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Around The State




With Fox 31 “Everyday”


Chocolate And Wine §






“Our passion for perfection strengthens our partnership.” - Larry DiPasquale, Epicurean Catering and Jay Davidson, First American State Bank

6363 S. Fiddlers Green Circle Greenwood Village, CO 80111 303.763.1980 2009 Inductee into the Colorado Restaurant Association Hall of Fame 303.694.6464


Setting the Stage


When was the last time you spent a night at the theater or took in a musical or dance performance? If it has been a while, reserve some tickets and get ready to be enlightened.



Photo: Tommy Collier



e’re so lucky to live in Colorado where there is such a vibrant entertainment scene, with theaters small and intimate dotted around the state in addition to such powerhouse venues as the Denver Center for Performing Arts. Any given month, there’s something for everyone, including families with young children, to enrich our appreciation of the stage. Winter is a great time to enjoy a live act, be it of Sharon Wehner, who is in her final season as principal dancer for the Colorado Ballet and will star in Romeo and Juliet, or to take in the readings and performances at the always-stimulating New Play Summit at the DCPA. And let’s not leave out the movies. In addition to the many multiplexes and art houses across our state, there’s now a new cinema experience in the high country. The Blue Starlite Cinema Social next to Hotel Talisa in Vail offers dining as well as indie or art house film viewings. n To get different takes on the entertainment scene, you only have to tune into KDVR Fox 31 weekday mornings for Chris Parente and Kathie J’s “Everyday” program (I joined them on the set, above). Writer Scott Evans shares how they make their magic in one of our features. n Winter is also a time for romance, with Valentine’s Day offering couples the chance to have intimate dinners at a trio of new Italian restaurants in Denver recommended by Pat Miller (the “Gabby Gourmet”). And couples—or just friends—can take an outing to Historic Downtown Littleton for a session with the Chocolate Therapist. I know I’m going to enjoy a glass of bubbly with my dad at the charming Kate’s Wine Bar. We will raise a toast to you and to Colorado’s cultural scene.

More than 27 top Colorado fashion designers gather together showcasing their diverse talent, and walking the runway with models. Enjoy a night of food, drink, fashion, beautiful cars, and celebration. Saturday, February 17 At Bentley Denver For info and tickets

Elizabeth Hamilton President and publisher, New West Publishing FIND THE VERY BEST OF COLORADO Stay in the know so you can plan your next outing with our monthly newsletter. Sign up at And for the latest happenings around our state, follow us on Facebook (@ColoradoExpression), Instagram (@coloradoexpression) and Twitter (@ColoExpression)



In this Issue


Out & About 6 Shot in the Dark

Black tie events around town and those that supported these important causes.

22 Social Calendar By Elizabeth Jones

Upcoming fundraisers where you can help support our many local nonprofits.

30 Bits & Pieces By Joy Lawrance

Find out about Denver Restaurant Week, A Global Guide to Cocktails, the Chocolate Classic in Aspen, Where the Chefs Eat and more.

36 Hot Tickets By Elizabeth Jones

Check out these great events and entertainment options going on all around the state.

Special thanks to Suzanne Brown, Lisa Buscietta, Becky Grupe, Sheree Hedin, Elizabeth Jones, Tobie Orr, Connie Robertson and Andrea Späth. To all our advertisers and freelancers, thank you.—EH




Features 52 Journey to the Summit By Jamie McAfee

The Colorado New Play Summit is a weekend celebration of new plays at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, drawing theater professionals from all over the country.

56 Experience Theater Across the State By Katie Coakley

Colorado’s theater scene offers experiences both large and small; these venues pack a big entertainment punch.


Sip & Savor 44 Grapevine By Pat Miller

Three Italian restaurants to put at the top of your must-dine list.

46 Healthy and Delicious By Colleen Smith

The Chocolate Therapist—not only does it taste good, it’s good for you!

50 Toast of the Town By Rachel Engleberg


Kate’s Wine Bar, a vintage find in Historic Downtown Littleton.

Behind the Scenes at “Everyday”


By Scott S. Evans

Hosts Chris Parente and Kathie J have serious fun commenting on entertainment and the news.

On page 54 of the Dec17-Jan18 issue, the author’s byline for the Hotel Born story was incorrect, the story was written by Kathy Smith. Please forgive our error.

Cover photo Tommy Collier, Tommy Collier Productions; photo assistant, Zena Ballas; makeup, Michael Moore, Moore For Life. Cover: Left to Right: Christopher Mitchell and Allison Key (Mitchell wears Uniqlo available from Denver Pavilions, 500 16th Street, Denver, from the Denver Ballet Theatre Academy, one of Colorado’s finest pre-professional Vaganova-based ballet programs. David Taylor, Artistic Director, Denver Ballet Theatre Academy and Zikr Dance Ensemble.,

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In this Issue 64 Fashion By Suzanne S. Brown

Fashion Group Denver celebrates six decades of promoting professionalism and advancement in fashion.

66 Ballet

Practice makes perfect for Allison Key and Christopher Mitchell from the Denver Ballet Theatre Academy.

68 Body & Soul By Michael Moore 42

Departments 28

70 Public Spaces

Public Persona

By Kim D. McHugh

Blue Starlite Cinema Social makes moviegoing hip with a splash of nostalgia.

By Scott S. Evans

Devon Kerns is focusing on how to get companies to recognize and leverage the booming demographic of strong independent singles.

72 Art Scene


By Kimberly Field

After two decades with the Colorado Ballet, prima ballerina Sharon Wehner prepares to take her final bow.

Nonprofit Profile By Kyle Dyer

The Take Note Colorado initiative aims to put instruments and instruction in the hands of all Colorado K-12 students.

Give your skin a winter refresher with these quick fixes to restore a rosy glow.



76 Technology By Danielle Yuthas

A dating app with a difference, Say Allo uses artificial intelligence to make better matches.

Great Escapes By Jordan Martindell

Sit back, relax. Why letting someone else handle your travel planning details can lead to big adventures.

78 Getaways By Marge D. Hansen








The National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. offers an incomparable collection that informs and excites.

COLORADO EXPRESSION (ISSN # 1070-5066) is published bi-monthly by New West Publishing Inc., 3600 S. Beeler St., Ste. 100, Denver, Colorado 80237, Elizabeth Hamilton, owner, 303-694-1289; fax: 303-694-6939; e-mail:; website: Annual one-year subscription rate is $22.00, cover price is $4.00. Periodicals postage is paid at Denver, Colorado and additional entries. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Colorado Expression, c/o New West Publishing, 3600 S. Beeler St., Ste. 100, Denver, Colorado 80237. CopyrightŠ 2018, New West Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.


All for a Good Cause Be Beautiful Be Yourself The Be Beautiful Be Yourself Fashion Show was held at the Sheraton Denver Downtown to benefit the Global Down Syndrome Foundation. Photography by Pamela Cress








1 McNeil, Quinn, Kelly Cronin 2 Kate Winfield, Jamie Foxx, Kate Vecchiet 3 Tom Whitten, Michelle Sie Whitten, president/CEO, Global Down Syndrome Foundation 4 Carter O’Keefe, Tim O’Keefe, Katie Sedita, Leslie O’Keefe, Alex O’Keefe 5 Kylee Nevergall, John C. McGinley, Sheena Peda 6 DeOndra Dixon, Eva Longoria, Honoree 7 Ralph Klomp, Ernie Blake, Bill McCallum, Mike Foss 8 Danielle Kudla, Peter Kudla, Event Chair 9 Dr. Joaquin Espinosa, Dr. Jose Oracsita, Nancy Sevo

More photos for these events: 6





Escape this winter to Vail Valley’s award-winning Westin Riverfront, home to Spa Anjali, Maya by Chef Richard Sandoval and a state-of-the-art Athletic Club. Enjoy spacious studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom suites and direct skier access via the Riverfront Express Gondola. | 866.949.1616 ©2017–2018 Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Preferred Guest, SPG, Westin and their logos are the trademarks of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., or its affiliates. For full terms & conditions visit

THE WESTIN RIVERFRONT RESORT & SPA 126 Riverfront Lane, PO Box 9690, Avon Colorado 81620


Luminocity Gala The Luminocity Gala held at 1000 Broadway benefited the Museum of Contemporary Art. Photography by Pamela Cress








1 Lance and Jen Marx, Event Co-chairs 2 Karl Kister, Kristin Foster, Taylor Balkissoon 3 Jeb Todd, Event Co-chair; Adrine and Adam Writer 4 Serena and Chase Robinson, Laura Abrams, Sarah Stettner 5 Nicole Adams, Suchit and Reena Majmudar, Lauren Redlich 6 Jeb Todd, Michelle Sie Whitten, Ace Bailey, Jennifer Tuvell, Andrew Jensdotter, Amanda Precourt 7 Barbara MacFarlane, Adam Lipsius 8 Nikki Todd, Event Co-chair; Megan Shean, Sarah Woods 9 Courtney Toomey, Staci Bouc, Debra Gray, Lyndell Hendricks, Karen Wolfe

More photos for these events: 8





In the Fight Against Cancer, You Need All Hands on Deck

Littleton Adventist Hospital is your trusted health partner for excellent care and support throughout your cancer journey. Our experienced team of oncologists, physicians, surgeons, nurses, and expert staff offers a full continuum of care, from screenings that can detect the earliest signs of cancer to innovative treatment options that offer superior outcomes. We provide the best evidence-based care along with unparalleled support services including a dedicated cancer nurse navigator, genetic counseling, on-site chemotherapy, support and survivorship groups, and so much more.

We specialize in the treatment of many cancers including: • Breast • Gynecologic • Lung • Skin • Colon and more. For more information visit:

We are part of the Centura Health Cancer Network, delivering integrated, advanced cancer care across Colorado and western Kansas. Centura Health does not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, age, sex, religion, creed, ancestry, sexual orientation, and marital status in admission, treatment, or participation in its programs, services and activities, or in employment. For further information about this policy contact Centura Health’s Office of the General Counsel at 1-303-673-8166 (TTY: 711). Copyright © Centura Health, 2017. ATENCIÓN: Si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 1-303-738-7781 (TTY: 711). CHÚ Ý: Nếu bạn nói Tiếng Việt, có các dịch vụ hỗ trợ ngôn ngữ miễn phí dành cho bạn. Gọi số 1-303-738-7781 (TTY: 711).


Brass Ring Kickoff Party The Children’s Diabetes Foundation Brass Ring Kickoff Party was held at the home of Douglas Kerbs. Photography by Pamela Cress




3 4



1 Lori Finch, Event Chair; Dana Davis, executive director Children’s Diabetes Foundation 2 Christy Alberts, president The Guild of the Children’s Diabetes Foundation; Dave Alberts 3 Shelley Lucas, Barb Oberfeld, president-elect The Guild of the Children’s Diabetes Foundation 4 Shelley and Steve Lucas, Barb Oberfeld, Neil Oberfeld 5 Douglas Kerbs, Dana Davis 6 Bradley Joseph, Amanda Garrett Miller 7 Bonnie Neiheisel, Chris Petre, Annie Cotton

More photos for these events: 10







Ferrari of Denver Holiday Party and Toy Drive The Ferrari, Bentley, Lotus of Denver Holiday Party and Toy Drive was held at the dealership to benefit Children’s Hospital Colorado. Photography by Pamela Cress







1 Riley Dixon, punter Denver Broncos, Carleton Pierson, Brandon McManus, kicker Denver Broncos 2 Monica Dans, Michael Ditchfield 3 Allegra “Pi” Duval, Tom Evans, Katelyn Hansen 4 James Krueger, Brian McCleery, Patrick Panzarino, Ryan Chapman 5 Corey and Josh Cavan 6 Mark Dismuke, general manager Ferrari, Bentley, Lotus of Denver; Amy Dismuke

More photos for these events:

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TICKETS TO READINGS START AT JUST $10! DENVERCENTER.ORG/SUMMIT Producing Partners: Robert & Carole Slosky, Sheri & Lee Archer/New Wave Enviro. This program is sponsored in part by generous support from The Shubert Foundation.

Laurence Lau, Carine Montbertrand, John Procaccino, Brian D. Coats and Victoria Mack in The Nest at the 2015 Summit. Photo by John Moore.



Gather ‘Round Held at the Great Divide Brewing Company, Gather ‘Round benefited Denver Urban Gardens. Photography by Pamela Cress

2 2






1 Michael Buchenau, executive director DUG; Becky Morris, Sophie Morris 2 David and Laurie Mann, Glenn Davis 3 Chuck Morris, Suzanne and Charlie Brown 4 Lara Fahnestock, Dana Bryson, Board Chair; Ramonna Robinson, Event Chair 5 Hilary Horan, Elizabeth Browning, Lara Merriken 6 Maggie and Milan Doshi 7 Lisa Emerson, Laura Alms, Leanne Duncan, Linda Poletti 8 Mark and Kim Sullivan, Brooke Gordon

More photos for these events: 14







Red Wagon Ball The Red Wagon Ball held at the Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center benefited Advocates for Children—CASA. Photography by Kristina Marshall, Kristina Lynn Photography & Design

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Friday, March 23, 2018 Event starts at 6 pm

WHERE: Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center TICKETS: Visit for prices @juniorleaguedenver @jldenver @juniorleaguedenver #JLDJourney 3

1 MJ Padilla, John Padilla, Board Chair 2 Gerry Smith, Mike Smith, Renee Murray, Dr. Mark Murray, John Padilla 3 Ali Demario, Audra Zipple

SIXTH ANNUAL JOURNEY EVENT Please join us for drinks, dinner, and an inspiring speaker to support our mission of developing civic leaders and current community efforts to improve literacy rates and provide access to books for children through the third grade in the Denver metro area.




Collectors’ Choice Collectors’ Choice 37 was held at and benefited the Denver Art Museum. Photography by Pamela Cress





1 Mike Fries, Michelle Malone Fries, Co-chairs 2 Joe and Ginny Mellow, Denise O’Leary, Co-chair; Kent Thiry, Co-chair 3 Christopher and Sarah Hunt 4 Scott Martinez, Justin Cooper, Marie Logsden, Andrea Fulton 5 Angelica Daneo, Patrick McKinstry, Richard Turner 6 Kira van Lil, Ellie Caulkins 7 Richard and Sonia Carty, Melora and Kendrik De Koning 8 Dianne Eddolls, Liane and Bob Classen, Michelle Sie Whitten 9 Cindy Halaby, Ann Reidy, Emily Reaser

More photos for these events: COLORADO EXPRESSION FEBRUARY/MARCH 2018








Service With Style Honoring David Alexander, Service With Style was held at the Grand Hyatt Denver to benefit the Volunteers of America Colorado Branch. Photography by Pamela Cress







1 Sharon Whiton Gelt, Michael James, vice president of marketing and development VOA 2 David Alexander, Honoree; Robin Margolin 3 Kathy Klugman, Deb Smith, Sharon Whiton Gelt 4 Jamie Angelich, Maria Kunz 5 Trish Morris, Denise Snyder 6 Louise Richardson, Susan Kiely

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L’Esprit de Noël Patron Party Held at Cableland, the L’Esprit de Noël Patron Party benefited the Central City Opera Guild. Photography by Pamela Cress

MARCH 15 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Ritz-Carlton, Downtown Denver 1881 Curtis Street, Denver

INSPIRED ACTION A signature luncheon honoring Kempe as a Center of Excellence in the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect, and inspiring community action to keep children safe and healthy for generations to come.




