Coming Attractions

Spring brings musical masterpiece

Recommended activities for the coming week

Posted 4/23/18

Who can say what goes into the creative process? There’s no way to map the path from muse to inspiration to trial and error and finally the finished work. Yet that’s just what Steven Sondheim …

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Coming Attractions

Spring brings musical masterpiece

Recommended activities for the coming week


Who can say what goes into the creative process? There’s no way to map the path from muse to inspiration to trial and error and finally the finished work.

Yet that’s just what Steven Sondheim attempted in his musical, “Sunday in the Park with George,” which tells the story of one of the most famous paintings in art history — Georges Seurat’s “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.”

“So many of us think artists are so different from everyone else, but there’s so much humanity in them, just like everyone else,” said Cole Burden, who plays Seurat in the show. “I think people will leave feeling a wash of emotion about these people and the art they made.”

The Arvada Center, 6901 Wadsworth Blvd., is closing its 2017-2018 season with the show, which runs through May 6, with performances at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 1 p.m. on Wednesday and 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

The story begins in France in 1884 with Seurat and his muse, Dot (Emily Van Fleet), as they struggle to keep a connection as he labors on his masterwork. Then the story leaps ahead to the 1980s, where Seurat’s great-grandson, also named George and also played by Burden, struggles to find an artistic path forward.

“Sondheim is the like the Shakespeare of the musical theater world, and presents all kinds of challenges for a singer,” Van Fleet said. “This story asks audiences what we pass down to our children, and legacy of art.”

And as one season ends, the Arvada Center prepares for the start of another. The 2018-2019 season was announced and features an exciting blend of familiar names and unique styles.

The season kicks off with “Mamma Mia!” running Sept. 7 through 30, followed by “Educating Rita,” which runs from Oct. 5 through Nov. 11. For the holiday season, the center is staging “ELF — The Musical” from Nov. 20 through Dec. 23. In 2019, the season continues with “The Diary of Anne Frank,” running from Feb. 1 through May 17, followed by the regional premiere of “The Moors” from Feb. 22 through May 18, and the world premiere of the “Sin Street Social Club” from March 15 through May 19. And it all wraps up with the regional premiere of “Trav’lin — The 1930s Harlem Musical,” running from April 9 through 28.

To purchase tickets call 720-898-7200 or visit

Preparing for a season of fly fishing

Spring is here, and summer is just around the corner, which means fly fishing fans are going to be taking to the streams and rivers in search of their elusive quarry.

Those in search of tips and advice can head out to the Fly Fishing Rendezvous — a Rocky Mountain fly fishing show that focuses exclusively on local waters, local knowledge, and the best of the region’s fly fishing companies. The show is from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 28, and Sunday, April 29, at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds, 15200 W. 6th Ave. in Golden.

The rendezvous offers more than 40 hours of classes, casting clinics, and fly tying demos with some of fly fishing’s most known names, equipping participants for greater success on the water. Those looking for a new fly rod or reel or book a fishing trip on with a guide can sample the wares of more than 50 booths.

For all the details, visit

A live version of ‘West Side Story’

“West Side Story” is one of the towering achievements of American musical theater. If you’ve never cried to “Something” or snapped along to “Cool,” then I don’t know how to talk to you.

In honor of what would have been the 10th birthday of Leonard Bernstein, the musical’s composer, the Boulder Philharmonic and Central City Opera and Choirs are coming together at the Lone Tree Arts Center, 10075 Commons St., to perform “West Side Story” in concert. The show will be at 7 p.m. on Sunday, April 29.

The music will be performed in its original orchestration by top-tier local performers. Be prepared to cry, laugh, and even do some singing.

For more information and tickets, head to

Clarke’s Concert of the Week — Desert Daze Caravan II

Like a great many people, I wasn’t able to make the journey out to the California desert for Coachella. But that’s okay, because a little bit of the desert is coming to Denver.

The Desert Daze Caravan II concert, featuring Ariel Pink, DIIV, Nick Hakim, Suuns and JJUUJJUU, will be making a stop at the Summit Music Hall, 1902 Blake St. in Denver, at 8 p.m. on Thursday, May 3.

All three artists at the top of the bill — Ariel Pink, DIIV, and Hakim — come at their genres from unique angles. Ariel Pink (real name Ariel Marcus Rosenberg) twists tired singer-songwriter tropes into music that is wildly eclectic and experimental.

DIIV makes some of the best shoegaze music this side of my bloody valentine, and lead guitarist Z. Cole Smith is dedicated to exploring the beauty and wrath that swirling electric guitars are capable of creating. And Nick Hakim takes love-drunk R&B music and injects it with electronic elements, psychedelia, and just straight up heart-wrenching vocals.

To get tickets, visit And hey, I’m sure drinks will be cheaper than Coachella.

Pre-party for Grateful Dead’s Phil Lesh

The Grateful Dead is one of the most influential and important rock bands in American history — one of those bands that added a new vocabulary to the musical conversation and inspired all kinds of followers.

Bass guitarist Phil Lesh was one of the key components to the band’s success, and he’s maintained a more than devoted fanbase throughout his solo career.

The man is playing Red Rocks Amphitheatre on Saturday, May 5, but fans can start the festivities earlier at Wrigley’s Chicago Bar and Grill, 18200 Colfax Ave. in Golden, which is hosting a Cinco De Mayo concert pre-party with band Sweet Delta Dawn. The free show goes from 1 to 5 p.m.

Sweet Delta Dawn is a four-piece rock group from Madison, Wisconsin, and has been making a name for itself in the jam band community. They cover a blend of folk, classic rock, jazz, funk, and modern music.

For more information, visit

Clarke Reader’s column on culture appears on a weekly basis. A community editor with Colorado Community Media, he can be reached


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