Get transported back in time with musicals at Grand Lake theater

Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre has lined up their 2023 season with professional thespians from around the country

From the folk tunes of John Denver, to the rambunctious escapades of "Something Rotten!" visitors can enjoy a range of shows at the Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre this 2023 season.
Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre Courtesy Photo 1

This summer in Grand Lake, theatergoers can be transported to the 60s and 70s through Carol King’s soulful songs, set sail with comical pirates, return to the renaissance, and enjoy a Rocky Mountain High with Colorado musician John Denver. These four genre-leaping performances are brought to life by the Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre.

In the 300-seat theater, audiences are swept into a different world, far away from the high country. Since 1967, Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre has offered a variety of plays and musicals each summer.

Designers for scenery, lighting, sound, projection and costuming, along with stage managers, choreographers, directors, carpenters, pit musicians and actors have all arrived in Grand Lake to start rehearsals and build new shows.

Summer season starts June 2 with “Beautiful: the Carole King Musical.” The musical chronicles Carole King’s remarkable journey from teenage songwriter to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Rocky Mountain Rep is proud to be the first Colorado regional theater to open this show. “Beautiful” features Rocky Mountain Rep alumna Suzanna Champion as Carole King, Joe Hebel as Gerry Goffin, Mitchell Lewis as Barry Mann, and Madeline Canfield as Cynthia Weil, directed by veteran staff member Jeff Duke.

“Beautiful” takes theatergoers through King’s life full of song. They will remember King’s soulful voice ringing through classics like “You’ve Got a Friend,” “One Fine Day,” “So Far Away,” “Take Good Care of My Baby,” “Up on the Roof,” “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling,” “Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” and “Natural Woman.” This Tony and Grammy award-winning musical phenomenon is filled with King’s best hits.

Beginning June 16, set sail with the classic comedy “The Pirates of Penzance.” A fresh take on one of Gilbert and Sullivan’s most popular comic operettas, Rocky Mountain’s production of “The Pirates of Penzance” will take the summer season by storm. The hilarious, hopeful farce follows sentimental pirates, bumbling policemen, dim-witted young lovers and an eccentric Major-General.

Then, beginning July 1, take a step back in time to the renaissance. The crowd-pleasing musical farce, “Something Rotten!” is set in the 1590s – theater’s heyday, when Shakespeare regaled audiences. Brothers Nick and Nigel Bottom are desperate to write a hit play but are stuck in the shadow of that renaissance rock star known as “The Bard.” When a local soothsayer foretells the future of theater, Nick and Nigel set out to write a show that will change history. But amidst the scandalous excitement of opening night, the Bottom brothers realize that reaching the top means being true to thine own self, and all that jazz.

To finish out the 2023 season, “Almost Heaven: Songs of John Denver” opens Sept. 1. “Almost Heaven” weaves together songs create a uniquely theatrical narrative that reflects upon the country during the years in which Denver wrote them and the events happening in his life at that time. Denver’s singing celebrates the best of Colorado – “Rocky Mountain High,” which Denver wrote while camping in the Rockies, was named the second official state song in 2007.  The musical features 29 of Denver’s songs – including “Rocky Mountain High,” “Sunshine on My Shoulders,” “Annie’s Song,” “Leaving on a Jet Plane,” “Calypso” and more.

Meet the Rocky Mountain Rep company

The 2023 Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre company brings professional theater productions to Grand Lake.
Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre/Courtesy Photo

What makes Rocky Mountain Theatre’s performances so successful, season after season, is the people performing on stage and those working behind the curtain.

After conducting over 1,200 auditions, the theatre chose the following professional performers for their company: Karis Avisa, Madeline Canfield, Suzanna Champion, Margot Frank, Ambroja Ferguson, Matt Frye, Joe Hebel, Wesley Hodges, Daniel J. Hurt, Cecilia Iole, Hannah Katz, Josh Kellman, Michael E. Martin, Mitchell Lewis, Sonia Perez, Trey Plutnicki, Jeremiah Smith, Richaun Stewart, Jerod Turner, Luiza Vitucci and Tiana Williams.

The company includes a mix of returning thespians, as well as new faces. The performers come from all over the country to the Grand Lake stage. Their resumes cover a wide of genres, from Shakespearean dramas to Broadway hits. These accomplished actors and actresses stand in the spotlight, with an equally talented team working behind the scenes.

Back for an additional season are director and music director Michael Querio, director Jeff Duke, music director Michael Jordan, costume designer Nicole M. Harrison, plus choreographers Jennifer Lupp and Stephanie Hansen. Director Sally Scott, costume designer Mary Nye Bennett, and choreographer Megan Bliss will be in new roles for this season.

Together, the performers, directors and backstage crew capture the audience’s imagination – from the first raised curtain to the final bow.

Tickets for the 2023 season are on sale now. To purchase tickets stop by the box office on Grand Avenue in Grand Lake, call 970-627-3421 or purchase them online at Please note that the production “Something Rotten!” contains comedic adult language throughout.

“The Jersey Boys: The Story of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons” played at the Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre in summer 2022 with cast-members (from left) Chris Cherin, Mitchell Lewis, Noah Royal Barnes and Andrew Greiche. Lewis is returning for the 2023 season.
RDG PhotographyCourtesy photo
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