2014 was a fascinating year for entertainment in Denver. There were major leaps in terms of the changing field of arts coverage, new arts venues being explored and even interactive entertainment options right in the streets of Denver. In fact, there were so many wonderful performances, contributions and creations that this list certainly could have featured 30 or 40 names. However, there are a few people who’s work in 2014 truly stood out, making these four creative individuals among the most influential voices in entertainment in Denver this year.
The summer of 2014 saw one of the most creative and inventive entertainment options to ever hit Denver. Brian Corrigan created Oh Heck Yeah, an immersive street arcade that took over Downtown Denver in June and July. The large screens on Champa Street became the screens, and the people themselves became the controllers. Simple game play and the ability to work with friends made these live interactive video games the talk of the town all summer long. It also helped that many of the games featured Denver icons like The Big Blue Bear from the Denver Convention Center. Corrigan’s creation hit national news and was a welcome diversion from the more traditional summer activities. Should this amazing immersive street arcade come back to Denver? Oh Heck Yeah.
American Theatre Magazine named John Moore one of the 12 most influential theater critics in 2011, however when he left his position at the Denver Post, his job was far from done. He took his love of the art to his own website, CultureWest.org, continuing his constant theatrical coverage for the community in Denver. He also started a wonderful non-profit organization, The Denver Actors Fund, which is dedicated to providing financial and situational relief for members of the theater community who find themselves in sudden medical emergencies. And that isn’t all. Moore has stepped into a new position at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts as the Senior Arts Journalist. In this position, Moore has been able to continue his goal of providing a voice for theater in Denver, and not just within the Denver Center. Whether it’s his coverage of the community on CultureWest.org or on the Denver Center’s own blog, or his work with the Denver Actors Fund, John Moore continues to be one of the most influential voices in entertainment in Denver.
If you’ve spent any time in Denver, you already know about the beautiful rolling hills in Ruby Hill Park. What you may not know is that Ruby Hill is the future home to the Levitt Pavilion, a new amphitheater that is being created by a nationwide non-profit dedicated to bringing free concerts to communities across the country. Chris Zacher is the Executive Director of the Levitt Pavilion, and he’s at the forefront of this community-driven goal to make the performing arts accessible to everyone. The goal of the Levitt Pavilion is to produce at least 50 free concerts per year, and the musicians that will be playing those concerts will be paid as well. It’s being considered a game-changer in the local music scene, which is currently surviving in an environment in which bands play for bar tabs and parking fare. The Levitt Pavilion is a very exciting addition to the large venue options in Denver, ensuring that musicians’ work is valued, while also ensuring the accessibility of the arts for everyone, regardless of economic situation.
Denver is filled with funny, and no one knows this better than Adam Cayton-Holland. As one of the minds behind the insanely popular “The Grawlix” comedy show, Cayton-Holland is already a familiar face in the comedy scene in town. He’s been seen on television as well, including Conan, “The Pete Holmes Show” and ABC’s “Happy Endings.” His monthly live show, “The Grawlix” is featured on Funny or Die, and performs to full houses every month at The Bug Theatre. Most recently, it was announced that TruTV has ordered it’s first scripted comedy show. This upcoming comedy is tentatively called “Those Who Can’t” and it’s created by and starting Cayton-Holland and his “Grawlix” team, which includes Andrew Orvedahl and Ben Roy. Soon, the rest of the world will know just how brilliantly funny Cayton-Holland and team truly is, making this rising star one of the most influential voices in comedy today.