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PARTNERSHIPS & TICKETS Partnership opportunities and tickets available now. Reserve today for the best selection. Contact Denise Jendrusch at 303-864-5308 or MORE INFORMATION AT KEMPE.ORG 5

1 Jill Livran, Laura Driscoll 2 Katrina and Dan DeBacco, Lora Murillo 3 Roopesh Aggarwal, board president-elect CCO; Lauren Lovejoy, Pat Pearce, general/artistic director CCO 4 Tom and Kathy Tyree 5 Edie Bell, president CCO Guild; Nancy Parker, outgoing board president CCO 6 Denise Sanderson, Event Chair; Jim Sanderson

More photos for these events: 18




Men’s Event The 44th Annual Men’s Event held at The Palm Restaurant benefited the University of Colorado Cancer Center. Photography by Pamela Cress

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February 1

Release your inner child at Ales, Apps & Barrels of Fun! Taste beers from local breweries and snack on light bites at this adults-only extravaganza held at and supporting Children’s Museum of Denver. 303-433-7444 • 7

The Anti-Defamation League Mountain States Region honors this year’s 2018 Civil Rights Award recipients Lauren Y. Casteel, Stan Garnett and Governor Ralph Carr (posthumously) at the Denver Botanic Gardens. 303-830-7177 • 8

Breakthrough Kent Denver Give Your Love is an evening of drinks, dinner, auction items and live jazz. Held at Kent Denver, funds raised support underserved students. 303-770-7660 • 9

Celebrate the Lunar New Year at the Chinese New Year Party. Held at McNichols Civic Center Building to benefit the Nathan Yip Foundation. 303-817-8400 • 9

Pink Tie Affair is Komen Colorado’s annual party with dinner, auctions, entertainment and a heartwarming program at Mile High Station to benefit Susan G. Koman Colorado. 303-744-2088 • 10

Artma, a fabulous not-to-be-missed art auction, held at the historic Evans School, is the signature event of The Morgan Adams Foundation funding pediatric cancer research. 303-758-2130 •




An Evening in Verona—A Romeo and Juliet Gala is an Italian-themed evening at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House to support the Colorado Ballet. 303-837-8888 • 23-25

43rd Annual Wells Fargo Ski Cup at Winter Park is the longest running professional ski race in the country and the signature fundraiser for the National Sports Center for the Disabled. 970-726-1518 • 24

The Beaux Arts Bollywood Ball, presented by Morgridge Family Foundation, will be a vibrant night at the Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center to benefit National Jewish Health. 303-728-6546 • 24

Dust off your 90s wardrobe, break out your mix tapes and get ready to dance at Bash to the Future! Eat, drink, and boogie at The Studios at Overland Crossing to support the Denver Scholarship Foundation. 303-951-4140 • 24-25

Held at The Ritz-Carlton, Denver, this year’s Kaleidoscope includes a lavish evening and overnight stay at The Ritz-Carlton in support of the Rocky Mountain Children’s Health Foundation. 303-839-6782 •

March 2-3

In its 19th year, Jane-A-Thon, the longest running fundraising event supporting Invest in Kids, returns to Mary Jane at Winter Park. 303-839-1808 •


The 10th annual Casino Night: Bow Ties & Diamonds is an evening of casino games, cocktails, appetizers and auction items at the Sheraton Denver Tech Center Hotel benefiting Advocates for Children CASA. 303-695-1882 • 3

Saturday Night Alive, the signature benefit for Denver Center for the Performing Arts, will include a performance from the national tour of the musical Hamilton at The Buell Theatre. 303-893-4100 • 9

The American Red Cross Heroes Soirée will be an event to remember; celebrating the American Red Cross of the 1940s in the historic World War II Hangar 1 at Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum. 303-722-7474 • 13

The annual Business for the Arts Awards Luncheon held at the Seawell Grand Ballroom honors outstanding business and arts partnerships from across Colorado through the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts. 720-428-6720 • 15

Kempe Imagine 2018: Inspired Action, welcomes keynote speaker Steve Pemberton at this luncheon at The Ritz-Carlton Denver, raising critical funds for The Kempe Foundation. 303-864-5300 • 15

The National Kidney Foundation’s 35th annual Great Chefs of the West, held at the EXDO Event Center, welcomes those who are passionate about great food and raising money for this very important cause. 720-748-9991 • gala/great-chefs-west




The Journey featuring keynote speaker Terrell Davis will be held at the Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center to benefit the Junior League of Denver. 303-692-0270 • 28

Held at the Denver Hilton City Center, the Colorado Woman’s Hall of Fame Induction Gala will celebrate this year’s ten inductees. 303-271-3599 • 31

At Hoops & Hoopla, watch both games of the Men’s College Basketball Semifinals on full room wrap-around screens at Infinity Park Event Center to benefit National Jewish Health. 877-225-5654 •

April 7

The second annual LivLyme Foundation Gala will honor LivLyme Hero Award recipient Dr. Richard Horowitz and feature guest speaker Ally Hilfiger. Location to be announced. 303-942-1704 • 13

The Spring Brass Ring, Denver’s premiere luncheon and fashion show presented by Mariel, at the Hilton Denver City Center (formerly Denver Marriott City Center) benefits the programs of The Guild of the Children’s Diabetes Foundation. 303-863-1200 • 13

A memorable night for food, wine and art at the Hamilton Building, Uncorked Reserve and Uncorked AFTERGLOW, raises funds for the Denver Art Museum. 720-913-0030 •




Colors of the Mind is a night of fastpaced auctions, live entertainment and incredible culinary experiences at the Seawell Grand Ballroom for the Epilepsy Foundation of Colorado. 303-377-9774 • 18

The Achieve Gala held at the Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center is the Denver Public School Foundation’s annual fundraiser to support DPS students and schools. 720-423-3553 • 18

The 54th annual Colorado Sports Hall of Fame Induction Banquet will honor the 2018 inductees at the Hilton Denver City Center. 720-258-3535 • 18

The annual Light of Hope Breakfast at the Sheraton Downtown Denver benefits Child Advocates CASA Denver. 303-832-4592 • 19

The JDRF Dream Gala: Clue to a Cure features dinner, auctions and live entertainment at The Westin Downtown Denver raising funds for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. 303-770-2873 • 19

Laugh Yourself Blue is an evening of comedy, celebration, education and a few surprises, the signature fundraiser for Firefly Autism, held at Seawell Grand Ballroom. 303-759-1192 •


The annual Symphony Ball—Rhapsody Rock—will be held at the Fillmore Auditorium to support the Colorado Symphony. 303-623-7876 • 29

Grace’s Race, a 5K held at Willow Spring Open Space in Centennial, supports The Morgan Adams Foundation’s fight against pediatric cancer. 303-758-2130 •

May 4

Dress up for the derby at the sixth annual Dominican Derby Gala at the PPA Event Center. Fundraiser includes cocktails, dinner and silent and live auctions to benefit the Dominican Home Health Agency. 303-322-1413 • 12

The Cancer League of Colorado will honor Sue Miller (in memoriam) as the Champion of Hope at the Hope Ball held at the Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center. 303-281-9864 • 19

Boys & Girls Club 2018 Gala at the Hyatt Regency Denver includes a cocktail reception, auction and dinner, and celebration of our “Youth of the Year,” a Club member who has overcome great adversity to achieve success. 303-892-9200 •


The 2018 Spotlight on Hope Gala, at the CU South Campus will honor CNI founder Gary VanderArk at this 30th anniversary fundraiser for the Colorado Neurological Institute. 303-788-4010 •

Social Calendar covers formal fundraising events for nonprofit organizations throughout Colorado. If you wish to have an event listed, please contact Colorado Expression at 303-694-1289, or email







available at

is here



IT IS HARD TO SLOW DEVON Kerns down, and who would want to? He is constantly looking, moving and thinking forward. To Kerns it’s being disruptive, and disruptive is good. He has spent more than a decade in public speaking and coaching single professionals in both business and relationship development. Now Kerns is the chief visionary officer of Social Capital (SoCap) Agency, focusing on how to get companies to recognize and leverage the booming demographic of strong independent singles. He calls it getting companies to speak Singlish to maintain, grow and brand their companies to empower their growing singles workforce. Whether it’s advising confused singles in the dating world or business on how to speak Singlish, Kerns has one overriding goal: to get you to see your biggest dream and go for it!

Devon Kerns

What surprises people about you? The ability to have an impact in a very short amount of time. I try to extract the biggest dream out of people. How do people describe you? Visionary, outlandish, bold, blunt, direct, honest. Who do you most admire? Robin Williams. He led such a full life with a lot of depth, darkness and light. Favorite Denver metro restaurant? I’m obsessed with Uncle in LoHi. Their spicy chicken ramen will explode your mind. What was the last great book you read? I really enjoyed The Universe in a Nutshell by Stephen Hawking. What gadget can you not live without? The music side of the iPhone.



COMPANIES NEED TO PAY ATTENTION TO THEIR SINGLE EMPLOYEES FOR THE LONGTERM GOOD, GROWTH AND BRANDING OF THE BUSINESS By Scott S. Evans Name: Devon Kerns Age: 39 Marital status: Single Children: None Career: Human capital consultant and employment branding Hometown: Littleton Home today: LoDo Website:


What is your biggest fashion faux pas? I don’t know why, but I have a lot of denim happening today, especially my jean jacket. What was your last major purchase? An airline ticket (and trip) to surprise my mom in Vegas for her 80th birthday. What is your most memorable Colorado experience? One of those few moments I really got to spend with my dad. We were in Columbine near horses, and we had a buddy-to-buddy talk and he cussed in a fun way and I remember thinking how we were just two guys hanging out. What one word describes Coloradans to you? Disruptive. We have a massive start up culture, not a lot of old money. We think outside of the box in new and fresh ways. What is your favorite spot in Colorado to visit? I love going up in the winter to the Vail/Beaver Creek area and watching the snow fall and the people from all over the world hang out. Are you involved with any charities? I am on the board of The Lion Project, a video production nonprofit that supports and tells the stories of other charities. What took you down this career path? My core passion all my life has been inspiring the biggest dream someone can come up with. That passion was inspired by my dad, who was an entrepreneur and always was so successful. His dream was ultimately crushed because of the 1980s real estate downturn. I’ve used that as inspiration to help people find their

true purpose and thereby help them be disruptive. What is the difference between coaching 20-somethings and 50-somethings? In most cases the 20-somethings have a different set of anchors and excuses than 50-somethings. No matter the age, however, we always find a thing to hold us back. Is there a uniform piece of advice you could give to all singles? Yes. Stop taking it so damn seriously. From online dating to dating in general, the phone has become a tool to meet people you could never have met before. That’s a massive advantage. But it’s impossible to be “dating” someone when you have never met. It’s called “online dating” but it can’t happen until you meet someone. You need time and chemistry. What’s the most difficult part of dating today? Too many choices lead to too many choices, so we don’t choose anybody or don’t have a truly committed relationship. I’m not sold that we have ever done this right. In some respect, we have been totally disconnected by online dating and we need something deeper. We need to put our phones away and work to connect more deeply. When should the discussion of sex come up? Men tend to do really dumb things. And given the safety of technology, it’s easy to do without real consequences. Men often come across as creepy because they bring sex up way sooner than they would in person. Plus, men play the odds. If you connect with 20 women, you may get positive responses of five and so it perpetuates itself. What is the most memorable dating story you have heard? There was a guy that showed up in

life as a truly masculine person, a real tall, dark and handsome type, but dating he wasn’t. He was in town and staying at the Four Seasons. He required his date to pick him up at the Four Seasons and drive the few blocks to Larimer Square, to pay for half of dinner, and meekly kept touching his date’s shoulder with the expectation of a kiss. The woman simply didn’t know what to do because his actions didn’t match the persona he put out there. How are companies starting to speak, as you call it, Singlish? Not many are yet and that’s where SoCap comes in. You must look at the singles demographic and address it because it’s a huge and unaddressed demographic now. Lots of people are choosing to live a single life, women in particular. This demographic needs to be accounted for and empowered as a group. Millennials are known not to stay with a company for more than two years. What impact does that have on the company and the general economy? It’s costing companies billions upon billions of dollars. Replacing someone costs the company two-and-ahalf times that person’s salary. Also, losing people impacts the company’s morale and other intangibles. Is there a fix for that? There are important pieces of the entity and the system that need to be addressed. Companies need to be prepared for the turnover, and the more prepared the company is, the less turnover impacts the company. Also, companies can increase the length of time employees stay, by creating incentive programs. Scott S. Evans is a graduate of Dartmouth College and the University of Virginia School of Law and is a father of two. Scott’s unique and twisted insights can be found on Twitter @ScottEvans2312.




What’s Happening in the West

Cycle of Hope

An Athlete’s Remarkable Story

Photo: Visit Denver

Photo: Stevie Crecelius / WonderWorks

By Joy Lawrance

Denver Restaurant Week


Returns February 23 to March 4

THE ANNUAL FOOD FEST WE love so much, presented by Lexus, takes place over a 10-day, two-weekend timeframe, allowing us to once again sample some of the best that Denver has to offer in gustatory delights. More good news – the same three-tiered price format returns as participating restaurants select a $25, $35 or $45 price for their menus, creating a multi-course dining experience. The sad news—with

as many as 250 restaurants participating (the number from 2017), there’s no way you can get to all of them. But with the affordable price range, you’ll be able to sample dishes from local eateries, as well as some of the top tables in the region. Denver continues to be noticed by those “in the know”—Zagat named it the “4th most exciting American food city in 2017.” You’d better make those reservations yesterday!


DENVER NATIVE TRICIA DOWNING was a competitive cyclist in 2000 when she was struck by a car in Golden on the way home from a training ride. She sustained a spinal cord injury and was paralyzed from the chest down. Following the accident, Tricia became a world-class wheelchair athlete and in the 17 years since her accident has competed nationally and internationally in triathlons, rowing, handcycling and Olympic-style shooting. She was a member of Team USA for the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games. In 2010, Downing published her first book, a memoir, entitled Cycle of Hope: A Journey from Paralysis to Possibility. This spring she will release her second book, a novel called Chance of Rain. In addition to her sports and writing accomplishments, she holds masters degrees in sports management and disability studies and started a nonprofit organization aimed at helping women with disabilities redefine their lives.

The Hotel Jerome is the venue where pastry chefs and chocolatiers from the Roaring Fork Valley gather to present their finest chocolate desserts, along with sparkling wine and appetizers for the VIP reception (tickets $100). Nothing goes together quite like chocolate and February, but this event is even more special since it benefits Response—a local nonprofit dedicated to supporting, educating and empowering the survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Doors open for the grand tasting at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $40 in advance, $50 at the event (children under 12 are $20, $30). A silent auction runs from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.



Photo: Aubree Dallas

The Chocolate Classic in Aspen, February 7



FILMS FROM INTERNATIONAL festivals and distributors will be screened at The Elaine Wolf Theatre during the annual Denver Jewish Film Festival held from Feb. 7 through 19. There will be something to please every filmgoer: edgy award-winning arthouse films; Israeli student-made short films; contemporary documentaries; historical narratives; romantic comedies… well, you get the picture. Experience the viewing of these high-quality films along with the opportunity to engage with an array of talkback facilitators.

Where the Chefs Eat Gonzo Jimenez Chocolatier and co-owner Miette et Chocolat Stanley Marketplace 2501 Dallas St., Suite 176, Aurora 303-658-0861

Annette Scratch to Table: Creative, modern and healthy food. Based on quality dishes and not quantity. Big fan of Caroline Glover, executive chef and owner. Their cocktail program is really good, too. Uncle: Best ramen in town. Strong flavors, modern, casual experience, great service. Tacos Acapulco: This little shop on East Colfax has the best pupusas in Denver!

Photo: From-The-Hip-Photo

The Best of Jewish and Israeli Cinema at Denver Jewish Film Festival

Hashtag: Great brunch, delicious food, quick service. Departure: Great modern restaurant with amazing Asian flavors. Excellent service.

