Thursday, January 29, 2015

Vintage Theatre Announces VYP, The Vintage Youth Program

Vintage Theatre, known for providing the Denver area with superb theatre since 2008, is thrilled to announce an exciting aspect to its already phenomenal line up of quality programming. VYP, the Vintage Youth Program will make its debut in January 2015. Going hand in hand with the Vintage philosophy of offering everything from solid classics to the cutting edge, VYP will also cover the theatrical gamut presenting three aspects to our youth program.

First, we will offer a selection of 10 week classes, beginning in February, for ages 6 through 18 year olds. All classes will culminate with a production for family and friends on the main stage complete with set, costumes, props, lighting and sound. The focus for all of our classes will be encouraging a classically trained environment while keeping the content fun, unique and creative. The spring session will then segue into a fun-filled summer session with several three-four week drama camps and a number of one week themed workshops.

Next, because of the uniqueness and intimacy of our theatre, we are very excited to open up the theatre for week day field trips; giving schools, scouting groups, or home school groups an opportunity to create their own private field trip at a date and time convenient for them. Field trips will include a back stage walk thru with a talk back session and a participation play or full musical production of their choice.

Last, but not least, VYP will be providing outreach programming to the schools. An array of educational workshops, artist in residency programs and professional touring shows are available.

The Vintage Youth Program will be headed up by Pamela Clifton. A veteran of children’s theatre, Pamela has been writing, acting, directing and teaching in various theatres and venues all over Colorado for over 30 years. She has been in on the ground floor helping develop programs for children at The Arvada Center, Boulder’s Dinner Theater, University of Denver and South Suburban Parks and Recreation. She spent six years as the Education Coordinator for Town Hall Arts Center and has had her own touring company, The Playmakers, which has been bringing the performing arts in the form of educational workshops and performances to the schools since 1984.

Vintage Theatre is located at 1468 Dayton St. in Aurora. Full descriptions of workshops, classes, field trips and touring shows can be found at or call 303-856-7830.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Colfax History: Lane's Tavern

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Miss Colfax turned Miss America

Marilyn Van Derbur, graduate of East High School on Colfax Avenue, was crowned Miss America while she was a student at the University of Colorado in 1958. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree, with Phi Beta Kappa honors.

Van Derbur chose motivational speaking as her career and was later named "Outstanding Woman Speaker in America" after 30,000 questionnaires were sent to business and civic meeting planners asking whom they considered to be the outstanding speaker. For 16 years, she was the only woman guest lecturer for General Motors.

Marilyn has received numerous awards and acknowledgments for her work, including being the first woman to be given the highest speaking award possible by the National Speakers Association and induction into the Colorado Women's Hall of Fame. With a desire to motivate teenagers as well as executives, Marilyn also became United Air Lines "Youth Speaker" and addressed 50 youth conferences each year.

During the course of her exceptional motivational speaking career Van Derbur has produced 24 films, two of which won national and international awards. One was shown on prime-time PBS and eight others have been shown in hundreds of classrooms. Marilyn is requested nationwide as a prominent convention keynote and motivational speaker, now speaking on the topic of sexual abuse prevention and recovery.

As a childhood incest survivor, she has devoted much of her adult life to raising national awareness and understanding of sexual abuse and its long-term effects. In 1989 her family funded an adult incest survivor program in Denver, and in 1993 she co-founded two national not-for-profit organizations dedicated to public education and strengthening laws protecting victims of sexual abuse.

For her tireless work in the area of childhood sexual trauma awareness Marilyn has received many awards and much recognition including, the "Exceptional Achievement in Public Service from the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Washington D.C.". Since her story of incest became public, Marilyn has spoken in more than 235 cities and answered over 8,000 letters and thousands of emails from survivors looking to her for support.

Marilyn and her husband Larry live in Denver.

You can email Marilyn any time at She always answers all of her emails. Please limit your comments to one paragraph so Marilyn can continue to personally answer all her emails.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

The 4 Seasons of Colfax: A Year in the Life

ENTRY DEADLINE: January 29th, 2015

Join us in March for a month long show!
Call for Entry


  • Entry Deadline: January 29,2015  
  • Exhibition: February 24th - March 27th on Tuesdays through Saturdays, 1-4pm, plus additional dates & times as listed at 40 West Gallery, 1560 Teller St, Lakewood  80214
  • Wednesday, Feb 25, 5:30-7pm, 40W 4th Wednesday event
  • Friday, March 6th, 2015: Opening event, 4-7pm at 40 West Gallery, part of Month of Photography Denver

In 2013, 40 West Arts presented a two-show collection of Colfax Avenue photos, which travelled to multiple locations along Colfax, in conjunction with Month of Photography Denver (MoP).  In 2014, 40 West Arts presented “Vintage Colfax”, which included photos AND other media (paintings, prints).  In 2015, 40 West Arts will present “The 4 Seasons of Colfax”, which will include photography AND other mediums.  We will be part of MoP 2015.

