- Brent Ritter plays the Fat-, er, Phantom of the Opera.
When it comes to theater, instant gratificationists aren't really interested in an entire play. Just give us that one catchy song. Or, better yet, give us a compilation of catchy songs, something like a stupendous, live mixtape on stage.
Give us something like Blue Plate Special, Damon Runyon Repertory's genius concoction of Broadway review. Comprised of nothing but the most beloved of show tunes, it's like a cake made completely of icing. Award-winning vocalists Brent Ritter, Rebecca Work, Gina Parker and Sean P. Briggs are accompanied by musician Jim Lunn as they perform a variety of tunes in comedic contrast to the original versions.
The Rep intentionally cast Blue Plate by pairing the artists with the most unlikely roles. For instance, actor Brent Ritter, a commanding and sizable man, intends to regale theatergoers with a rendition of West Side Story's "I Feel Pretty" while outfitted as Phantom of the Opera.
Though not all of the Broadway samplings aim to be as slapstick as Ritter's, The Rep outwardly acknowledges Blue Plate's playful approach to classic show tunes. All the players contributed input to the music selection.
As a complimentary post-performance treat, the Cat's Meow jazz band will take the stage to serenade dancers and listeners. Those interested in a unique dining experience -- one befitting the historic Runyon's fictional Mindy's Diner -- before the show may reserve a spot. There's an optional wine tasting as well.
-- Matthew Schniper
Blue Plate Special: A Broadway Review
Damon Runyon Repertory Theater, 611 N. Main St., Pueblo
Friday and Saturday, Jan. 13 and 14
Wine tasting, dinner and show, 6 p.m. ($40); dinner and show, 6:30 p.m. ($30); show only ($10-$18), 7:30 p.m. Call 719/564-0579 for reservations, or visit runyontheater.org.