New Location for Center for the Arts Evergreen

Bow Wow Film Festival Celebrate our beloved canine companions and the delight they bring to our lives. On April 21, the third annual Bow Wow Film Festival will be held at the Sie Film Center. Enjoy drinks, appetizers, a silent auction, Bow Wow swag and of course heartfelt films about man’s best friend. The Bow Wow Film Fest features some of the year’s best pooch-themed short films all wrapped up in one beautiful, fun-loving package. Bow Wow is a traveling film festival that celebrates, educates and inspires all things doggie through the art of short film. Proceeds benefit The Colorado Pet Pantry, so come and join the fun for the love of dogs.


AFTER MANY YEARS OF LEASING a temporary facility, the Center for the Arts Evergreen now occupies a larger and more welcoming space in the beautifully renovated chapel of the old Bergen Park Church (a Jefferson County landmark). The facility is now a fine art gallery, bringing to the community a wide variety of high quality exhibitions throughout the year. The center will also host concerts, recitals, lectures and films. Students are already buzzing away in newly furnished classrooms as instructors share expertise in visual arts, writing and foreign languages. February brings the annual Bountiful Beauty, an exhibit highlighting members that sustain the center, and in March, they will open the Mountain Area School Show for emerging artists.



Visit for more details


Her Mission is for Kids to Learn to Love Music

Photo: Shiela Broderick


IF ONLY THE YOUNG, MUSIC student Libby Anschutz could have imagined who she would be today. She probably wouldn’t believe that she’d still be playing the piano, let alone in front of audiences in concert halls and at music festivals. As a young girl, Anschutz took classical piano lessons in her Denver home, following in her dad’s footsteps. She is the middle child of Nancy and Phil Anschutz, business leader, philanthropist and trained classical pianist himself. Despite the best of intentions, she got tired of the lessons and gave up the piano… only to rediscover it 30 years later. Music has reinvigorated Anschutz’s life and she is now on a mission to have others, especially children, discover the magic and power of music. “If only there was the chance to learn modern music back then, like the songs I heard on the radio, maybe I would have stuck with it,” she said. She is now one of the masterminds behind Take Note Colorado, a statewide initiative that calls for every K-12 student to have access to musical instruments and instruction. Among its efforts, Take Note Colorado has partnered with another nonprofit, Little Kids Rock, which offers a modern band curriculum where students learn how to play current hits. In 2013, after several rounds of new piano lessons, Anschutz founded her very own rock ‘n’ roll band, Tracksuit Wedding, with her best

Libby Anschutz plays many roles: as co-founder of Take Note Colorado; co-founder and keyboardist for the band Tracksuit Wedding; and board member for the Anschutz Foundation


The Details Take Note Colorado 303-561-2313 Mile High United Way is serving as the fiscal sponsor for Take Note Colorado. Tracksuit Wedding



friend from grade school, lead singer Ali Frankfurt. Stu Miller (guitar and vocals), Josh Skelton (guitar and vocals), Trevor Mariotti (drums, percussion) and Roqui Lluma (bass) complete Tracksuit Wedding, which is known for its bluesy rock sound and energetic performances. “I always liked rock ‘n’ roll raw,” Frankfurt said. “My friend Libby

grew up so polished when it came to music but she is getting out of that mold.” Anschutz is also getting out of the mold when it comes to giving back. As a board member for The Anschutz Foundation, she supports a great deal of charitable work in Colorado but she admits she wanted to change things up a bit. As she


musicians including Isaac Slade of The Fray, Todd Park Mohr from Big Head Todd and the Monsters and Billy Nershi of String Cheese Incident. Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper has also jumped up on the stage with his banjo. Tracksuit Wedding weaves the show together with its original songs and some covers. The evenings frequently wind up with all the musicians side by side, singing Christmas carols and holiday songs with the audience. (Imagine the closing scene of White Christmas, but with a bunch of rock stars in the Ogden Theatre). In the most recent years, Sing It To Me Santa benefited Denver Public Schools Foundation. But the December 2017 show raised money for Take Note Colorado. Even though this is a statewide program, the proceeds of the show fund music education for Denver Public Schools. Anschutz’s plan is to take Sing It To Me Santa on the road every December. The vision for Take Note Colorado actually came from Colorado’s music-loving leader, Gov. Hickenlooper. In June of 2016, he approached Anschutz and a few others with the idea and they ran with it. “Colorado believes in high-quality education for

Photo: Kirsten Cohen

describes it, she is using her band to give back. Tracksuit Wedding has rocked some of the bigger fundraising galas in Denver including Colorado Symphony and University of Colorado Cancer Center benefits. “I love being involved in so many organizations but I wanted to see an alternative to the standard gala,” Anschutz said. “I really have the most fun when I go to a rock and roll show. I love music and I love concerts. To marry a great concert experience with a charitable event is what I was wanting to create.” That’s when she got busy on how to fundraise using her music. The mother of a son who is now 15, she knew she wanted to focus her energy on quality education for all children. With that, Anschutz spent time on her stationary bike. It’s where she thinks the best, especially when it comes to creating set lists for shows and brainstorming. In December 2014, Libby organized her first Sing It To Me Santa benefit concert for Teach for America Colorado. Every year since, she has brought together on stage the likes of musician Michael Franti; LA-based band The Record Company; and Colorado

Tracksuit Wedding band members Roqui Lluma, Stu Miller, Ali Frankfurt, Josh Skelton, Libby Anschutz and Trevor Mariotti

every young person in the state and a high-quality education includes music,” he said. “Take Note Colorado is about making sure that every young person has access to music education and instruments in order to thrive as leaders in this community.” Anschutz pulled together a committee that meets regularly in her family room. Among the music masterminds helping out: Slade of The Fray, representatives from The Bohemian Foundation; and music industry leaders such as Chuck Morris of AEG Presents. Libby founded a new nonprofit called the Colorado Music Coalition to house the Take Note Colorado initiative. Within ten months of that first meeting, the first Take Note Colorado benefit concert took the stage at the 1STBANK Center in Broomfield, starring Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, OneRepublic and Isaac Slade just to name a few. It raised $530,000. “We are working with each school district to understand their individual needs,” said Take Note Colorado executive director Karen Radman. For the 2017-2018 school year, five school districts in the state are benefitting from support through the initiative. “Take Note Colorado needs time to build,” Anschutz said. “We want to raise the funds for music to be in all school districts in Colorado.” “I know how important music-making is in my life, and I want to share this opportunity with kids,” Anschutz said. “Learning to play and perform music is a great way for kids to express themselves and gain self-confidence, which will benefit them for life.” After two decades as a broadcast journalist in Denver, Kyle Dyer started Kyle Dyle Storytelling. She now partners with groups like the Colorado Music Coalition. Dyer, a former grade school soloist and talent show finalist, appreciates Take Note Colorado’s initiative to enable students to find themselves through music.




In Town Through Feb. 24 Detroit ’67, Curious Theatre In Detroit ’67 playwright Dominique Morisseau explores a moment rife with police brutality, immense racial divide and a powder keg of emotions. 303-623-0524 •

Can’t-miss Events throughout Colorado By Elizabeth Jones

Through Feb. 25 American Mariachi, Stage Theatre This humorous, heartwarming story about music’s power to heal and connect includes gorgeous live mariachi music. 303-893-4100 •

Through Feb. 25 Zoey’s Perfect Wedding, Space Theatre Disaster after disaster follows one unfortunate bride down the aisle, from brutally honest boozy speeches to a totally incompetent wedding planner. 303-893-4100 •

Through May 6

Feb. 1 Wild Up, Newman Center This ultimately flexible “go anywhere, play anything” modern music collective is led by Artistic Director/ Conductor Christopher Rountree. 303-871-7720 •

Feb. 2-4 Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloé, Boettcher Concert Hall Music Director Brett Mitchell leads a night of le charme romantique just in time for Valentine’s Day! 303-623-7876 •



Photo: Junichi Takahashi

Sense and Sensibility, Arvada Center This rollicking, ingeniously theatrical new adaptation follows the Dashwood sisters—sensible Elinor and passionate Marianne. 720-898-7200 • Stomp, Buell Theatre, Feb. 13-18

Feb. 9-10 John Williams: An American Journey, Boettcher Concert Hall Williams has taken us to a galaxy far, far away and captured our imagination beyond measure. Celebrate his birthday week on a journey through his compositions. 303-623-7876 •

Feb. 9-11, 17, 18, 24 Aphrodite’s Switchboard, Various locations Wonderbound Dance Company and

Chimney Choir will consort once more to venture into the realm of the exquisite goddess of love, Aphrodite. 303-292-4700 •

Feb. 11-May 20 Degas: A Passion for Perfection, Denver Art Museum View more than 100 works consisting of paintings, drawings, pastels, etchings, monotypes and sculptures in bronze. 720-865-3585 •


Feb. 13-18

Feb. 23

Stomp, Buell Theatre Using anything but traditional percussion instruments, Stomp creates pulse-pounding, electrifying rhythms for an unforgettable performance. 303-893-4100 •

Tiffany Haddish, Paramount Theatre This American comedian and actress is known for Girls Trip (2017), Keanu (2016) and Meet the Spartans (2008). 303-623-0106 •

Feb. 16 Bruce Cockburn, Boulder Theater One of Canada’s finest artists, Cockburn has enjoyed an illustrious career shaped by politics, spirituality and musical diversity. 303-786-7030 •

Trevor Noah, Bellco Theatre, March 3

Feb. 16-18

Feb. 16-25

Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, Boettcher Concert Hall Renowned for inciting a riot at its 1913 Paris debut, this can’t-miss masterwork radically changed 20th century composition. 303-623-7876 •

Romeo and Juliet, The Ellie Let this romantic ballet take your breath away with extraordinary choreography by Derek Deane, exceptional acting and artistry by the dancers and music performed by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra. 303-837-8888 •

Feb. 27-April 1 Hamilton, Buell Theatre The national tour of the Broadway musical Hamilton is part of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts’ 2017/18 Broadway subscription series. 303-893-4100 •

March 3 Trevor Noah, Bellco Theatre You don’t want to miss the opportunity to see Noah, host of “The Daily Show” on Comedy Central, at one of his two Denver shows. 303-228-8000 •


Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloé FEB 2-4 FRI-SAT 7:30 SUN 1:00 ■

Brett Mitchell, conductor

John Williams: An American Journey FEB 9-10 FRI-SAT 7:30 Brett Mitchell, conductor

Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring FEB 16-18 FRI-SAT 7:30 SUN 1:00

Video Games Live™ Returns! MAR 9-10 FRI-SAT 7:30

L I ST E N / H EA R 1 0 2 Anything But Innocent: The Hard-Core Romantics FEB 22 THU 7:30

Carnival of the Animals MAR 11 SUN 1:00

HalfNotes Colorado Symphony Chorus, Mary Louise Burke, associate director

Brett Mitchell, conductor

Christopher Dragon, conductor

Red Carpet Rewind: Celebration of the Music of the Academy Awards® FEB 24 SAT 7:30 Christopher Dragon, conductor

M A R C H Red Carpet Rewind: Celebration of the Music of the Academy Awards®

Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with Olga Kern MAR 2-4 FRI-SAT 7:30 SUN 1:00 ■

Brett Mitchell, conductor

Christopher Dragon, conductor


Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto No. 5 MAR 16-18 FRI-SAT 7:30 SUN 1:00 ■

Andrew Litton, conductor

John Denver: A Rocky Mountain High Concert Celebration with the Colorado Symphony MAR 23 FRI 7:30 Andres Lopera, conductor

HalfNotes Please join us for family-friendly activities 1 hour before the concert.





March 4

March 20

Los Lobos, Boulder Theater This multiple Grammy Award winning rock band gained international stardom in 1987 when its cover version of Ritchie Valens’ “La Bamba” topped the charts. 303-786-7030 •

Kid Rock, Pepsi Center Following his “Sweet Southern Sugar” album, Rock will be in town on his “Greatest Show On Earth Tour.” 303-405-1100 •

March 20 The Illusionist Presents Adam Trent, The Ellie The break out star of The Illusionists, Trent presents an extravaganza of magic, comedy and music. 303-893-4100 •

March 8 Justin Moore, 1STBANK Center Featured on “The Voice” and “Nashville,” this 2014 ACM New Artist of the Year, will be in town on his “Hell On a Highway Tour.” 303-410-8497 •

Copland’s Rodeo, Boettcher Hall, April 6-8

March 22, 24

Jim Jefferies, Bellco Theatre Never one to shy away from a drink, a smoke or a fight, Jefferies’ confessional comedy style has won him fans and acclaim the world over. 303-228-8000 •

Star Wars: A New Hope, 1STBANK Center A screening of the complete film Star Wars: A New Hope with composer John Williams’ musical scores by the Colorado Symphony. 303-623-7876 •

March 10

March 22-April 15

L.A. Dance Project, Newman Center Bursting onto the dance scene in 2012, L.A. Dance Project has been turning heads with its fresh, contemporary vision of dance and stylistically diverse repertory. 303-871-7720 •

This is Modern Art, The Jones Called vandals, criminals, even creative terrorists, graffiti artists set out to make their voices heard. 303-893-4100 •

Photo: Jim Howard circa 1965

March 9

Drawn to Glamour, Denver Art Museum, March 25-July 22

March 16-Sept. 3 Dead Sea Scrolls, Denver Museum of Nature & Science A rare once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see authentic Dead Sea Scrolls, ancient manuscripts that include the oldest known Biblical documents dating back over 2,000 years. 303-370-6000 •



Drawn to Glamour, Denver Art Museum Showcasing Jim Howard’s fashion illustration career, including his campaigns for Neiman Marcus in the late 1950s, through the ’70s and ’80s. 720-865-3585 •

March 30-April 1 Ballet Director’s Choice, Newman Center Colorado Ballet closes its season with a collection of ballets to include Pillar of Fire, Brief Fling and In Pieces. 303-837-8888 •

March 17 Harlem Globetrotters, 1STBANK Center Witness the ball-handling wizardry, basketball artistry and one-of-a-kind family entertainment that thrills fans of all ages. 303-410-8497 •

March 25-July 22

April 6-8

Ballet Director’s Choice, Newman Center, March 30-April 1

Copland’s Rodeo, Boettcher Concert Hall Andrew Litton concludes his tenure with the Colorado Symphony in a


follows Dewey Finn, a wannabe rock star who turns a class of straight-A students into grade-A rockers. 303-893-4100 •

Out of Town Feb. 9-11 Fire & Ice Festival, Loveland This family friendly event features a live show-stopping light show and musical spectacular, snow and ice sculptures, fireworks and more. 800-980-4155 •

Feb. 13 Taste of Vail, Vail, April 4-8

program worthy of his prolific and esteemed career. 303-623-7876 •

April 20-21 Lewis Black, Paramount Theatre If you need a good laugh, don’t miss Grammy Award-winning Black’s “The Joke’s on Us Tour.” 303-623-0106 •

May 8 P!NK, Pepsi Center Grammy-winning singer P!NK, is ready and taking her “Beautiful Trauma” album on the road with a full-fledged world tour. 303-405-1100 •

May 29-June 10 School of Rock, Buell Theatre Based on the hit film, School of Rock

Mardi Gras, Breckenridge Mardi Gras lovers take over Breckenridge with masks, boas, beads, music and revelry to commemorate carnival season.

Feb. 13 Mardi Gras, Snowmass Celebrate Fat Tuesday at the Mardi Gras Parade and Celebration featuring a race, a King Cake giveaway, mask making, live music and more.

April 27-29, May 5-6 Madness, Rack, and Honey, Various venues Embark on a zany and quixotic escapade with Wonderbound. Dare to frolic through the machinations of desire, sensuality and rapture. Featuring the Colorado Symphony. 303-292-4700 •

Pixelated: Sculpture by Mick Whiting, Denver Botanic Gardens Brightly-colored metal sculptures created within the pixelated aesthetic of Pac-Man and other 8-bit vintage video games will be featured. 720-865-3500 •



Photo: Deen van Meer

April 28-Sept. 23

Disney’s Aladdin, Buell Theatre, April 7-28


March 5-10 Burton US Open, Vail The 2018 US Open Snowboarding Championships return with Olympic medalists such as Mark McMorris, Kelly Clark and Ayumu Hirano.