Join 40 West in its 3rd annual Colfax-themed show: “The 4 Seasons of Colfax”: an arts exhibition celebrating the events, history, and character(s) of Colfax Avenue (America’s longest commercial street) across the seasons.  Colfax offers the special, unusual, strange and beautiful,.  We want to capture the full year of weather and its impact upon the beauty and activity of Colfax Avenue.  Capture a year in the life of Colfax with your photos, paintings and more.

We invite visual artists of all kinds—photographers, painters, sculptors, mixed-media artists, etc.—to use their artist’s eye to capture the spectacle that is Colfax—it’s neon, its people, places, events, history and ever-changing character of Main Street Colorado. Your submission does not have to represent all four seasons, but may simply showcase any season (or aspect) of Colorado’s most famous avenue. Colfax Avenue has been at the epicenter of entrepreneurial activity in the metro area for more than 150+ years, with businesses and buildings still intact today, many which carry over from  the 1950s car culture. Come on photographers and artists—channel your inner Jack Kerouac! Get out “On the Road” and experience the grit and the glitz of Colfax.


We are delighted to have 2 huge Colfax lovers & experts serve as jurors.

Jonny Barber:
Rock-and-roller and Renaissance Man Jonny Barber, co-founder of, has dedicated a great deal of his life to living around, enjoying and serving the unique people, culture, and businesses on Colorado's World Famous Colfax Avenue. He and his wife Anistacia launched the website in 2004 as a tribute to their favorite street.  In a very short time, Jonny Barber & The Rhythm Razors cut a wide swath across today's rockabilly scene. Formed in 2010, they have played main stage at the People's Fair in Denver, performed before a sold-out crowd at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, and numerous other impressive gigs, and still played regularly at Denver's true blue rockabilly bar The Skylark Lounge (just a few blocks south of Colfax!).

Bree Davies:
Bree Davies is a journalist, writer and musician based out of Denver, Colorado. A proud native, Davies has spent the last half-decade at Westword chronicling the changing face of her city through stories about the Denver Metro area’s diverse neighborhoods, commercial architecture and visual history. Colfax Avenue has long held a piece of her heart too, and Davies looks to document the storied strip’s modifications, both good and bad.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Bill Waugh, founder of iconic Denver landmark Casa Bonita, dies at the age of 79

Bill Waugh
Bill Waugh, founder of Lakewood, Colorado's Casa Bonita Mexican restaurant, died at the age of 79 on Tuesday.

Waugh, whose restaurants also include the Taco Bueno, Casa Viva, Burger Street, and Crystal's Pizza chains,  passed away in hospice care in Dallas, according to an obituary published in the Dallas Morning News.

"He was both a businessman and an artist, and that artistic training translated into great attention to detail," said Don Williams, former CEO of Trammell Crow Co. and a friend of Waugh's, in a Dallas Morning News article. "He was a genuine entrepreneur -- but an entrepreneur with taste... And he was a man of faith who sought to encourage other people."

The Colfax Avenue landmark, with its unique entertainment options including western gunfights, Acapulco cliff divers, Black Bart's Cave, and a 500 pound gorilla name Chiquita, opened its doors on March 27, 1974, and is enjoying a resurgence of fame after being featured on the Comedy Central show "South Park."

Since its opening at 6715 W Colfax Ave., in what was once a Joslin's department store, Casa Bonita has been host to millions of guests and has become a favorite destination for both kids and adults alike. In order to build Casa Bonita, officials said they brought in some of the most renowned architects and carpenters, and constructed as they went.

The Book of Mormon, as well as other famous productions, have held cast parties in the restaurant and famous local bands such as The Fray, have held CD release parties there.

 Casa Bonita Facts:
  •  The restaurant's waterfall stands 30 feet tall, and features a 14-foot deep lagoon surrounded by rocky cliffs reminiscent of those in Acapulco Mexico. 
  • The Casa Bonita tower stands 85 feet tall and is capped with a gold leaf dome. On top of the dome stands Cuauhtémoc, the last Aztec emperor.
  • The 20-foot wide by 20-foot high fountain was shipped in pieces from Guadalajara and is surrounded on three sides by authentic Mexican décor.
  • There are three levels totaling 52,000 square feet, making the facility the largest restaurant under one roof on the North American continent.
  • In the Gold Mine section of Casa Bonita there are real gold flakes embedded in the rock formations. The Silver Mine is intentionally a few feet lower because silver is mined deeper in the ground than gold. Also, many of the wood trusses in the mine area are from actual working mines. Come check it out (but watch out for the sleeping miner).