Best of Denver 08

Bard's Broadsheet
Westword
Best of Denver '08
Best Shakespeare Production (2008)
A Midsummer Night's Dream
Colorado Shakespeare Festival
Within the magical A Midsummer Night's Dream, realities dissolve and two pairs of lovers are bamboozled by fairies into losing track of their original alliances and switching partners again and again. The interrelated themes are that love is crazy and lovers blind, that we all live in a world of illusion, and that theater itself mirrors this shifting, upside-down universe. At the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, director Gavin Cameron-Webb set these shenanigans on a stage within a stage, and the design was simple, elegant and workable. The actors were all convincing, and they didn't attempt English accents or pound away at the humor and exaggerate the sentiment as so many Shakespearean performers do. As a result, you heard the lines clearly - and since A Midsummer Night's Dream is filled with poetry, that clarity made the production sing.

Best Shakespearean Leading Lady (2008)
Sarah FallonA Midsummer Night's Dream
Colorado Shakespeare Festival
Sarah Fallon has a lovely voice and she knows how to speak Shakespeare, giving the poetry its due without ever sounding phony. At the Colorado Shakespeare Festival last summer, she brought real humor to the role of the jilted Helena in A Midsummer Night's Dream - broad but never over the top.

Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy (2008)
Sean Tarrant, All's Well That Ends Well
Colorado Shakespeare Festival
Sean Tarrant's gifts are many: He's tall, lithe and athletic; he has a good voice and a magnetic presence; his work is informed by a discriminating intelligence. And when he's on stage, it's hard to watch anyone else. As Paroles in All's Well That Ends Well, Tarrant showed that even a laughingstock can have some humanity, and perhaps even moments of likeability.

Best Supporting Actor in a Drama (2008)
Richard ThieriotJulius Caesar
Colorado Shakespeare Festival
When the young Marlon Brando undertook the role of Marc Antony, he appeared on screen oiled and muscular, a glorious young god. Richard Thieriot, on the other hand, sauntered on in shorts, looking like any yuppie Boulderite out for a run. But after a while, you realized what he was up to - and it was an entirely refreshing and original interpretation. He muted the poetry and passion of the great speeches and gave "Friends, Romans, countrymen" just enough juice to accomplish his ends - and as a result, you heard the great rhetorical set piece as if for the first time.

Sarah Fallon: Hot Like Salsa, smooth Like Chocolate.. Come Taste Me ...