March 23-April 1 Bud Light Spring Jam, Aspen Snowmass The premier spring festival in the Rocky Mountains brings two weeks of competitions, downtown concerts and parties to Aspen Snowmass.

April 4-8 Taste of Vail, Vail This food and wine festival showcases Vail Valley’s world-class restaurants with representatives from top wineries around the globe. 970-401-3320 •

For the Kids Feb. 2-May 25 Seussical, Arvada Center Enter the fantastic world of Dr. Seuss in the musical, Seussical! Music and dance bring characters like Horton, the Cat in the Hat, and Gertrude McFuzz together on stage. 720-898-7200 •

March 10 “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” Live: King for a Day, Bellco Theatre Based on the #1 PBS Kids TV series, the grr-ific musical for little tigers and grown-ups alike is back with an all-new show. 303-228-8000 •

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April 21, 2018 • Sie Filmcenter • 251O E. Colfax Ave, Denver Drinks, appetizers, & silent auction precede the event The family-friendly movie starts at 7 P.M. $35 per adult, $20 children under 12 Tickets & info:

April 7-28 Disney’s Aladdin, Buell Theatre From the producer of The Lion King comes the timeless story of Aladdin, a thrilling new production filled with unforgettable beauty, magic, comedy and breathtaking spectacle. 303-893-4100 •




REI Adventures

Sit back, relax and let someone else do the planning. Hiring an outfitter can lead to satisfying sojourns. By Jordan Martindell


THE FIRST TIME I TRAVELED abroad was in college. Someone else planned the itinerary and I was cradled in the care of the where, what and when of the group. That 10-week road trip around the United Kingdom is still one of my most memorable and fulfilling travel experiences. While today I often travel independently, I deeply value the simplicity and ease achieved by hiring an outfitter when traveling— especially when venturing abroad. The romantic notion of planning a trip is quickly diluted when manag-

Photo: James Harnois

THE DETAILS REI Adventures, 800-622-2236, Activities: backpacking, climbing, cruising, cycling, mountain biking, hiking/trekking, kayaking, multisport, wildlife safaris, winter sports Levels 1-5 (Relaxed—Strenuous) Locations: Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Australia/New Zealand, Europe, Latin America, North America Popular Destinations: Alps, Everest/ Himalaya, Galapagos Islands, Kilimanjaro, Machu Picchu, Patagonia, US National Parks Group Size: 16 or fewer; private trips available Price: $600-$17,000 Other Resources:;



The Great Smoky Mountains offer epic hiking, scenic views and thrilling multi-sport adventures

ing reservations, time zones and visa applications. And while unlimited resources are available with the internet, the overwhelming number of choices can often lead to discouragement and confusion. Some say spontaneity is the best kind of adventure, but I say, leave the details to someone else and enjoy traveling with a spontaneous spirit, every perfectly planned step of the way. Hiring an outfitter takes the headache out of planning a trip, leaving you to simply enjoy the experience. There are many outfitters to choose from, but not all outfitters are created equal. Recreational Equipment Inc., the co-op more affectionately known as REI, is a well-known and respect-

ed adventure gear company that has been offering trips through its offshoot company REI Adventures for more than 30 years. Its vast network of stores, authentic origin story, and incredible on-the-ground talent makes REI a great place to start when looking to try something new. Whether you are a novice outdoorsperson or an experienced mountaineer, REI’s offerings (both in the stores and on the trail) run the gamut—able to please every level of adventurer. And while the participants and guides come from all walks of life, their love for the outdoors acts as a bonding agent for guests and staff alike, resulting in unparalleled camaraderie and friendships.


I married an expedition adventurer, but I am not always up for the strenuous trips that fuel his passion, so a compromise is often made. Not everyone who loves the outdoors wants to go backpacking for 10 days through the Swiss Alps and REI Adventures has a selection of Level 2 trips to accommodate travelers with a desire to slow things down. With the perfect blend of outdoor exploration and cultural offerings, these trips offer REI Adventures’ signature outdoor experience at a more leisurely pace. Winter hike through the Great Smoky Mountains all the while being pampered with Southern hospitality, or explore Italy’s Amalfi Coast by foot and kayak, learning to cook from local experts and sampling wine from the region’s wineries along the way.

Solo Travel

When my daughter was 14 months old, I took my first trip alone since giving birth, and between the quiet plane ride, peaceful hotel rooms and simple urban adventures, I began to rediscover my pre-child self. Traveling solo is one of the best ways to come face to face with you and your

Photo: Suzanne Faith-Harris


From Naples to the Amalfi Coast and the Isle of Capri, explore some of Italy’s most remarkable sights

relationship with the world. Whether looking for some individual rejuvenation time, focused self-exploration, or simply needing to expand your horizons, REI Adventures offers solo travel on almost all of their trips. These trips are especially helpful for those interested in traveling alone but not interested in “singles trips” that focus on matchmaking. And while many tour operators charge additional fees for solo travelers, REI accommodates those traveling solo by partnering them with other solo travelers in an effort to keep costs down.

A Trip for Two

Cycle the lush hillsides of Tuscany on a fully-supported bike tour

Years ago, I climbed a snow-covered mountain to spend three days with my now husband and since then, our many adventures have proven over and over again how compatible we are. Traveling with your partner or spouse is a great way to deeply connect without the distractions of work and technology. The gift of travel is an experience whose memories and stories will continue to feed your love for one another over many years. REI Adventures offers trips in some of the

world’s most romantic landscapes, all with an active and local angle. Imagine exploring the best of Tuscan wineries, olive groves and cuisine, but getting there by foot (forget counting calories!). Whether cycling from Prague to Budapest or hiking through Tuscany, the natural romance of each location is the perfect place to spend some quality time. With REI Adventures, character is paramount with every trip. Each itinerary is carefully curated to ensure maximum comfort and unparalleled authenticity. Whether staying in a private pensione in Italy, frolicking in lavender fields in France, or sharing a meal with a local tribe in Africa, the personality of each location shines through each experience—priceless planning for an unforgettable trip every time. Mountain lover, novice adventurer, writer, maker, baker, and idea generator. Jordan Martindell spends her days balancing an active outdoor lifestyle with work, marriage, and motherhood. A native Californian at home in Colorado, she can often be found wearing flip-flops and a puffy jacket. She has written for Elevation Outdoors Magazine, Dorado Magazine, and others.




Photo: Mike Thurk Photography

On The Town Three Italian restaurants to put at the top of your must-dine list



1390 S. Colorado Blvd. 303-495-3065 Starters, $5-$15; entrees, $16-24; pastas, $10-$16; pizzas, $10-$15

Erica Keys, formerly at Elway’s, and her husband Dan Dunne, past owner of Cigars on 6th, decided to give up serving and tobacco and pursue their dream of Italian food and pizza by opening their own place. Their goal? “A place people gather for excellent food at a neighborhood hangout.” THE VIBE: You’ll find Viàle tucked into the back of a strip mall off busy Colorado Boulevard in Virginia Village. Enter a bright room with a long bar, open kitchen and casual dining room. Great murals of old Denver and two cigar-smoking Cuban ladies are on the brick or gray-painted walls. Add reclaimed barn wood, white quartz tables with burgundy banquettes and high ceilings, and get ready for appealing Italian food. This is an affordable neighborhood find for families, college kids, date night and seniors. THE MENU: Among the large selection of appetizers, sample the mussels prepared with Italian sausage, white wine and shallots, which make a perfect broth to sop up the grilled bread that comes with the dish. The artichoke bruschetta is made with Humboldt fog goat cheese, garlic and spinach topped with Parmesan and aged balsamic. It’s addictive. Fans of Caesar will love the simple salad of crisp romaine, croutons and traditional Caesar dressing. 44



Pastas shine but the traditional Bolognese done with pappardelle shows the broad noodles at their best as the rich tomato and meat sauce coats the noodles with every bite. For the Chicken Parmesan, the chef wraps prosciutto around the chicken before sautéing, and the cheese on top is sprinkled with crispy pancetta, all served with a side of rigatoni in marinara. The pies fill the need for a pizza fix with their thin crust, preparation in a 900-degree oven giving that slight char at the bottom, and tops ranging from red sauce with sausage to a white pie with mushrooms and truffles. Save room for dessert and indulge in apple bread pudding or a chocolate chip cookie, both served warm in a cast iron skillet topped with ice cream and chocolate. SIPS: The bar features wines from several areas of the world, a strong selection of scotch, craft cocktails and beer. MUST TRY: Mussels, Bolognese GOOD TO KNOW: They don’t accept reservations for fewer than six people, but take call-ahead seating. Gluten-free

options available in pasta and pizza. Happy hour from 3-6 p.m. with featured apps and pizza. The noise level is high when full. With affordable prices and ample parking, it’s a place to visit often.

TAVERNETTA 1889 16th St. 720-605-1889 Salumi and small bites, $7-$12; starters, $10-$22; entrees, $19-$46; pasta, $15-$22

Partners Bobby Stuckey, chef Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson, and Peter Hoglund wanted to bring a more casual version of their renowned Boulder restaurant Frasca Food and Wine to Denver. Chef Ian Wortham, former chef de cuisine of Frasca, traveled throughout Italy to design a menu inspired by dishes from the country’s bustling cities and seaside villages. Wortham explains, “Throughout Italy, no matter what region I visited, the philosophy on food was always the same: great ingredients and pure

flavors. Whether a streetside osteria or train station café, nothing was over-complicated or manipulated. That’s the cuisine I wanted to create for Tavernetta’s menu—direct, delicious food —because in the end, that’s what people want to eat.” THE VIBE: Located at the end of the Born Hotel, Tavernetta is part of Union Station. Guests enter to a bar/lounge and continue to the huge open kitchen, and seating around the area. The setting is contemporary and upscale, including vintage photographs by Slim Aarons. Tavernetta appeals for a date night, the bustle of Union Station, and to see and be seen. As in many new restaurants, the noise level can be high. THE MENU: Start with salumi and cheeses—build your own, followed by antipasti. Sformato, the rich warm custard with sunchoke, Parmigiano, shavings of black truffle and tarragon, makes a rich, indulgent treat to begin. Pastas are many but pillow-light. Try the gnocchi with lamb ragu and Pecorino, and a marvelous homemade tagliatelle done simply with perfectly poached lobster pieces, Calabrian chile, preserved tomato and celery. This pasta brings spice from the chiles but remains light with the tomatoes that are barely cooked and combine to make for an amazing preparation. The signature Pollo Girarrosto is a treat. The herbed whole, slow-roasted chicken is cut into fourths, and served atop potatoes roasted in the chicken drippings. Add greens and enjoy this dish for two. There is a 55-minute wait, so settle back with starters, pasta and beverages as you relax. SIPS: The wine list is top notch as Stuckey wins many top awards on his selections. Prices are on the higher end for his wines. Cocktails are a treat. MUST TRY: Tagliatelle with lobster and chicken. GOOD TO KNOW: Gluten-free options are available. Happy hour features a special menu only featured in the lounge. Lunch is available as well. Park at the Born Hotel for the easiest access and walk over while watching the trains at the entrance off the Union Station platform.

PALIZO ITALIANO 1472 S. Pearl St., Denver 720-579-8595 Starters, $9-$17; entrees, $24-$28; pastas, half, $8-$14; full, $14-$26

Owner Patrick White’s mission for adding a Northern Italian concept to his restaurant group came from his travels to Italy when he was in the wine business. He encourages better eating through the preparation of seasonal and local foods, saying “We pride

octopus salad, soup, and the threesalad special served daily. Homemade pasta makes dishes special, including the Pappardelle Bolognese, tagliatelle all’Amatriciana, ravioli and gnocchi. Lasagna Bolognese brings this dish to new heights. Among the “secondi” are veal Milanese, brick chicken and ossobuco, steak. Desserts change often. SIPS: A terrific Italian wine list complements meals and is offered at affordable prices. Eat at the bar for a night of pampering.


ourselves in providing simply prepared complex foods that are is season.” Chef Tyler Cyre adds his own experiences to the plate. White’s feeling of community accounts for not only Palizo but his other eateries, UNA MAS, YARDBIRD and KAOS, all on South Pearl Street. THE VIBE: Palizo has an upbeat, casual, classy feel. The restaurant is one room with a separate bar area with tables for dining, and a great patio. It can be noisy when crowded because of hardwood floors and lower ceilings, but the millennials as well as the slightly older group like the resulting ambience. The waitstaff is knowledgeable, friendly and helpful, making the dining experience special. THE MENU: Start with antipasti, baby

MUST TRY: Vongole, Bolognese, ossobuco and the awesome vermouth tasting (worth the visit). GOOD TO KNOW: Chef Cyre accommodates any dietary need and gluten-free choices are available. General manager Trish White is a charmer. They are open nightly for dinner with happy hour on weekdays. Pat Miller, aka The Gabby Gourmet, hosts The Gabby Gourmet Restaurant Show on KHOW, AM 630 from 1-2 p.m. Saturdays. Miller writes the popular Gabby Gourmet Restaurant Guide, now in its 30th edition. For more of Pat’s picks, go to, visit or find Gabby Gourmet on Facebook. FEBRUARY/MARCH 2018 COLORADO EXPRESSION



The Chocolate Therapist Not only does it taste good, it’s good for you


CHOCOLATE IS A HEALTH FOOD we should eat every day, according to Julie Pech, a nutritionist, the author of four books on chocolate, and the founder of The Chocolate Therapist on Main Street in Littleton. “Dark chocolate has vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, healthy fats, protein and fiber,” Pech says. “Chocolate is a vessel dilator, so it allows more blood and oxygen to flow to the brain. People always think chocolate has caffeine, but caffeine actually limits blood flow. Chocolate has theobromine, which is milder and lasts longer.” The Chocolate Therapist, simply put, is chocolate heaven. With bingcherry-colored walls, the shop offers almost every imaginable chocolate: milk or dark; chocolates studded with chiles, nuts, dried fruits, savory herbs; a total of 22 assorted chocolates made on-site, and 12 different chocolate bars. The coffee bar serves moaninducing hot chocolate. And—here’s the sweet par—The Chocolate Therapist offers free samples. The shop employs 14 people during the holidays, including Valentine’s Day, a red-letter day long associated with chocolate. “You give people chocolate when you love them. And just plain old chocolate doesn’t impart true love, so you want to step up your game when it comes to chocolate,” Pech says. “Our chocolate is not just good for you, it tastes good, and the feel in the 46

Photo: Thomas Tallant



mouth is smooth and velvety. The fat coats the tongue, and that’s a beautiful thing,” she says. “Chocolate is associated with all kinds of love: your child or spouse, your friend or your lover. You give chocolate because it’s a gift with emotional and physiological factors at work—a perfect storm taken into a level of perfection.” Pech’s perfection includes rich and unusual chocolate tasting adventures staged in-store or on-site at parties or

events. The Chocolate Therapist curates assorted chocolates paired with white or red wine, beer or tea. “We’re encouraging people to give a Valentine experience rather than a gift,” says Pech. “It’s a unique experience.” Furthermore, The Chocolate Therapist can contribute to your loved one’s well-being. “Nobody else cares about the nutritional profile of chocolate the way we do,” says Pech, who eats her own chocolate every day. She’s the picture

