Families are not always easy, even under the best of circumstances. So, when a family of three adult siblings gathers at the home of their dying mother, it’s a safe bet it will be a fraught situation. But that doesn’t mean there’s no room for tenderness and love.
That’s the story John Ashton tells in “Before You Go,” which is currently making its world premiere at Miners Alley Playhouse. The story is a personal one, drawn from his own experiences.
“It’s a raucous adult family comedy drama that is exhilarating, joyous and sometimes frightening,” he said. “The show deals with serious issues, heartfelt issues, but it’s also very funny.”
The show runs at Miners, 1224 Washington Ave. in Golden, through Sunday, Sept. 19. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday. In accordance with CDC guidelines, the theater is requiring masks at all performances for both vaccinated and unvaccinated. All actors, crew and staff at Miners have been vaccinated.
The show’s cast includes Billie McBride, Eric Mather, Missy Moore, Mark Collins and Damon Guerassio, and has been in the works since before the COVID-19 pandemic. It wasn’t until Len Matheo, Miners Alley’s artistic and executive director, started putting together a new season that the show started on the road to coming to life.
“We didn’t know what the landscape was going to look like, and we wanted to put our focus on local writers,” Matheo explained. “John is kind of a legend around here because he’s such a renaissance man. This show was lovely right out of the box.”
Bringing his words to life is an emotionally challenging process for Ashton, but he said working with actors of such high quality makes the job infinitely easier. It’s a collaborative effort for all involved, and by working together they’re finding nuances in the characters and stories that add depth to the story, Ashton said.
“We are all searching for forgiveness and acceptance. It’s good to know it’s out there somewhere and begins with yourself and being nice to each other,” he said. “I’m looking forward to the totality of the experience - the way the actors respond to the aliveness of an audience. And, I’m dying to see what audience reaction is.”
While the show has been coming together nicely, according to both Ashton and Matheo, it isn’t until live, in-person audiences arrive that it truly comes to life.
“The art of theater is a communal event with an audience, So I’m most excited to see John’s beautiful work come to life,” Matheo said. “We’ve been working hard to keep artists employed, and so this is another step to getting all the way back normal.”
For tickets and information, call 303-935-3044 or visit minersalley.com/beforeyougo.
Denver Calling and adventure awaits
History Colorado’s mystery quest in the Mile High City is back for a new season in Denver Calling: The Lost Book of Astrid Lee (Vol. 2). The interactive event is open to teams of any size and begins on Friday, Sept. 3 and runs through Sunday, Sept. 19.
The event takes you on a self-guided, COVID-19 conscious episodic adventure where you solve puzzles in search of local history. Organized by History Colorado’s Public Programs and Events Manager Chris Getzan and creative influencer Andrew Novick in collaboration with Barry Osborne of Denver’s Swallow Hill Music, according to provided information.
People must start in the first week to get the full experience. Interested participants have until Sunday, Sept. 5 to register. More information can be found at h-co.org/MysteryQuest.
Go music shopping with KGNU
You’ll be surrounded by people by music collectors KGNU’s 2nd annual Yard Bazaar, held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 4 at the station’s new Denver location at the Buell Public Media Center, 2101 Arapahoe St. in Denver.
The yard sale will feature some of the station’s DJs to soundtrack the vinyl and CD shopping. Visit https://kgnu.org/ for all the details on donating your own items and/or the sale.
Clarke’s Concert of the Week — Amos Lee at Chautauqua Auditorium
Amos Lee specializes in the kind of music that is just made for autumn. The guitars are acoustic and shimmering, the vocals soulful and smokey. Albums like “Amos Lee” and “Mission Bell” are brimming with lovely tunes that sound best with the windows rolled down. He’s been doing it for 15 years, and still can carry you away.
Boulder’s Chautauqua Auditorium, 900 Baseline Road, is the perfect venue for a musician of Lee’s style and caliber. See him at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 3 and Saturday, Sept. 4.
Visit www.chautauqua.com/events/ for tickets and more.
Clarke Reader’s column on culture appears on a weekly basis. He can be reached at Clarke.Reader@hotmail.com.
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