Mid-November and the festive holiday mood is just starting to hit me, helped along by driving through downtown Golden’s glittery trees hung with fairy lights, and anticipation of the Christmas play, “Greetings” at Miners Alley Playhouse. It is Members’ Night, and even though I’m not a member, there were still a few seats on the side available when I booked online at the last minute.
Miners Alley is a member of the Lakewood Arts Council and offers wall space for LAC-arranged exhibits. For a few weeks in October and November, the Ken Caryl Art Guild has contracted with the LAC to hang a Holiday themed show, and since I had two paintings hanging, that was another reason to visit the theater.
After enjoying the artwork, we were ushered into the theater for the play by Tom Dudzick, directed by Rita Broderick. As the lights went down, an announcement was made and the audience was introduced to four individuals who are taking over for Rick Bernstein, founder of the Morrison Theater Company that became Miners Alley Playhouse. He is handing over the reins after 24 years, but plans to remain active with the playhouse in a smaller capacity.
The play itself is about a conservative Catholic family thrown into disarray by the arrival of the son with his Jewish but atheist fiancé. As you can imagine, beliefs and morality are tested, with comedic and miraculous results. Amazing things happen within the hearts and minds of the rest of the family. I took away from this play a message of unconditional love, a broadening of perspective and experienced a range of emotions teased out by relating to the characters, their personalities and inner battles.
Members’ Night at the playhouse gives the added advantage of the cast “talk-back” where they discuss the play and field questions from the audience. Rita Broderick, director, was all praise for this ensemble cast, none of whom (except Rick Bernstein) had performed at Miners Alley previously. It was her intuition that chose these cast members and allowed for their natural characterizations to mesh with the other actors. Her favorite line from the play embodied that we don’t all have to believe in the same thing, but we have to believe in something. When Rick (who channeled a grumpy old Italian New Yorker for his character, not unlike Archie Bunker) was asked what he took away from this play he said it was that he appreciated the opportunity to learn to love. And we can all use more of that – especially during the holiday season! “Greetings” runs through December 23rd. Tickets are available at www.minersalley.com or 303 935-3044.