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Photo: Thomas Tallant


YUM! LEFT: The Dark Chocolate Cherries perfect for Valentines TOP: This box of chocolates satisfies all kinds of sweet cravings ABOVE: Julie Pech

of health. She’s slender. Her hair is long, thick and lustrous. “People always ask me if chocolate helps hair,” she says. Chocolate benefits many conditions. And to prove as much, she authored a


book titled “The Chocolate Therapist.” It includes chocolate remedies for illnesses, along with chocolate-based recipes. The health benefits lie in eating dark chocolate with a cocoa content of 70 percent or higher. “The flavonoids are in the dark, but people mismanage the message,” Pech says. “It’s not dark Kit Kats or dark M&M’s or a dark chocolate Snickers bar. That’s like drinking a glass of vodka with a drop of pomegranate juice. It’s all relative to what you’re adding.” In the case of milk chocolate, adding dairy and sugar mitigates health benefits. The Chocolate Therapist uses no dyes, no preservatives, no soy. The chocolate is all natural. Even the toffee and caramels are made with tapioca syrup rather than corn syrup. “It’s not just tasting amazing, but it has a better nutritional profile,” Pech says. “We’re going for customers typing in ‘soy-free chocolate,’ or ‘glutenfree, all-natural chocolate.’ This is a treat that is also good for them.” The Chocolate Therapist creates interesting flavors such as plum, chai and sangria. But unlike many chocolatiers,

Introductory Packages Available

Located at Village Center Station

6380 S. Fiddler’s Green Cir. Suite 108C Greenwood Village, CO 80111 303.779.0164 FEBRUARY/MARCH 2018 COLORADO EXPRESSION



The Chocolate Therapist 2560 W. Main St., Littleton 303-759-7913


Photo: Maryann Sperry

The Chocolate Therapist uses only coconut oil and organic flavoring oils. “You’ll never see that orange, sugary filling here, and it’s way more expensive to fill with chocolate instead of that other crap,” says Pech. “Our tagline is ‘like no other chocolate.’ I always say to take your favorite chocolate and compare it, and tell me which one you like better. I’m 100 percent certain you’ll choose this chocolate. It’s just that good.” The Chocolate Therapist opened on October 1, 2008. And the going wasn’t always sweet. “It was really hard at the beginning,” Pech says. “We did fairly well during holidays, but struggled. I literally lived here from the beginning of the day to the end of the night every day. I was crying myself to sleep at night in the beginning.” The Chocolate Therapist now maintains a busy website. In addition to the small shop, Pech’s chocolate is sold by 60 different retailers including hospitals, health clubs, massage therapists, even psychiatrists. Pech credits her upturn to a couple of factors. Adding coffee brought people into the store. “They sample something and have to have it,” Pech says. Also, Pech leveled up as an authority on chocolate. “My book is published by Wiley Publishing, so it’s heavily researched. I was eating chocolate every day as part of the experiment,” she says. “Then I started to speak about chocolate. From there I started traveling on cruise ships, giving a series of lectures on chocolate and wine, chocolate and tea. Then I added corporate events

Photo: Thomas Tallant

The Chocolate Therapist hosts tasting parties in-store and off-site for birthdays, bachelorettes and other chocolate-lovers. They also create wedding favors or corporate gifts with custom wrapping and labels.


and teaching. Then I started my own brand of chocolate, made right here.” Pech takes her chocolate seriously, but maintains a sense of humor. “We like to keep it fun and light with names and concepts,” Pech says. “We have Berried in Chocolate with blueberries and cranberries; and Super Hero with dark chocolate, almonds and cherries; and The Private Stash, which is a bit of chocolate for the purse.” Maybe it’s all the chocolate that gives Pech an overall sweet disposition. She holds a degree in psychology and has a heart for humanity, so she regularly donates chocolates and also founded Chocolate for Charity to assist fund-raising. “My church sold thousands of chocolates, and we’re building wells in

CHOCOLATE IS THE BEST THERAPY ABOVE: Chocolate and the perfect beer pairing LEFT: The Chocolate Therapist storefront in Littleton

Nicaragua. We’re helping disabled people who’ve suffered a tragedy, and we’re helping lots of causes. It’s winwin,” Pech says. “This is a combination of passions: my love of chocolate and my interest in nutrition. It’s something from the heart, driven by passion to connect with people, to have purpose. My mission statement is to touch as many lives as possible in a positive way.” Colleen Smith, the author of Glass Halo and Laid-Back Skier, is a longtime contributor to the magazine, The Denver Post and many publications. She consumes more dark chocolate than the average American and always suspected chocolate had medicinal properties.


Kate’s Wine Bar: A Vintage Find Kate’s, in Historic Downtown Littleton, has always been a family affair


JAYNE BARTH AND HER DAUGHTER Vanessa Menke opened Kate’s Wine Bar in June of 2008 and named it after their mother and grandmother, Kate. The mother and daughter team sold Kate’s to Lauren Marcove nearly four years ago when they opened Jake’s Brew Bar a half a block away. Marcove, the current proprietor, planned to open a coffee shop, but once she met and fell in love with the customers at Kate’s, she knew she couldn’t change a thing. “If I did, I would have been driven out of Littleton,” laughs Marcove. Known as the “Cheers” of wine bars, Kate’s is a charming neighborhood spot off Main Street in the heart of Historic Downtown Littleton. Just eleven miles south of downtown Denver, the fourblock stretch of the booming historic district retains its quaint, small town feel. The streets are lined with turn-ofthe-century buildings and historic landmarks that house art galleries, antique shops, restaurants, a specialty chocolate shop, yoga studio, bookstore, spice shop, wine merchant, pottery studio and tea parlor, among others, and most are independently owned. Kate’s Wine Bar, which echoes the character and charm of the area, has a European flair. In fact, one patron, new to Kate’s, said it reminded her of 50


Photo: Sergio Alves Santo For Unsplash


her favorite wine bar in Paris, in the Marais. “I just love the friendly welcome and cozy atmosphere. Lounging here evokes memories of wonderful evenings with my husband at La Belle Hortense, our beloved Paris haunt.” The black and white awning with the name of Kate’s Wine Bar invites patrons into the space that used to house a bank. The original door to the vault in the basement still hangs from the wall. The furniture is eclectic—a pair of oversized chairs face each other near the entrance next to a tabletop made from old wine corks. The exposed brick walls, Tuscan yellow paint and dark wood give the place a homey, cozy feel. “It’s especially inviting in the winter months, when it’s cold out,” says Marcove. “We wanted to create an atmosphere where people could come and catch up with friends and stay awhile.”

COME RIGHT IN Kate’s proprietor Lauren Marcove greets each person who walks in the door

Around Town

Check out some other unexpected finds Marcove personally greets customers as they walk through the door and escorts them out when they leave. Many of Kate’s customers are devoted “regulars,” although Marcove is reluctant to call them that. “They’re more like family,” she says. Honoring the wine bar’s namesake was also important to Marcove—a large black and white photograph of Kate and her husband Jake still hangs above the mantel. Kate’s is a wine bar for wine lovers and the draw is quality wine for reasonable prices. The beverage menu boasts 60 different bottles of wine from around the world. The weekday happy hour runs from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and includes $5 glasses “that are equally as good as the wine on the menu,” says Marcove. “That’s important because that’s your introduction to Kate’s.” Kate’s also serves flights, which are expertly selected by Dano Householder, the bar manager and former wine distributor. One evening, Householder featured three wines for the white flight: a Ronchi di Pietro Pinot Grigio from Friuli, Italy, the Groom Sauvignon Blanc from Adelaide Hills, Australia and an Albert Bichot Macon Villages from Burgundy, France. “I always try to add wines you might never have heard of before, never tried,” says Householder. “I love to showcase different grapes and different styles. That’s part of the fun of flights.” The red flight of the evening featured the Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau, the first wine of the harvest which is always released the Thursday before Thanksgiving. “This flight has three wonderful representations of the gamay varietal; ranging from lovely light fruit to a more robust style,” says Householder. Besides the wines offered and a selection of beer and specialty drinks, there are seven appetizers on the menu, ranging in price from $4 to $15. They include dips—artichoke and jalapeno, spinach and artichoke, and hummus—as well as a traditional cheese and cracker platter and charcuterie. The signature dish is the baked Brie. The creamy cheese is


6885 S. Santa Fe Dr., Littleton | 720-532-1389 The brainchild of Craig Jones, Eric Hyatt and chef Gabriel Aragon, Angelo’s Taverna and Carboy Winery bring handmade pastas and pizzas and signature oysters together with wine from a full scale urban winery in a 10,000-square foot facility.


5649 S. Curtice St., Littleton | 303-794-6054 Located in downtown Littleton’s historic Louthan House, Café Terracotta offers casual American fare by day and more upscale and eclectic food by night and, according to Zagat, is known for serving “some of the best eggs Benedict in town.”


7519 Grandview Ave., Arvada | 303-351-7938 Inspired by Adrian Klein, who received the first beer license of Arvada in 1933, Kline’s Beer Hall is an independently owned establishment focused on the proper service of craft beer paired with house-made sausages.


1400 E. Hampden Ave., Cherry Hills Village | 303-761-9917 Pino’s Place is a locally-owned neighborhood spot in Cherry Hills Village offering traditional Italian cooking inspired by Chef Pino’s memories of growing up in Italy, from the spicy sopprassatta of Calabria to the porcini of Toscano and the pesto of Liguria.

topped with pecans, craisins and brown sugar and baked in aged Port. Desserts include a warm chocolate brownie topped with whipped cream and caramel sauce and mousse and berries, both $6. On a Sunday afternoon in late November, Householder found a 2004 Groom Sauvignon Blanc in his cellar

5761 S. Nevada St., Littleton 303-999-2895

and brought it in to share with the employees as they decorated the wine bar for the upcoming holiday season. They sipped on the vintage wine as they placed Christmas trees in each of the bay windows, garlands on the walls and mistletoe up the columns. They added flickering lights around the mantel and Christmas stockings Marcove had made especially for the staff. “They’re not just employees, they’re like my kids,” Marcove explains as she walks to the mantel to show off the embroidered stockings. “And they call me ‘Bar Mama.’”

Monday – Thursday, 4 p.m. - 11 p.m. Friday/Saturday, 4 p.m. - midnight HAPPY HOUR Monday – Friday, 4 p.m. - 6 p.m.

Rachel Engleberg, writer, television journalist and mother of three, enjoys a glass of wine from time to time.

Kate’s Wine Bar




Summit to the

A weekend celebration of new plays at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts

Storytelling is as old as time itself. Entertaining with elaborate, rich stories is a worldwide tradition. Storytellers spin yarns peppered with intriguing characters, personal dilemmas and a few humorous quips thrown in for good measure. Throughout history, countless unique voices have told their stories on the stage, on the screen and through print. Writing in response to personal, political and cultural forces, playwrights weave universal stories of comedy and tragedy. These stage stories push into the fabric of society, building upon classic and contemporary work. BY JAMIE MCAFEE

Colorado New Play Summit Launch Weekend: Feb. 17-18 Festival Weekend: Feb. 23-25

Denver Center for the Performing Arts 1400 Curtis St., Denver 303-893-4100 52



N ITS 13TH YEAR, THE COLORADO New Play Summit will add four new stories to the mix. Theater professionals from all over the country will descend on the Denver Center for the Performing Arts to watch the drama unfold on stage. For the very first time, playwrights will see their words jumping off the page and onto the stage. Actors and actresses move through scripts, passionately reading lines as characters begin to develop, grow and evolve. Industry leaders keep a keen eye out for the next big thing. Fully produced world premieres will debut on Festival weekend, champagne will be popped and the Denver stage will come alive with artistry. A premiere showcase and celebration of new plays, this two-week festival is a perfect Denver date night awash with endless possibilities. Launch Weekend is for the barebones first readings in a laid-back, casual setting. Bringing playwrights and audiences together for the first time, Launch Weekend gives everyone a first look at staged readings. “The playwrights are writing plays on paper but they aren’t real to them until they can hear them in the air and see an audience reacting to them,” explained Doug Langworthy, resident dramaturge and director of new play development. “With the first week, they get five days of rehearsal then it goes up in front of an audience and it’s midway through the process. They get to see and gauge the audiences’ reaction. Very often at the end of that first week, they come up with some real insight into what they need to work on for the following week.” The Summit’s platform allows playwrights to work out kinks, revise storylines and rehearse for another week before presenting a polished version of their play on Festival Weekend. With a focus on language and storytelling, the Colorado New Play Summit is a true artistic immersion that creates connections from the stage to theatergoers. It is a forgiving, embracing space in which playwrights are coached, mentored and guided along as they work out their voice. These modern playwrights bring a novel perspective to seasoned and curious patrons alike. By fostering the writing process, the Summit launches many contemporary playwrights into the spotlight. Their artistic journey culminates on Festival Weekend as an explosion of visionary players present their fully workshopped plays. The Colorado New Play Summit Festival Weekend is chock-full of opportunities to connect and experience the latest version of the plays for industry professionals and students, as well as serious and casual lovers of theater. After their staged readings in Denver, many Summit artists often make the leap to full production at other major national theaters.



New play development

As artistic overseer of the Summit, Langworthy has his finger on the pulse of new play development. “Most plays are connected to what’s going on in the culture right now whether it’s politically or socially. I would say almost every playwright is writing in a way that is really going to connect to where we are living right now.” Attending Festival weekend, theatergoers are bound to hear thought-provoking dialogue and stage stories that drive further conversations long after the curtain has fallen. “Because we are so tied up in our devices, I think there is something really special about going into a theater and seeing some production of a play that you don’t know anything about. It really is going to try to talk about something that is important to you,” Langworthy explained. After attending daytime readings, patrons can come that evening to see two fully staged world premiere productions that emerged from the previous year’s summit. All in all, audiences will experience at least six new plays, either in full production or in a reading format. The 2018 Festival Weekend will feature evening showings of The Great Leap by Lauren Yee and American Mariachi from Jose Cruz Gonzalez. Lauren Yee’s play explores the intricacies of culture and international diplomacy through the conduit of basketball. The Great Leap follows an American college basketball team that travels to Beijing for an exhibition game in 1989. The drama on the court goes deeper than the strain between their countries. Cultures clash and tensions rise right up to the final buzzer. “My plays tend to be comedies, until they are not. This is a basketball play but it’s also a play about diplomacy and relating to different people in different countries,” Yee said. Most, if not all, plays presented at the New Play Summit reflect the world we live in. “I think this play is very

NEW DISCOVERIES LEFT: The company of Theresa Receck’s The Nest BELOW: Valeka Holt, Jasmine Hughes, Brynn Tucker and Olivia Sullivent in the reading of Last Night and the Night Before by Donetta Lavinia Grays

honored. “There are so many different voices you hear when you come to the Summit: African-American, Latino, LGBT. There are so many people writing for the theater,” Langworthy said.

Young, local playwrights

relevant now because it explores the idea of the power of a body in space. What one person can do and how one person can make a difference.” Jose Cruz Gonzalez, playwright of American Mariachi said he is delighted to workshop with the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. “This is the best opportunity to hear your play with great artists, in a great location and a great environment. This is a place where audiences really come to experience something new.” Gonzalez’s play is a story of women in the 1970’s who come to discover mariachi and adopt it in a time when that’s not allowed. It is a humorous, heartwarming story about music’s power to heal and connect that includes gorgeous live mariachi music. Amplifying diverse cultures, perspectives and voices is a highlight of the New Play Summit. “I was just reflecting on this. To see two Latino directors that are directing nonLatino plays. Wow! That’s huge,” Gonzalez explained. “And nothing is being said. It’s not a big deal.” The New Play Summit is a place where all are welcome and their stories are

The New Play Summit also features aspiring Colorado playwrights who have submitted their plays to the High School Playwriting Competition. Out of ten semi-finalists from all over the state, three plays are picked to go through the same workshop experience as the professionals. Three high school students are assigned a playwright mentor and go into rehearsals with a professional cast. Two different readings are presented on Festival weekend. In its fifth year, the program not only inspires the next generation of writers but also theater professionals who thoroughly enjoy seeing the passion and excitement of these teenagers. “It celebrates playwriting in general but this program really celebrates authentic voice,” said Allison Watrous, director of education at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. “What story do you want to tell? The students are asking really universal questions about art, about the challenges they are facing and challenges that we are facing as a culture. There is just incredible work out of this program.” The students’ plays are published and sent out to their schools and families so their work lives on in print. In addition, one play is chosen to be part of the summer program and is paired with a team company of actors to put up a full production in the Conservatory Theatre. On the cusp of possible playwright greatness, this journey is a wonderful experience for a Colorado teen. As one of the largest not-for-profit theater organizations in the nation, the Denver Center for the Performing Arts sees itself as essential to theater’s future. Just as music and film festivals across our state present original storytellers, the New Play Summit Festival is an incredible incubator. The DCPA has nurtured and cultivated numerous plays that continue to be produced in theaters across the country. The theater industry now looks to the Denver Center as a nationally renowned place where remarkable new work emerges as playwrights ascend to the top of the Summit. Jamie McAfee is a frequent contributor to the New West family of magazines and other local publications. She learned a lot about theater lingo and dramaturges during her research on the New Play Summit. Jamie lives in Englewood with her husband and infant daughter.



