Coming Attractions

Starting a creative fire at Benchmark

Recommended activities for the coming week

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Some of the most atmospheric stories ever told fall into the Gothic genre. Tales overflowing with darkness and character explorations that thrive on the eerie and supernatural.

These stories had their heyday in the 19th century, but their influence continues to be felt in a variety of mediums. That includes Jacqueline Goldfinger’s “The Arsonists.”

Directed by Stephen Weitz of Boulder Ensemble Theater Company, “The Arsonists” has been selected as the second show in Lakewood-based Benchmark Theatre Company’s inaugural season. The show runs from Friday, June 22, through July 21. Performances are at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 6 p.m. Sundays at 1560 Teller St.

“This show is a blend of Southern Gothic with Greek tragedy,” Weitz explained. “But in many ways, it is a very honest and recognizable story about families and leaving our parents’ shadow.”

Set in a Florida swamp, the show tells a story of a father and daughter who are united by the act of arson. But, as the show is inspired by the Greek masterwork “Electra,” the story delves into human relationships and grief.

The cast features Michael Morgan and newcomer Rebakah Goldberg.

Like all true Gothic stories, there’s a touch of the inexplicable to “The Arsonists,” but far from taking away from the struggles of the characters, it aims to heighten them.

“The focus on the idea and meaning of family is a staple of theatrical drama,” Weitz said. “So many of us have relationships with our parents that have unexplored depths. That’s what the show allows the characters to explore.”

Visit www.benchmarktheatre.com to purchase tickets.

Colorado Book Award winners announced

Those in search of a summer read for the mountains, the beach, or wherever you get away to in these sunny months, have a new list to select from with the announcement of the 2018 Colorado Book Awards winners.

The winners are:

• Anthology: “Beautiful Flesh: A Body of Essays,” edited by Stephanie G’Schwind

• Children’s Literature: “Can an Aardvark Bark?” by Melissa Stewart, illustrated by Steve Jenkins

• Creative Nonfiction: “The Newcomers: Finding Refuge, Friendship, and Hope in an American Classroom” by Helen Thorpe

• General Fiction: “Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore: A Novel” by Matthew Sullivan

• General Nonfiction: “Megafire: The Race to Extinguish a Deadly Epidemic of Flame” by Michael Kodas

• History: “Plundered Skulls and Stolen Spirits: Inside the Fight to Reclaim Native America’s Culture” by Chip Colwell

• Juvenile Literature: “The Last Panther” by Todd Mitchell

• Literary Fiction: “The Blue Hour” by Laura Pritchett

• Mystery: “Dead Stop” by Barbara Nickless

• Pictorial: “Once Upon a Time ... The Western: A New Frontier in Art and Film” edited by Mary-Dailey Desmarais and Thomas Brent Smith

• Poetry: “Trophic Cascade” by Camille T. Dungy

• Science Fiction/Fantasy: “A Borrowed Hell” by L. D. Colter

• Thriller: “Trafficked: A Mex Anderson Novel” by Peg Brantley

• Young Adult Fiction: “When Dimple Met Rishi” by Sandhya Menon

To learn more, visit coloradohumanities.org.

WestFax Brewing gets in on the arts world

WestFax Brewing, located in the heart of the 40 West Arts district, launched a new art gallery in their taproom featuring Colorado artist Noelle Phares.

This exhibit is free and features several original paintings that are a modern homage to the Eestern Slope. WestFax, 6733 W. Colfax Ave., will also be launching a new line of crowler (32-oz cans) designs featuring Phares’ original artwork.

This art will be on display in the taproom throughout the summer months and the limited artist series 32-oz cans will be available in the taproom for purchase for beer to-go.

For more information, visit www.westfaxbrewingcompany.com.

Clarke’s Concert of the Week — Dua Lipa at Fillmore Auditorium

There’s a lot of great pop music being made right now, and the vast bulk of it proves that women are the unquestioned lords and masters of the genre.

Between Taylor Swift, Carly Rae Jepsen and Camila Cabello, women are running the game. Add into that max of top-tier talent Dua Lipa, whose debut album was one of the best pop releases of 2017.

The British Dua Lipa will be stopping by the Fillmore Auditorium, 1510 N. Clarkson St., at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, June 26. See her before she becomes the next big star.

For tickets, head to www.livenation.com.

Clarke Reader’s column on culture appears on a weekly basis. A community editor with Colorado Community Media, he can be reached creader@coloradocommunitymedia.com.

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