Denver goes down the rabbit hole

Take an unexpected trip down the rabbit hole with “White Rabbit Red Rabbit” the most unique and original theatrical production currently in Denver.

Although the title makes one think of “Alice in Wonderland” and her adventures that is not what this production is.

White Rabbit Red Rabbit

This show by Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour is a conversation between the actor, audience and Soleimanpour himself. As the show unfolds he tells the story of a red rabbit and white rabbits and how they relate to the audience.

Soleimanpour has never seen his play performed as he does not have a passport and is forbidden to leave the country. Luckily though, his work was able to make it out and is now traveling the world.

Frequent theatergoers might be shocked at the unconventional instructions of the show. Usually patrons are instructed to turn off their phones and stay in their seats; Not at “White Rabbit Red Rabbit.” The audience is asked to leave their phones on as they will need them and are called up during the show to help the actor perform.

The largest difference between Soleimanpour’s play and others is that once an actor has performed in the show they can never do it again. Meaning that every performance has a new actor who has never seen the show or read the script before.

Once the whole audience is seated, the actor for the night is handed a sealed envelope with the script inside. When the show begins they are able to open the script and perform as they read.

Pipedream Productions is staging this interesting and ever changing show with some of the best local talent that Denver has to offer. Those who have already performed include Anthony Adu, Adrian Egolf and Emma Messenger. Still to take the journey are Andrew and Kelly Uhlenhopp, Chloe McLeod and many more.

The show ran for nine months in New York City with actors such as Darren Criss (American Horror Story), Nathan Lane (The Producers) and Whoopi Goldberg (The View).

Emma Messenger was able to perform this show beautifully the night I attended. She kept the audience engaged and incorporate her iconic satirical humor and facial expressions, making the audience laugh and feel at ease.

If you want a night at the theater with a full scale production then this is not it. “White Rabbit Red Rabbit” is, in essence, an improvised script reading. There are some set pieces and a couple of stage direction notes for the actors, but it is up to the performer to create the world with just one glance. If you want something that is unlike anything you have seen before then take a trip down the rabbit hole.

“White Rabbit Red Rabbit” *** (out of four stars)

Drama. Presented by Pipedream Productions JMAC Studios Black Box, 1903 E Iliff Ave Denver, CO 80210 Through September 11. 90 minutes, no intermission. Thur, Friday, Sat and Sun $13-$15.Tickets:


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