BiG EXPERIENCES in small packages There is no shortage of entertainment options in Colorado, housed in big-name and grandiose spaces. However, these smaller theaters make a big noise and offer a big bang for your buck.

WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME THAT YOU SAW A SHOW? I’m not talking about the tragedies, dramas and farces that are shown on the evening news, or the latest blockbuster at the cinema. I’m talking about a real, live theater production with costumes, sets and actors, all performed without digital enhancement or fourth takes. Colorado is packed with venues, from world-renowned amphitheaters to state-of-the-art performance halls. And, though the big names may get a lot of attention, some of Colorado’s best venues are on the petite side. • Whether your taste runs to the original and avant-garde or you like nothing better than to see a new interpretation of a classic, there’s a theater to suit your fancy. From gems in the heart of Denver to destination venues in the mountains, here are smaller theaters whose size is inversely proportional to their entertainment.

SIT BACK AND ENJOY THE SHOW CLOCKWISE FROM UPPER LEFT: Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College, Newman Center for the Performing Arts, PACE Center in Parker and Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities

Photos clockwise from upper left: Phillip Spears; Michael Furman; John Ott; Matt Gale Photography


…And a taste of traditional

An eye on innovation… There’s no shortage of theatrical creativity in Denver. At Buntport Theater Company in the Santa Fe Arts District, all performances are created by the players, collaboratively, and often incorporate audience suggestions for their original material and wacky takes on classics. Go for an evening of laughs. For cutting-edge performances that challenge audiences and ignite conversations, explore the offerings at Curious Theatre Company, which often features work by female playwrights, playwrights of color and playwrights from the LGBTQ community. At University of Denver’s Newman Center for Performing Arts, groundbreaking performances are presented through dance, music and even puppets. And in Boulder, The Catamounts create “theatre for the adventurous palate,” presenting regional premiers as well as the original FEED series, which combines the best things in life: cuisine, libations and live performances.


UPPER LEFT: Buntport Theater Company, John Hand Theater, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College, Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities

Speaking of the best things in life, traditional dinner theater is not dead. For a quintessential “dinner and a show” evening, check out BDT Stage (which was formerly Boulder Dinner Theater) in Boulder and the Candlelight Dinner Playhouse in Johnstown. Both boast an impressive schedule of well-known shows (mostly musicals) and though it’s okay for your feet to be tapping throughout the performance, leave the singing to the wait staff who literally perform double duty as performers.

Community gems Some of the best small theaters are discovered in the heart of a community, like the Evergreen Players. Celebrating their 61st season, the cast of the Evergreen Players includes both professionals and amateurs with a diverse season including musicals, drama and even improvisation. On Main Street in Historic Downtown Littleton, the Town Hall Arts Center packs a big experience punch, producing musicals and comedies in addition to hosting musical performances. For a gem with history, head to the John Hand Theater. Located inside the historic Lowry Air Force Base Fire Station (performances take place where firetrucks once resided), the theater is home to both Firehouse Theater Company and Spotlight Theatre Company. On the larger side, Parker and Arvada are holding their own when it comes to spectacular venues. The PACE Center located in Parker has 536 seats in the Mainstage theater in addition to an art gallery, dance studio and outdoor musical playground. The Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities has grown in its more than 40-year tenure to become one of the nation’s largest multidisciplinary arts centers, devoted to all aspects of the arts including theater, music and dance. In Colorado Springs, the 400-seat SaGaJi Theatre hosts the Fine Arts Center Theatre Company in addition to concerts, film festivals, dance performances and other entertainment.

Photos clockwise from upper right: Edward Berry; Jeff Kearney, TDC Photography; Matt Gale Photography


121 S. Ridge St., Breckenridge 970-453-0199 Crested Butte Mountain Theatre

403 2nd St., Crested Butte 970-349-0366


Arvada Center for the Arts

6901 Wadsworth Blvd., Arvada 720-898-7200

Buntport Theater Company

717 Lipan St., Denver 720-946-1388

Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College

Catamounts–Theatre for the Adventurous Palate

30 W. Dale St., Colorado Springs 719-634-5581 Evergreen Players

27608 Fireweed Dr., Evergreen 303-674-4934 John Hand Theater

Silverthorne Performing Arts Center

460 Blue River Pkwy., Silverthorne 970-513-9386 Theatre Aspen

110 E. Hallam St., #126, Aspen 970-925-9313 Vilar Performing Arts Center


68 Avondale Ln., Beaver Creek 970-845-8497

7653 E. 1st Pl., Denver 303-562-3232 PACE Center

20000 Pikes Peak Ave., Parker 303-805-6800 Town Hall Arts Center

2450 W. Main St., Littleton 303-794-2787

Photo: Tripp Fay

Theaters with a view If you think that ski towns only focus on snow, the number of creative venues in the mountains may surprise you. Though they require a bit more effort to attend, these theaters more than make up for it with charm and views, to say the least. Take, for example, the Crested Butte Mountain Theatre, which has been entertaining audiences since the summer of 1972. Professionals and locals alike have graced the stage in productions that range from cabaret shows to holiday classics. Breckenridge Backstage Theatre, located in a recently renovated historic building in the heart of town, was founded in 1974 and is the longest-serving nonprofit organization in Summit County. Its year-round programming includes musicals, comedy and performances for and by children. In Eagle County, the Vilar Performing Arts Center is the place for performance, hosting approximately 150 events each year ranging from comedy and film to jazz and rock‘’n’ roll. For the newest venue in Summit County, check out the Silverthorne Performing Arts Center in Silverthorne, which is the home of the Lake Dillon Theatre Company and has not one but three performing arts spaces. And be sure to mark your calendars for the 2018 season at Theatre Aspen, which only

*no set location—performances take place at various venues Boulder 720-468-0487 Curious Theatre

1080 Acoma St., Denver 303-623-0524 Newman Center for Performing Arts

2344 E. Iliff Ave., Denver 303-871-7720


5501 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder 303-449-6000 Candlelight Dinner Playhouse

4747 Marketplace Dr., Johnstown 970-744-3747

presents performances during the summer due to its spectacular outdoor location next to the river in the heart of Rio Grande Park. From brand-new construction to theaters that have been regaling audiences for decades, from avant-garde to comfortingly classic, there are enough small theaters that IN THE SPOTLIGHT LEFT: Silverthorne Performing Arts Center. BELOW: Vilar Performing Arts Center

deliver big performances to have your calendar booked for months in advance. So, take a page from Shakespeare and infuse your world with a bit more stage. Katie Coakley is a freelance writer based in Denver covering travel, beer and outdoor adventure. She prefers comedy over tragedy and misses the days when she tread the boards.




Television hosts Chris Parente and Kathie J have serious fun commenting on entertainment and the news

Behindthe scenesat

EVERYDAY SOME OF MY FAVORITE TIMES IN LIFE were orphan Thanksgivings where all our friends whose family was out of town would sit, talk, eat, drink and laugh. We knew each other really well, and loved each other very much, and so everything we did those autumn afternoons was fun, honest and full throttle. After spending a morning with the cast and crew of the “Everyday” show with Chris Parente and Kathie J, I walked out of the Fox 31 studio with that same smile I wore for so many Thanksgivings. There was no food, these were not old friends, but I was full. Full in the best way possible. Full of “Everyday” magic.


EVERYDAY Co-hosts Chris Parente and Kathie J pointing the way




When I arrived, Producer Mary Latsis greeted me and brought me up to the “Everyday” office. I have to tell you, Toto and I weren’t in Kansas any longer. The space was controlled chaos. Technology spilled over onto costumes, desktops spilled over onto promotional merchandise, and talent spilled over onto crew. Producer Annalisa Blanco was busy at the computer and executive producer and former hard newsman Chris Falin popped in and out, often defending his receding hairline from relentless good-natured attacks.


Chris Parente, the recipient of seven Emmys, came in next, and as in Spinal Tap, the energy in the room went to 11. Kathie J (also an Emmy winner), arrived breathlessly from her commute from the radio show on KS 107.5 to KDVR and before I knew it, we were singing Christmas songs. And magically the room changed from the movie Twister to the musical Newsies with a Cabaret twist. Items such as full-body scarves and Sit and Spins were debated.

Jokes flowed, makeup was applied, and the news of the day was discussed at a frenetic speed and with glee. All of the discussions were seemingly set to some unheard Broadway musical soundtrack. There was always singing. The “Everyday” show is also committed to and takes full advantage of social media. In pre-production, Chris and Kathie J do a live Facebook feed literally up to the beginning of broadcasting the live show. During the show, the hosts are reading Twitter comments and responding during breaks and even during the show. The use of social media is critical to the rapport the hosts create with the loyal viewers. They, quite literally, are a part of the morning conversation. Everyone on set and beyond was serious about their fun. But what makes the show work, really thrive, is the serious chemistry. A producer sings, a host writes, a director tells jokes. As noted by Lastis, “No job is too small or too big for anyone. I just fluffed the couch.” Everyone at “Everyday” does Everything, On this team, everyone plays every position. As a result, the respect everyone has for one another is evident. And they have a blast doing it. And it’s contagious. Please pass another turkey leg.

The show

The “Everyday” show is produced in the Fox 31 building on Speer Boulevard in Denver, but also goes on the road. In fact, the most memorable show for Parente was filmed in Disneyland for its 60th anniversary. “I remember we got to broadcast an entire hour on those vintage cameras. I look a lot better in black and white and a little out-of-focus,” Parente mused. Falin and Kathie J remember the show that they did from Iceland to celebrate the opening of Icelandic Air flights from Denver. According to Parente, “the only limitation is our imagination and our budget.” Producing the number one morning show in its slot is also a serious business. The hour the show is live is fabulously

frantic, surprisingly full of content and slickly produced. The set is lively and ultimately the “Everyday” show hinges on the chemistry between Parente and Kathie J. Think of Laurel and Hardy if Laurel was a brash woman and Hardy was a gay, Broadway-caliber man. I watched, I felt a part of the scene, and most of all, I had fun. And I’m a divorced trial lawyer. I walked back to the control room and the vibe was incredibly different. Blanco had two crew members and eleven TV monitors. The control room was all business. The “Everyday” show is actually a mullet. All business in the front and an epic party in the back. Bad analogy aside, the control room hummed as smoothly and professionally as the best

GETTING IT ON AIR LEFT: Control room at the show is


The universal goal of the cast and crew of the “Everyday” show is to take it national. In some ways, it already is. They work hard to get exclusives with Hollywood actors. For the show that I attended, it was the new Star Wars cast. This kind of content is unavailable to other local entertainment shows. Parente will leave Denver late Friday to do interviews on the coasts over the weekend, and every person on the show helps in front of the camera when necessary, and produces their own fresh and relevant spots. Even with the national quality caliber of the production and on-air talent, the “Everyday” Show retains a classically Colorado feel. “Everyday” often spotlights the best of Colorado charities and entrepreneurs and goes on site to review

all business. BELOW: Live filming is a lively affair.

national morning shows, and without a fraction of the budget and staff and none of the misogyny. Importantly, the “Everyday” show is not afraid to tackle many of the touchier issues that fill our daily headlines. Kathie J can be bitingly funny about sex and gender. “I think it works because I am in control of my own jokes,” she says. “And it also comes from a place of love from us. We try to keep our show out-of-the-box and more like kitchen table talk.” Parente notes that “we advocate for the disenfranchised. I’m a gay man and we have dealt with issues such as racism and sizeism.” These can be serious issues, but always delivered in a funny way and with humility. After the show, the cast and crew of “Everyday” graciously gave me their time to talk about what they do. Actually, they talked to me about how much they loved doing what they do. And how much they cared about each other.

local restaurants and businesses. The “Everyday” show strives to be family. As he is describing the unique talent of Kathie J, Parente says, “we all laugh in the same language.” And they do. From poking fun at each other to bringing up the current hard issues of the moment, issues that might make you cringe when Uncle Festus brings them up while on his third helping of Grandma’s green beans, to being genuinely supportive of one another. When my day with the “Everyday” show was over, my belly hurt from laughing and was full. Just like my favorite Thanksgivings, I got to spend the morning with folks at the “Everyday” show who made me feel like I was with family. Scott S. Evans is graduate of Dartmouth College and the University of Virginia School of Law and is a father of two. Scott’s unique and twisted insights can be found on Twitter @ScottEvans2312.




Fashion Group Denver Celebrates a Milestone

Six decades of promoting professionalism and advancement in fashion By Suzanne S. Brown


IN 1958, AMERICAN FASHION WAS all about nipped waists and full skirts for women, while men were epitomized by Gregory Peck in The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit. The 1950s were prosperous years with the economy healthy and the baby boom underway. While many women were devoting themselves to hearth and home in the burgeoning suburban landscape, others were entering the workplace or expanding on roles they had started during World War II. In Denver in 1958, a group of women working in retail, education, journalism and design formed the Denver chapter of Fashion Group International. Gretchen Weber, fashion editor and illustrator for The Denver Post, got the original group together, just as Vogue editor Edna Woolman Chase had done a couple of decades earlier in starting FGI in New York. Weber and her cohorts shared several characteristics with their New York counterparts: they held important jobs in fashion, they respected each other and believed that their industry needed “a forum, a stage or a force to express and enhance a widening awareness of the American fashion business and of women’s

THE DETAILS FGI 60th Anniversary Exhibit During the month of February, the Art Institute of Colorado, 1200 Lincoln St., will feature a FGI Denver retrospective including vintage clothing and photos.



Denver’s chapter of Fashion Group International was formed in 1958 by founders Mrs. Ceil Bach, Mrs. Jane Smith, Miss Jill Ferris, Miss Ruth Hancock and Mrs. Roberta Reineman

roles in that business,” according to the FGI website. Sixty years later, the organization is international in scope with 5,000 male as well as female members representing people in fashion and related industries, such as interior design. Education is a key FGI mission, both in keeping members informed of industry trends and developments both local and global, and in supporting the next generation of fashion professionals with fundraising efforts concentrated on providing scholarships. The Denver chapter awards scholarships to students at Colorado State University, Art Institute of Colorado and Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design. Networking sessions, fashion shows featuring the work of rising stars and seminars on topics like sourcing and

manufacturing are among the events FGI regularly schedules. But the organization is more than a sum of its activities. To hear from its members, FGI is the connective tissue among the many and varied parts of the fashion world in Colorado. “I joined because I had started my clothing business and was looking for an organization where I could meet like-minded people and grow my network in the fashion industry,” said Stephanie Ohnmacht, the group’s 2017 regional director and a member since 2008. She juggles a couple of jobs, owning Stephanie O Designs as well as being director of telemetry at a telecommunications company. “I believe I’m like most in the Denver fashion industry where we are very focused on our own businesses and don’t always have a


FGI and Jim Howard at the Denver Art Museum The Denver Art Museum will present Drawn to Glamour: Fashion Illustrations by Jim Howard, showing the award-winning editorial work of fashion illustrator, Denver resident and FGI member Jim Howard from March 25 through July 22. On April 3, FGI will hold a cocktail reception with the artist, FGI members and guests.

