As Mark Twain once (supposedly) wrote, “history doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.” Miners Alley Playhouse is proving that’s true with its summer production of the rock and roll classic, “Hair.”
“There’s a timelessness to this show, which is unfortunate,” said Valerie Igoe, who plays Sheila in the production. “Sixty years later, the relevance is still here. There’s something that completely resonates.”
Sponsored by The Buffalo Rose, “Hair” runs at Miners Alley, 1224 Washington Ave. in Golden, through Oct. 2. The show runs at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday.
Directed by Len Matheo, and featuring music direction by David Nehls and choreography by Angie Simmons, the show brings alive the 1960s counterculture with memorable songs, vivid costumes and a story that examines ideas that include identity, global responsibility and much more.
“The shows that meant the most to me in the past have been the shows that really bring the community together and are more actual events than just going to see a musical or play,” Matheo said. “People in the older crowd will remember those times and it will connect them to their youth and everyone else in the audience.”
What most recognize “Hair” for is the tunes, which include favorites like “Aquarius,” “Good Morning, Starshine,” and “Let The Sun Shine In.” Performing these songs will be Brian Bohlender, Alejandro Roldan, Bussy Gower, Ben Hilzer, Preston Adams, Katie Jackson, Vi Dang. Jasmyn Pierce, Ronald McQueen, Jade McGee and Daja McLeod. Matheo said the production’s non-traditional and colorblind casting allows everything about the show to take on a layer of meaning.
“There’re so many music scenes in the show, but in some ways, it’s like a French film,” Igoe said. “You’re thrown into all these characters’ relationships and lives… and see them build their tribe.”
Regardless of if the show is something audience members are familiar with or not, Matheo is certain everyone will find something that moves them.
“I want people to know what they’ll feel when they come to the show — for much of the show, they won’t be able to stop smiling,” he said. “Audiences will have a wonderful time and possibly a cathartic experience around the pure joy of being young and the pain and grief of being young.”
Get tickets at www.minersalley.com.
Immerse yourself in ancient Egypt
There’s been a string of immersive events in the Mile High City this year, but this is one I’m most excited about (history nerd that I am) — Immersive King Tut: Magic Journey to the Light, which is set up at Lighthouse Denver at 3900 Elati St., through Oct. 10.
According to provided information, this event celebrates the 100th anniversary of archeologist Howard Carter’s discovery of the tomb of the legendary “boy king” in November 1922. Visitors will learn more about “Amduat, an important ancient Egyptian funerary text, thought to be the oldest known illustrated story that was depicted on the tombs of pharaohs.” For those who long to explore Egypt but may not get there, this is the next best thing.
Secure your passport to the exhibit at immersive-kingtut.com/denver.
Get your soul sizzle on with Larry Braggs and the CJRO
There’s a reason soul music will never go out of style and if you are curious about that reason, all you need to do is listen to the vocals of Larry Braggs. The lead vocalist of Tower of Power for 14 years, he’s returning to the Arvada Center Amphitheatre after last year’s brilliant visit.
Braggs and the Colorado Jazz Repertory Orchestra will be bringing their A Night of Sizzling Soul to the center, 6901 Wadsworth Blvd., at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 6. As someone who attended last year’s performance, I can attest that both the band and singer bring their A-game to all kinds of classics of the genre.
If you love some of the best music ever written (and why wouldn’t you?), this is a can’t-miss event. Get tickets at www.coloradojazz.org/concerts.
Clarke’s Concert of the Week — The Wild Hearts Tour at Mission Ballroom
Three of the best voices in modern alternative rock are joining forces for what will undoubtedly be a truly wonderful concert - one of the best in a season of killer bills. Julien Baker, Sharon Van Etten and Angel Olsen are the three members of the Wild Hearts Tour and will be performing at Mission Ballroom, 4242 Wynkoop St. in Denver, at 6 p.m. Aug. 7.
All three artists have unleashed stellar releases this year — Baker just dropped a companion EP to last year’s “Little Oblivion,” while Olsen’s “Big Time” is a stirring and searing album that ranks amongst her best (and that’s no small thing). And Van Etten’s “We’ve Been Going About This All Wrong,” shows that six albums in, her pen remains as powerful as ever.
With talents this strong, you don’t want to miss this show. Get tickets at www.axs.com.
Clarke Reader’s column on culture appears on a weekly basis. He can be reached at Clarke.Reader@hotmail.com.