In the 1980s, Lee Bruer and Bob Telson created a truly unique and moving production: “The Gospel at Colonus,” from Sophocles’ tragedy, “Oedipus at Colonus,” setting it in a black Pentecostal church. Morgan Freeman and the Blind Boys of Alabama were involved in the early casting.
In 1991 Denver’s black theater company, Eulipions, performed it at the Buell and at Denver Botanic Gardens.
This summer, Denver audiences have another opportunity to see this poetic, colorful production in a collaboration between Source Theatre, led by Hugo Sayles, and Su Teatro, under Tony Garcia.
“Gospel at Colonus,” with a large talented cast, dressed in bright African robes, just lifts the roof at Su Teatro Cultural and Performing Arts Center on Denver’s Santa Fe Drive, featuring a choir and a roster of wonderful soloists along with a band.
Jimmy Walker, who was in the earlier Denver production, is director and the audience is part of the act, entirely engaged as they can’t resist clapping along with the infectious music.
Source is a next step for actors who were involve in Jeffry Nicholson’s Shadow Theatre, which was not able to continue after his death.
There is a long history of interaction and mutual support between the 41-year-old Su Teatro and the black theater community, and this is a glorious coming-together, with members of both troupes onstage.
One wishes there were more time to get the word out about this remarkable production, which only runs until June 30. I would urge readers in search of rewarding theater to head to the Santa Fe Arts District soon!
“Gospel at Colonus” plays at Su Teatro Cultural and Performing Arts Center, 721 Santa Fe Drive, Denver. Performances: 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and 2 p.m. on June 30. Tickets: $20/$17, 303-296-0219, suteatro.net.