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Arts and Entertainment

‘Poltergeist’s’ Michael Grais brings play to DAC stage

Do you love Victorian romances? Unrequited love? The dilemmas associated with just not being able to “feel more” in a sexually oppressive and puritanical society? Then the upcoming play, “Danny and the Deep Blue Sea,” is not your fine bone-china cup of tea. It’s gritty. It’s passionate. It’s dark. And the characters feel everything in spite of their efforts to resist all that life serves up. Two strangers meet in a bar in the Bronx and share an intimate connection, though not in the way you might expect.

Directed by Michael Grais and starring Jason Lythgoe and Mary Quinn, this live performance will have you on the edge of your seat.

It’s not every day you have a Hollywood legend come to town to direct a play in a community theater, so we stepped backstage to ask writer, producer and director Michael Grais a few questions:

Q: You’re famous for writing “Poltergeist.” Have you ever had a paranormal experience in your own life?

A: Yes. I experienced a haunting while in college in Boston. But I believe it’s rare.

Q: What drew you to this particular play?

A: “Danny And The Deep Blue Sea” is about two people least likely to connect to anyone, who discover that by opening up their bruised hearts they find love and connection. It’s a strong message that’s important at this time when there is so much divisiveness in our society.

Q: What are the different challenges between bringing a story to life on screen vs the stage?

A: In making a film there are hundreds of people involved, lots of money to be responsible for, and a lot of politics and opinions. What I like about doing a show like “Danny And The Deep Blue Sea” at the Durango Arts Center – there are few people who are nothing but helpful and you have a closer relationship with the material.

Q: What do you hope the audience takes away after seeing this show?

A: That love heals the wounds we’ve suffered – even the worst wounds.

Make sure to buy your tickets at durangoarts.org.

Coming up next at the Durango Arts Center:
  • “Rocky Horror Show”: 7 and 10 p.m. Fri. and Sat. (7 p.m. shows sold out), and 7 p.m. Sunday (tickets still available). $25.
  • “Danny and the Deep Blue Sea,” a play by John Patrick Shanley, directed by Michael Grais. Two weekends: 7 p.m. Nov. 4, 5, 11 and 12; and 2 p.m. Nov. 6 and 13. $20/$15 students.
  • Teton Gravity Research Ski/Snowboard Film Magic Hour: 5:30 and 8 p.m. Nov 10. $20 in advance/$22 at the door.
  • 24 Hour Theater: Eight plays go from blank page to stage in 24 hours. 7 p.m. Nov. 19 and 2 p.m. Nov 20. $15
  • Adult Improv Class: Tuesday Green Level – with Mary; Thursday Blue Level – with Cindy. Four classes. 6-8 p.m., begin Nov. 8-Dec. 6. $40. Discounts for students, teachers, service workers and for referring a friend.
Art Classes
  • Pots & Pints Ceramic Hand Building Happy Hour: every Friday 4:30-6 p.m. $30.
  • Clay to Canvas, Art Classes for those with Parkinson’s: Nov. 1, 1-3 p.m. (ongoing). $10.
  • Build-a-Bong with Mr. B. Nov. 10: 4-6 p.m. and 7-9 p.m.; Nov. 12: 1-3, 4-6 and 7-9 p.m. 21 and older. $50.
  • Handmade Gift Giving Workshop: Weaving, pottery, glass fusion and painting. Nov. 19, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. $135.
  • Call to artists for the Winter Gift Gallery. Information on website.

Need a clever idea for your upcoming office party or celebration? Avoid the awkward chit-chat and make it meaningful by bringing your crew to an art class or buying a bundle of tickets for a show!

For more information, visit Durangoarts.org.

Brenda Macon has been executive director of Durango Arts Center since 2018. Her background includes executive leadership training, business and art instruction. She celebrates the inspiration, joy and meaningful engagement that the arts bring to our town.