whimsy.

Town Hall put together a winning cast for this revival. The young newlyweds are played to local favorites Tim Howard and Lynzee Jones. Lynzee’s elfin Corie has a slightly manic energy that plays sweetly against Tim’s more conservative and laid back Paul. As in most marital discord, their expectations of each other are slightly unreasonable and, foregoing stubborn pride, could be resolved easily. But nothing makes for more fun on stage than a comic argument.

They are joined by everybody’s favorite couple – Annie Dwyer as Corie’s highly dubious and sensitive mother Ethel and TJ Mullin as Victor Velasco, the Bohemian upstairs neighbor. After appearing together on stage together for thirty years, one is the hand, the other is the glove. They just fit together, complementing each other’s authenticity and totally in sync. The celebration they bring to a meeting of opposites that find delight in an older romance warms  your heart. The connection they brought to Herr Schultz and Frau Schneider together in CABARET, a recent show at Town Hall, is echoed in the gentle wooing of Victor and Ethel.

A newcomer to Town Hall, the fifth character in this group is the out-of-breath Telephone Repair Man. Giovanni Roselli makes the most of a small part with his authenticity and genuine concern for this young couple in the middle of their argument. Stagehand Greg Kendall makes a surprise appearance as a package delivery guy. EVERYONE has difficulty with the five flights of stairs it takes to get to their loft.

The charming New York apartment they move into was designed by Michael Duran, built by Mike Haas and his crew, dressed by Rob Costigan and Bob Bauer, with lights provided by Kate Bashore and street sounds and door bells provided by Curt Behm. Special kudos must go to the run crew who, in the fifteen minute intermission, convert an empty flat into a charming nest with time to spare. Also congrats to the person on the crew who rigged the snow drop so that it falls on Paul’s head as he sleeps on the sofa night after night.

A WOW factor of 8!!

THAC Proudly Presents Barefoot in the Park!

Written by Neil Simon.  Directed by Robert Wells.

Written by one of the greatest American playwrights, Barefoot in the Park follows a newlywed couple as they learn to live together in their first apartment.  He’s a straight-as-an-arrow lawyer and she’s a free spirit always looking for the latest kick.  The Broadway play was nominated for three 1964 Tony Awards, and Jane Fonda and Robert Redford starred in the 1967 adaptation.

Review: Fairy tale characters take stage in show not for kids – Littleton Independent

by Sonya Ellingboe (Littleton Independent)

Fairy tale princesses have long been part and parcel of our literary and social fabric, as they were created from ancient folk tales — and have more recently evolved through Disney films and now, via “Disenchanted,” an off-Broadway hit, which shifts them into feminist folk!

The composer/playwright is Dennis T. Giacino, who developed this new musical with off-Broadway director Fiely Matias, perhaps stepping on some toes along the way …

As lights go up at Town Hall Arts Center in Littleton, where “Disenchanted,” directed and choreographed by the multi-talented Nick Sugar, plays through Feb. 9, we meet Snow White (Abby McInerny), who translates as a leadership star; Cinderella (Lindsay Fuller) and Sleeping Beauty (LuAnn Buckstein) belting a strong “One More Happ’ly Ever After.”

Also featured: Belle, the Beauty who was in love with that Beast — she comes onstage in a straitjacket, crazed by all the strange things she’s encountered — moving plates and saucers and talking furniture, for example. (Jona Alonzo, who also plays the Little Mermaid, is Belle).

The Little Mermaid wants to be back at sea …

From Chinese lore, we meet a different sort of Hua Mulan — and from American legend, a militant Pocahontas (racist commentary?). From the Arabian Nights comes Aladdin’s magic Princess Badroubaldor (all are played by Faith Siobahn Ford).

The Princess Who Kissed the Frog (Anna High) comes via those Brothers Grimm. It’s good to see a black princess here — another swipe at the standard Disney lineup …

All bring issues to the fore — which is probably not how we remember them from story time at the library, school room, the Saturday movies — or at home!

The set consists of the lighted outline of a palace-ish sort of place, with curtained arches. Works well, enhanced by lighting and sound.

But these tales are meant for adult audiences and the language gets a bit raw — so leave those little people at home this time, despite the fairy tale theme. Disney fare, it is not!

A live band sits up to the right, led by Music Director Donna Kolpan Debreceni on keyboards, Sean Case, percussion and Scott Alan Smith, bass — a truly fine addition when budget allows … It really adds to the overall pleasure of live theater in a way that recorded music does not.

This material doesn’t have the overall depth and strength of some of our longtime favorite musicals, so the breadth of the message carries less of a wow factor, but it is sassy and fun — and the performers bring voices and style as they play at being feisty princesses …

We felt that they were happy ever after — or at least on that night!