Photo: Michael Albert

Details and ticket information 720-913-0130

In addition to fashion, the runway at the FGI 2013 Rising Stars event featured floral designs by Arthur Williams of Babylon Floral

reason to interact or work together. FGI provides a meeting place to have a community that understands what you are going through.” The fashion world can be competitive, but an organization like FGI brings people together on common turf, said Cynthia Petrus, who’s been a local member for 20-plus years. “I’ve always thought our organization has been the only neutral gathering place where competitors could meet in an informative way,” said Petrus, who has worked in a variety of industry roles locally, including for Nordstrom, a button company, her own styling business, and in recent years, as an adjunct professor in the fashion department at the Art Institute of Colorado. Before moving to Denver in the early 1990s, she was active as the regional director of FGI in Cleveland, and held the high-profile job of fashion director at Saks Fifth Avenue. With her husband’s transfer to Colorado, she had to give up those posts and figure out what to do next. “It was my entree into the industry in this town; I worked it every which way,” she said of her membership in the organization. “I made efforts to go to meetings and introduce

myself. FGI is a fantastic vehicle to meet people.” Because members come from all facets of the fashion industry, FGI is a great place to get in touch with what is happening locally, and it has made an effort to reach out to students and attract young members, according to Petrus. She cited Gabriel Medina among those members, and he agreed with Petrus on how people can benefit from FGI. “You only get out of something what you put into it,” said Medina, who owns Yocisco, a four-year-old men’s underwear and loungewear company that sells online and in stores nationally. “FGI has provided me with a lot of great contacts, and it has allowed my company to be featured in most major fashion shows in Denver. I’ve been able to create brand awareness,” added Medina, who will be director of FGI Denver next year. Another big plus for Medina was being able to use his FGI contacts to help his daughter find an internship. She is studying at the Art Institute of Colorado and plans to graduate next year after doing an internship with Nanette Lepore in New York City. Another transplant to Denver,

For more information about FGI, membership and the programs surrounding the 2018 FGI 60th Anniversary, contact Nathalia Faribault,; visit, or follow the Fashion Group International Denver Facebook page.

Nathalia Faribault, moved to Colorado in 2002 after selling a number of Great Clips franchises she owned in Minnesota. Like Petrus, she needed a new career path, and when attending a fashion show, sat next to a couple of FGI members who invited her to find out more about the organizations. “Bam! It was the beginning of a relationship with like-minded industry professionals,” she said. Faribault threw herself into the FGI organization, serving in a variety of board capacities, including co-chairing the group’s 60th anniversary activities. FGI members make contributions, Faribault says, “because of their passion to continue the awareness of this amazing industry in Denver and the talent here. The FGI foundation laid 60 years ago by the wise and hard-working women of Denver continues to build today.” Suzanne S. Brown spent several decades as a fashion journalist in Dallas and Denver, where she worked at The Rocky Mountain News and The Denver Post. She was regional director of FGI in 1998.



A little dance.

DENVER BALLET THEATRE, led by artistic director David Taylor, is one of Colorado’s finest pre-professional

Vaganova-based ballet programs, with outstanding Russian and Russian-trained faculty. In addition to a complete ballet curriculum for ages four through adult, DBT is the only pre-professional ballet training in the state that offers a complete character dance program. Students are offered many performance opportunities including the annual production of The Nutcracker presented at the Newman Center for the Performing Arts.

A little romance.

DANCERS ALLISON KEY AND CHRISTOPHER MITCHELL from the Denver Ballet Theatre Academy. Mitchell wears Uniqlo available at the store in the Denver Pavilions. Photography: Tommy Collier / Photo Assistant: Zena Ballas


Give Your Skin a Winter Refresher Quick fixes to restore a rosy glow By Michael Moore


COLORADO’S WINTER WEATHER can make the healthiest of skin look dry and dull. Our high altitude and cold temperatures take their toll. But there are a number of things you can do to stave off the effects of the harsh climate and put a fresh face on the season. Here are some ways to give your complexion a winter pick-me-up. Make these steps part of your regular beauty routine.


Exfoliate Your Skin

This is the quickest and most effective way to go from drab to fab. Remove dead skin daily for optimal skin health. I love Clarisonic cleansing brushes for this. If you do not have one, find an exfoliator made specifically for the face, and another for the body. When you are turning over the dead skin cells, you are making the body produce more collagen.

Eat your way to beautiful skin through healthy fruits, vegetables and fats


Keeping your eyebrows clean and sleek can give you an instant lift. Tweeze stray hairs. The brow should be filled in, but be careful of the painted-on “magic marker” look that is so big right now. A clean and natural brow is the way to go.

The Details Michael Moore is available by appointment. Visit



Photo: Martine DF /

Groom Your Brows



Go Light on the Foundation

You want your skin to look like perfect skin, not like you are wearing a mask. If foundation is caked on, skin will look dry. Try some of the great new BB crèmes on the market. I am fond of the Lira Clinical BB Cremes. Basically, it is an amped-up tinted moisture. When I use these on my clients, they get a beautifully hydrated look along with many other skincare benefits. If you do not have a BB crème handy, add a dab of moisturizer to your foundation. I don’t believe in adding too much finishing powder, as that will just add to the dry look.


Blush Your Way to a Beautiful You

Sweeping a soft layer of pink or peach on your cheeks will instantly add a boost. Think about the color you naturally blush, and use that. Go light, as a simple sweep of pink or peach gives the best pay off. Apply it to the apples of the cheek, and make sure you blend it downward on the face.


Highlight Your Cheekbones

A little dash of shimmer will make all the difference. I like to use a lightweight illuminating liquid on the cheekbone, as well as add it to the nose, chin and above the brows. I use a shimmering powder for an oilier complexion. This look will instantly make you look refreshed even when you did not get the proper amount of sleep the night before.


Soften the Lips

Give lips a healthy look by adding a layer of light pink or nude lip gloss. Stay away from trendy matte colors, especially if your lips are dry or chapped. All lip glosses are not created equal. I suggest you find one

An important part of any beauty routine is regularly cleaning your makeup brushes

that has true moisturizing benefits. I prefer a mineral-based gloss that will give you a bit of additional sun protection as well.


Think Before You Eat

Do your eyes look dull or tired? I have a few ideas for brightening the white. Think about what goes into your body. My mother always told me you are what you eat, so look for specific food to brighten the eyes. I suggest carrots, avocados, kale, eggs and sunflower seeds to start.


Get Your Zzzzs and Stay Hydrated

Finally, there’s nothing like a good night’s sleep to help you look and feel your best. You should drink at least 1/2 ounce a water per pound of your body weight, so if you weigh 120 pounds, try to drink 60 ounces of water. Michael Moore is a Denver-based beauty and wellness expert dedicated to helping women and men reveal their best selves through education and transformation. Visit




A Cinematic Reboot in the Vail Valley

Blue Starlite Cinema Social makes movie-going hip with a splash of nostalgia By Kim D. McHugh


AS A FIVE-YEAR-OLD GROWING UP in suburban Chicago, my interest in the cinema started with a Saturday matinee at the Glen Theater with my mom and middle brother to see Old Yeller, a 1957 Walt Disney classic. Up until that time my “cinematic” experience was limited to what I could watch on a black and white television. Minutes after the lights dimmed and the movie—shot in Technicolor—jumped onto the giant screen, I was mesmerized. That matinee sparked an unwavering love affair with movies. Josh Frank, owner of Blue Starlite Cinema Social and Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-In, is channeling enthusiasm like what I felt decades ago with his two cinema concepts operating in the Vail Valley. A self-

The Details Blue Starlite Cinema Social 1310 Westhaven Dr., Vail 970-445-4731 Download the Blue Starlite app at iTunes or Google Play

Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-in 801 Ed6, Minturn

Hotel Talisa 1300 Westhaven Dr., Vail 970-476-7111



The Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-in is a pop-up theater at Little Beach Park in Minturn

proclaimed entrepreneur, Frank, who spent four years in film school at SUNY Purchase Conservatory in New York, had the lightbulb go off after first seeing success showing movies on the side of a vintage trailer. “About eight years ago the food truck-trailer phenomenon became a thing in Austin, and so I had this idea to do a trailer that sold works from my artist friends and sold desserts,” said Frank. “I would show movies on the side of the trailer, and though I didn’t make much money selling either, people came to watch the movies.” The Austin, Texas native took his affinity for cinema to a new level when he set up shop in a building on the city’s east side and launched his initial indoor movie venue. That enterprise set off another lightbulb

when he and his then girlfriend— now wife—Jessica stumbled on the idea of re-creating the drive-in movie experience in an urban setting. “For our six-month dating anniversary, I set up a one car drive-in, painting a screen on the wall in the alley behind the building,” explained Frank. “I’d put little drive-in speakers I bought from eBay on the side of the car and as we were watching the movie, we agreed it was really cool, and people would probably pay to do it.” Between a network of friends and social media, word quickly spread of his urban drive-in movie nights. People started buying tickets, the schedule of movies grew and a business was born. Today cinemagoers are drawn to the Austin venue by events like the 4th Annual Harry Potter Drive-in Film Fest, as well as


childhood favorites, drive-in classics, indie films, art house, cult and Gen X/Y pop culture faves. Conde Nast Traveler named it “one of the world’s coolest outdoor movie theaters”. The thought of introducing similar cinematic concepts to Colorado occurred just over two years ago when Josh and Jessica were vacationing in Vail. Jessica’s parents, who own a second home in the Vail Valley, had taken family vacations here for years. On a quest to find a location for the “pop-up” drive-in, Frank visited area towns. “My friend, Jake Wolf, who is on the Avon Town Council, drove me into Minturn and took me to Little Beach Park,” Frank commented. “It was this beautiful plateau surrounded by mountains in this big open space. I looked around and said ‘This is the place.’” Once he received the requisite permission from the town of Minturn, he got the word out that the “pop-up” drive-in was open for business. Looking forward to its third summer/fall of operation, the Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-In has already made a name for itself as the “world’s highest drive-in,” where up to 50 cars fill the lot on movie nights at Little Beach Park. Patrons, who watch movies on an inflatable, 32-foot screen with sound playing through an FM radio channel.

Making Cinema Social

Energized by the success of his outdoor venture Frank turned his attention to creating an indoor counterpart. After dinner one night at the then—Vail Cascade Hotel he, Jessica and her parents were walking past a nearby building. “Her father said, ‘I used to take my daughter to this movie theater all the time when she was little’,” explained Frank. “I replied ‘there was a movie theater in this building?’ I was fascinated and wanted to know what was going on with the space.” Learning that the theater had

been closed for ten years, he began researching the idea of having it as a year-round location. The space found new life when Frank received a call from Michael Hecht, owner of the defunct Cascade Village Theater. Hecht reached out to him to see if he would be interested in bringing a new movie entertainment adventure to Vail. Catalyzed by that conversation and his innovative programming ideas, Frank created Blue Starlite Cinema Social, a dining and movie watching experience. Partnered with Hotel Talisa, a 285-room luxury destination hotel that took over the Vail Cascade space, Blue Starlite Cinema Social is celebrating films with social events that include 1980’s dance parties and Frank Sinatra-era type supper club evenings. Working in concert with the hotel, the cinema offers patrons “movie room service” dining and access to hotel amenities. Curated by Hotel Talisa’s culinary team, the dining options include traditional fare such as hot dogs, popcorn and nachos, as well as sexier items like shrimp and olives, twice-cooked chicken wings and gourmet pizzas. Ticket holders also can dine at Gessner, the hotel’s restaurant and chill at its Fireside Lounge. With two theaters—one a larger theater containing 280 stadium seats and a stage, and a smaller 70-seat space well-suited to show indie, art house films and host private parties, Blue Starlite Cinema Social is filling a cinematic void in the valley. “We’ve brought a new approach to the cinema experience by offering guests a full evening of entertainment, good food and music and great films,” said Frank. Time to take your seat, let the lights dim and enjoy the show.

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Kim D. McHugh recalls seeing Planet of the Apes (1968), Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970) and Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972) as a triple feature, sneaking into the drive-in hiding in the trunk of his buddy’s car, a practice he doesn’t endorse today.




A Prima Ballerina Prepares to Take Her Final Bow

After two decades with the Colorado Ballet, Sharon Wehner continues to demonstrate the discipline, commitment and presence that has made her a star By Kimberly Field


Photo: Kendra Harris

BACKSTAGE IS ABUZZ AT THE Ellie Caulkins Opera House on the day before Thanksgiving. The Nutcracker opens on Saturday, and the full casts—yes, there are three—are rehearsing. The principals, soloists and the many young dancers from Colorado Ballet Academy are working, and waiting. The youngsters playing revelers in the party scene are trying to be nonchalant, masking their excitement while sneaking peeks at the Colorado Ballet stars in their midst. “The stage is much smaller when you’re dancing than it looks from the audience,” one in-theknow girl informs me. Sharon Wehner bounds out of her dressing room, wearing a broad smile and extending her hand in a firm handshake. With her slight frame and youthful countenance, she could be a member of the corps de ballet, or even an academy student rather than a


Colorado Ballet’s prima ballerina Sharon Wehner

Colorado Ballet

principal dancer. Only, she isn’t wearing every ballet accessory imaginable like the little girls milling about.

Armstrong Center for Dance 1075 Santa Fe Dr., Denver 303-837-8888 Upcoming Productions Attitude on Santa Fe, Feb. 2-3, Colorado Ballet Black Box Theater Romeo and Juliet, Feb. 16-25 Ballet Director’s Choice, March 30 through April 1 Tickets:



Signature Artistry and Tone

After 22 years with Colorado Ballet, most of those as a principal dancer, Wehner is poised for retirement at the end of the 2017-2018 season. It’s a big deal in the dance world when a principal retires, all the more so one of such long tenure.

“Sharon chose this place to spend her career. She’s small in stature, but she carries herself as a much larger presence. She works hard at developing a character, and she approaches her work with a diligence that others can look up to,” says Gil Boggs, artistic director. “I tell young dancers to watch Sharon and how she approaches each day. There’s a great deal to be learned from her presence.” “A principal dancer sets the tone for the company. All of the dancers

Principal dancers Sharon Wehner and Yosvani Ramos during a rehearsal

members of the corps de ballet, work on piques and plies just as the youngest members of Colorado Ballet Academy classes do. There are no shortcuts when it comes to

honing one’s craft. “Class is where you assess, where you say I need a little more of this, or less of that. It’s about conditioning, like an athlete needs conditioning,” Wehner explains. Younger members of the company are at the barre alongside the principals, watching Wehner. “Yeah, I kind of wish they weren’t,” she laughs. “Class is not a performance for me. For me, it’s a very personal experience, especially if I’m working through an injury. Then, I have to be especially mindful of what my body needs that day. Maybe my leg doesn’t go as high that day, but I’m working correctly and with integrity for where my body is at.” For all her poise and elegance, Wehner is as tough as any athlete. “I broke my foot onstage once. I was powering through something I had been dealing with for months. Probably shouldn’t have.” Despite hearing her bone snap, Wehner kept

Photo: Allen Birnbach

look to her for her work ethic and commitment,” says Aubrey Klinger Fearns, principal dancer and rehearsal director at Davis Contemporary Dance Company. She recalls taking classes with Wehner. “We’re all professional dancers, but when Sharon walks in, the seas part. Her technique is perfect and her presence is calm. She is a lesson in beauty and elegance.” Wehner acknowledges but underplays her role. “I’m just doing my thing. I just try to be the best me,” she says. “There is an awareness of how you are an example not only for the company dancers, but also for the children that are in the school and in performances like The Nutcracker. It’s not just how you show up on stage, but how you show up backstage. If I can be an example, it’s of how you can work through difficult things. It’s a balance.” Originally from San Jose, Calif., Wehner joined Colorado Ballet in 1995 and was promoted to principal dancer in 1999. During the last 22 years, she has performed many lead roles with the company. In addition to Colorado Ballet, Wehner has also performed with The Washington Ballet, Oakland Ballet and Amy Seiwert’s Imagery. She has been a guest artist at the Vail Dance Festival, the Aoyama Ballet Festival in Japan and the National Ballet of Japan’s Golden Ballet co-star. “It doesn’t seem all that long ago that I was 19, and a junior compa ny member making $300 a week. I didn’t have the experiences of my friends, I didn’t party. Dance was everything. You have to grow up quickly. When you join a professional company, in a way, every single day is an audition. You’re judged on the way you carry yourself and the way you handle correction.”

Photo: Kendra Harris


Minding Her Plies and Quatrième

Ballet class is part of a dancer’s life, no matter her position in the company. Soloists, principals and

Sharon Wehner and Yosvani Ramos in Colorado Ballet’s production of Romeo and Juliet, Feb. 16-25




dancing. “Sometimes, it’s easier to power through than to admit you’re human.”

Dancing the role of Juliet for the first time was a dream come true for Wehner. Now, she’s preparing to give life to the young heroine a final time in Colorado Ballet’s performance of Derek Deane’s 1998 take on Shakespeare’s classic tale. “This is my first time dancing Derek Deane’s Romeo and Juliet. It’s brand new to me. But, I know this character. I’ve embodied it a couple times in different productions. My body recognizes the music, and I have a sense for the timing. I have an understanding of Juliet.” Juliet is a complex character. “Deane doesn’t want a very young, innocent-minded Juliet. He wants to see her grow as a strong character, but she always comes across as a beautiful Juliet,” Boggs says. Deane’s Romeo and Juliet was written to be performed in the round, in London’s 5,000-seat Royal Albert Hall. “Deane adapted this work to a proscenium theatre like the Ellie,” Boggs says. “I love Deane’s choreography, the emotion, the swordplay. The way he uses Sergey Prokofiev’s music. I love the way the dancers move to it.” Wehner’s character is a teenage girl, discovering love and an awakening of her own desire. “It’s one of my favorite roles because I get to follow her arc of becoming a woman, falling in love, defying her family. It all happens so fast for Juliet, she doesn’t have time to think. It’s all about passion. When I first did this role, I had a more romantic view of love. Now I have more life experience. Juliet has no frame of reference. Her one truth is her love for Romeo.” Does Wehner ever wish you could share what you’ve learned with Juliet? “Never, I would not want to change her character! What she feels in the story—that’s real for her,” the ballerina says. “I don’t think she



Photo: Kendra Harris

A Love for the Role

Sharon Wehner at rehearsal for one of the many ballet classics in which she has performed

knows what love is in the beginning of her journey. For her, it’s ‘what is this? I haven’t felt this before.’ The way her character develops is part of what makes it so profound, and special to depict as an artist.”

Keeping Favorites Fresh

Sharon Wehner has performed in hundreds of ballet classics such as The Nutcracker. Is she ever tempted to phone it in? “No! For one thing, my roles are too technically challenging. And a dance career is too short to ever just phone it in. It’s just too short.” “Sharon has this conversation with the company every year,” Boggs says. “There is always that little girl who is seeing the Sugar Plum Fairy for the first time.” Wehner is characteristically modest about her career. “I feel very fortunate with my career, to have been able to do what I love with a company that I love for so long. So many little girls want to be ballerinas. I often teach the company’s audition class. I see 200 young men and women wanting a position where there might be one or two available.

I think about how so few make it.” Taking the power of dance from the stage and into the community is important to Wehner. She enjoys teaching dance to all ages and abilities, and is a certified Yoga Instructor and a certified Gyrokinesis trainer. She speaks passionately of her work with Dance for Parkinson’s Disease. “Dance can be very healing. It’s not about performance for these folks nor is it for me. It’s connecting on a soul level, with music, with movement, with themselves and their bodies, through dance. I am so lucky. I tell my body what to do, and for the most part, my body does it. Dance becomes very empowering for them.” Wehner’s departure leaves a hole, certainly, within Colorado Ballet. But as Wehner herself stresses, it opens opportunities for others. “We are never going to replace Sharon, and I don’t want to,” says Boggs. “We strive to develop young dancers, to bring young dancers along as the future stars of the company.” When it comes to all things ballet, frequent Colorado Expression contributor Kimberly Field is nine years old. If she had a tutu, she’d be wearing it right now.



Photos by Studio JK Photography

In our twenty years of event planning, we’ve met some amazing people. Now it’s your turn. Mingle with our favorite partners from the last two decades at our Seawell Ballroom open house. We’ve done the work for you, finding the perfect artisans to complete your vision in Denver’s most creative and innovative venue. Join us.

Photos by Studio JK Photography




A Dating App with a Difference Say Allo uses artificial intelligence to make better matches By Danielle Yuthas


VALENTINE’S DAY IS JUST LIKE that ex (yeah, that one). When it’s good, you’re happy, colors are vibrant and you find joy even in chalky, hard heart-shaped candy. And when it’s bad, you feel like you’re in the scene in the eponymous movie when Jennifer Garner destroys the piñata with a baseball bat. February 14 is the high-pressure holiday when Americans turn a critical eye to their love lives. It’s no surprise that an estimated 9 million people in the U.S. put a ring on it on Valentine’s Day last year, but what you won’t see on Instagram is millions breaking up on or near Valentine’s Day. Breakups peak on Red Tuesday, the Tuesday prior, and attorneys will notice the yearly spike in divorce filings the week of the 19th. The common denominator is failing to meet expectations. The Knot reported more than 50 percent of women confessed, “[she] would break up with a significant other if [she] does not receive a gift on Valentine’s Day,” which explains the $18.2 billion industry. The single population grows in March, the official end of “cuffing

THE DETAILS Say Allo: Intelligent Dating Discovery By Unpack’d Technologies, LLC 2001 W. 35th Ave., Denver 303-946-3457



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season,” the cold-weather period when people settle into relationships. Spring brings singles back on the scene and an increase in relationship seekers adds an influx of opportunity for dating app users. If you find yourself reeling from a rough holiday, have faith. The day will come when you put down the chocolates and wine and face the

world again. The only question is which dating app will get you there? Tinder is a sea of habitual swipers: it can be a lot of fun but you don’t know whether they’re just bored, looking for a relationship, something in between, or if they’re even real people. Bumble is a similar, female-initiated version, which some boast as empowering and others criticize as perpetuating a laissezfaire culture among single men. Say Allo is a Denver-founded dating app rooted in artificial intelligence that matches those looking for a true connection with long-term potential. It’s not a standard “hot-ornot” app. As founder Zackary Lewis says, “It cuts through the superficial landscape in the industry and will lead the ‘compatibility revolution’ to change the way people date.” “Say Allo is Tinder meets eHarmony with the brains of Amazon,” says Lewis. Say Allo follows the popular, gamified swipe format but adds 10 questions to filter out potential preliminary deal breakers including politics, religion and children. The differentiator is artificial intelligence, powered by facial-recognition technology and turbocharged with data from Facebook. The “brain” of the app measures data-driven compatibility scores for each potential match. As you swipe, the app collects data points to “learn” your preferences and gets “smarter” over time to match you with someone you are likely to like. It’s open to all demographics looking to meet quality matches. Say Allo caters to the 30s-50s subset who have been on and

off of a variety of apps and are ready for their “last first kiss.” The heavily-tested user experience offers features that aren’t available elsewhere. Say Allo encourages inapp video dates. This eliminates the opportunity for anyone to “catfish” or misrepresent themselves so you can discover if there is chemistry early on. Video dates are scheduled in advance through the app, just as you would invite someone to a business meeting. Say Allo was originally coined “Baggage” based on the reason cited for Lewis’ fresh breakup at the time. The idea was born on a vision-quest motorcycle ride in Vietnam. When Lewis, a self-proclaimed “serial entrepreneur by heart,” was newly single, he knew exactly what he wanted (and didn’t) in a dating app. His extensive background in tech, having recently emerged from the streaming space, brought his vision to fruition. He enlisted the right partners, then spent two and a half years researching and testing. Say Allo launched in Denver in March of 2017, expanded nationwide in October and is currently opening its borders internationally. Dating profiles are typically rife with handstands, funny faces, high

Photo: Gaudi Lab /


Schedule a video meetup to see if there’s a spark before the first date

angles, head tilts, side angles and sunglasses. Lewis hypothesizes it’s because users have a hard time objectively looking at themselves, particularly in photos. He recommends being genuine and showing your true self in the six available photo slots; context is important yet secondary. The app offers native tips on how

Zackary Lewis at 850 KOA radio station on an interview discussing Say Allo

your profile is performing, which is helpful for optimization. Adding a description to your profile alone, increases your chances of getting a match by 50 percent. Lewis says, Say Allo is “changing lives one swipe at a time” and receives success stories on a weekly basis from users who found love. Its mission is to retrain users to slow down for one second to treat each swipe as a lifelong decision because you never know when it just might be. If there’s a match out there as intuitive, committed responsive to your desires and as intelligent as Say Allo (sans the artificial component): marry him or her. Until then, don’t stress over V-Day and keep a piñata on hand in case of emergency. Danielle Yuthas is a Denver native, journalist and digital marketer for franchise brands. This is her first article for Colorado Expression; her byline has also appeared in the Huffington Post Travel Blog and local publications. She is passionate about artificial intelligence technology as well as swiping.




America on Parade The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History preserves and displays artifacts like George Washington’s uniform from 1789 and the ruby slippers that transported Dorothy from Oz back to Kansas. Click your heels three times and enjoy the show. By Marge D. Hansen


THE DETAILS National Museum of American History Constitution Ave. NW, between 12th and 14th Streets Washington, D.C. 202-633-1000 Free admission/No tickets required. Open 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily except Dec. 25. Draper Spark!Lab and Wegmans Wonderplace are open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily except Tuesdays. Special events and upcoming exhibits “America’s Listening” opens in fall 2018, along with the official opening of the music hall and the Ruby Slippers will return to public view. Additional exhibitions focused on culture and the arts will open in 2020.



Photo: Hugh Talman, The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History

THE ART AND ADVENTURE OF choosing a great getaway is often discovering a destination within a destination. One of the greatest rewards of travel is teasing out the most fascinating, unique, noteworthy and remarkable places on the planet. A more-than-exciting experience unfolds day-in and day-out at the National Museum of American History located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Part of the Smithsonian Institution community, the Museum offers an incomparable collection that informs and excites

Entrance to the “American Democracy: A Great Leap of Faith” exhibition

the many millions of guests who visit every year. The Museum’s Elizabeth MacMillan Director, John L. Gray, finds the impact of viewing the Star Spangled Banner, which inspired our national anthem, a particularly moving experience. “It is the actual flag that Francis Scott Key saw in 1814 flying over Fort McHenry in Baltimore Harbor,” he explains. “From democracy to religion to food, we weave the ideals and ideas of America into a story-based narrative on how and why we are all Americans. We bring history to life through a theater program that immerses visitors in the story of civil rights in front of the actual Woolworth’s lunch counter from Greensboro, N.C., that was at the center of the desegregation struggle. Our new Unity Square has

hands-on activities that invite audiences to explore our democracy and ask themselves, ‘What does it mean to be American?’”

Collection Highlights

National treasures on exhibit recall America’s historic past and include the desk at which Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence and the top hat Lincoln wore to Ford’s Theatre on the fateful night he was assassinated, as well as the cane chair Lee sat in and the leather-backed seat Grant occupied at Appomattox Court House when discussing the terms that brought an end to the Civil War. First Ladies gowns are also on view, as is the shawl worn by Susan B. Anthony to symbolize her crusade in support of a woman’s right to

Photo: Hugh Talman


vote. Thomas Edison’s carbonfilament light bulb from the first public demonstration of the electric incandescent lamp—and for photography buffs, the original Kodak camera from George Eastman, exemplify items that originally wowed Americans and quickly became part of practical living. Entertainment favorites include the Muppets, and a number of them are on view including Oscar the Grouch, the Swedish Chef and Prairie Dawn. Kermit himself will go on view March 22. Ben Franklin’s London Printing Press is one of the oldest pieces in the museum’s collection of three million objects, or as Gray calls them: “the real treasures and touchstones of our shared national history.”

Recently Added Gems

New gifts to the museum feature artifacts from major league baseball players, including Willie Mays, Hank

Photo: Hugh Talman

Director John Gray marking the opening of The Nation We Build Together wing with donor and artist Kenny Rogers

Director John Gray at a museum ceremony

Aaron and Ted Williams. “Sting donated his 1978 Fender Stratocaster guitar in September 2016 and we added our first object related to Eliza Hamilton, a portrait, in November 2016,” says Gray, who joined the museum in 2012 following a career in commercial banking in Denver and California, time at the Small Business Administration in

Washington, D.C., and his retirement from the Autry National Center of the American West, where he served as president and CEO. Gray grew up on Quincy Farm in Cherry Hills Village and worked at Larimer Square, Denver’s first historic district, earned his MBA at the University of Colorado and also holds a master’s degree in Eastern classics from Saint John’s College in Santa Fe, N.M.

Something For Everyone

The museum welcomes guests of all ages. Six and under visitors—and their adult escorts—are delighted by the fun-filled, 1,700-square-foot Wegmans Wonderplace. Fitted out with touchables to tickle the imagination and sound effects that surprise, the playful learning expedition invites little ones to engage. The Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation offers Draper Spark!Lab where kids ages 6-12 explore science,




technology, engineering and math along with art, museum and creativity themes. The three floors of what Gray calls “the reinvented West Wing,” comprise half of this astonishing structure. Gray says this recently completed space “explores the themes of innovation, democracy, capitalism, peopling of America, religion and culture through exhibitions all filled with national treasures, interactives and live programs that bring our history to life. There is a new Music Hall where our Chamber Orchestra performs, a full presentation kitchen for cooking programs and a stage for our fantastic Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, and in Unity Plaza, we feature our interactive Civic Discourse program.” The National Museum of American History is the perfect place to begin a visit to Washington, D.C. As the nation evolves, the National Museum of American History will continue to play an important role in preserving



Photo: Hugh Talman

Children and adults alike enjoy hands-on learning at Spark!Lab in the museum’s Innovation Wing

Accepting a donation from Sting and J. Ralph are: Amanda Moniz, David M. Rubenstein curator of philanthropy; Dr. David J. Skorton, Secretary of the Smithsonian; J. Ralph, composer; Sting, composer; John Troutman, curator of music; John Gray, Elizabeth MacMillan Director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History

our history, curating engaging programming, implementing a vibrant rotating exhibition schedule and relating the “dynamic and inclusive stories of America,” according to Gray. “Our mission is to create a more humane nation and that is never-ending.” Marge D. Hansen treasures the time she has spent in museums around the world, most recently The War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and the National Museum of Singapore. She is also a regular contributor to Museum Store magazine.

You never actually own a Patek Philippe. You merely take care of it for the next generation.

Begin your own tradition.


Twenty˜ 4 Ref. 4910/11R

Profile for Colorado Expression magazine

Colorado Expression magazine - February-March 2018  

In this issue we cover Arts & Culture across the state—Colorado's Theatre scene, Colorado Ballet, Take Note Colorado, Fashion Group Denver a...

Colorado Expression magazine - February-March 2018  

In this issue we cover Arts & Culture across the state—Colorado's Theatre scene, Colorado Ballet, Take Note Colorado, Fashion Group Denver a...