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Musicals Return to the Fort Morgan High School Stage with ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ – The Fort Morgan Times

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Seymour, played by David Alvarez, discovers a new and unusual plant species. (Heldwin Brito/Courtesy photo)Mr. Mushnik, played by Axyl Pliley, talks to his employee Audrey, played by Olivia Clise, in her Skid Row workshop. (Heldwin Brito/Courtesy Photo) Audrey’s abusive boyfriend Orin, played by Caleb Siegling, is surrounded by the Doo-Wop Girls as he sings about her love for inflicting pain on her dental patients. (Heldwin Brito/Courtesy Photo) Fort Morgan High School makes its musical return on Thursday, March 31 at 7 pm with a beloved cult classic, “Little Shop of Horrors.” Shows will also be presented at FMHS at 7 pm on Friday, April 1 and at 2 and 7 pm on Saturday, April 2. The well-known production with music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Howard Ashman debuted on Broadway in 2003 and has remained a favorite among high schools across the country. Morgan Larsen first directed this show early in his run at FMHS in the fall of 2009, so it made sense for him to bring musicals back to the post-pandemic stage by revisiting something familiar. Planning for this particular production began in December 2021 with set design, puppet design, auditions, and casting. “I knew what I was getting into, which was good with a group of actors who hadn’t been in a musical for several years,” Larsen said. “This was a (show) where we were able to reboot with a slightly smaller cast and not-so-crazy choreography. There’s still choreography, of course, but not as much as you’d see in bigger musicals.” It’s also a show that will appeal to audiences of all ages, with many people already somewhat familiar with what they expect to see and hear. “I also think everyone can come and enjoy it,” Larsen said. “It’s fun, and it’s one that people have heard of before.” She said there are a few things that are different for her as director from the first time she led FMHS students in putting on this show, including how she has been able to approach it. “The main difference is that now I know a little bit more about what I’m doing,” Larsen said. “The first time, I was so young and so new, especially to musical theater, but to theater in general. I had a great crew with me, so it was a really good show. It was still a lot of fun, but it was a lot less like my actual vision and more like the ‘survival mode’ (of) getting through the show. Whereas this time… it is much more based on my vision.” The horror comedy, set in the 1960s, centers around three main characters: two humans and an unusual plant. It follows the characters of Seymour (played by junior David Alvarez) and Audrey (played by senior Olivia Clise), who work together at a plant store called Mushnik’s Skid Row Florists. Seymour, who is in love with Audrey, discovers a new species of plant and names it Audrey II (voiced by junior Max Grenemyer) in her honor. However, things get more complicated after Seymour figures out how to care for the plant…Throughout the show, four different versions of the plant are shown as it continues to grow, and each “pod” is actually a puppet. The two smaller puppets were borrowed from a community theater at La Junta, but FMHS students created the two larger puppets from scratch using moldable tubes, wire frames, mattress pads, felt, Styrofoam, paint, and techniques. of airbrushing. Kylie Schnegelberger, lead builder for pod three, lead puppeteer for pods one and three, and secondary builder and puppeteer for pod four, helped bring much of the show to life behind the scenes, along with fellow puppeteer from Audrey II Seamus Garvin. When she was asked what that responsibility is like, her first thought was, “Hot.” Schnegelberger has a separate change of clothes for when she’s inside pod three, as the heat from the stage lights definitely causes some sweat. From the inside of the plant, she is completely black and practically soundproof. Schnegelberger, who controls Audrey II’s lip movements when the plant is singing, has to base those movements on what she hears through her headphones. She is very excited for the audience to see each version of the plant, especially the final reveal of Audrey II. Alvarez echoed her excitement that audiences will finally see the show once all the pieces come together. “Just seeing him join! Starting with a couple of planks of wood and then basically building a little town and creating a huge plant out of nothing…all the hard work that has gone into it, all the acting, all the scenery, all the music, the pit, having the pit play such difficult pieces (on stage),” he said of what he is looking forward to. “Those who have seen it in the past, I feel like this is a special shot. The essence is still here, but you see something new every time you come.” Clise also encourages everyone to come see the show, which the cast and crew have been hard at work on since early 2022. “It’s our first musical since fall 2019, so it’s a little behind schedule. I think everyone has to come see it,” she said. “Everyone has put a lot of effort and work into this, and I just hope everyone can see that when we perform. It has exceeded expectations. I think this is the most fun I’ve had doing a show in my entire time in high school.” Other cast members include: Axyl Pliley, Caleb Siegling, Kristen Frasco, Asashia Rangel, Anna McDonald, Seydi Nevarez, Aaliyah Escalera, Lizzy Gross, Rhonnel Akele, Brian Fabian Tzun, Johnathan Prouty, Taya McBride and Kirstin Powell. The production crew and crew leaders include: Nick LeMaire (pit manager), Mark Ossip (vocal director), Liam Garvin (stage manager), Sara Escalara (assistant stage manager and performance crew leader), Destiny Wilson (Prop Manager), Rayne Weiler (Costume Manager), Alexis Sharp (Costume Manager), Emily Baker (DMX Lights), Abby Nunez (Lights & Sound), and Tyler Hedke (Spotlight). Other team members include: Nalleli Flores, Adrian Uribe, Savanna Enfante, Chloe Fessard, Capucine Jaclot, Adaline Laydon, Lawryle Akele, Kayra Camargo, Jacob Johns, Kris Mosqueda, Javi Rodriguez, Alicia Vuittonet, Wakea Bohling, Leland Cooley, Yarely Uribe , Josiah Williams and Jay Bower. The pit orchestra includes: Diego Rangel, Ezekiel Elswick, Jonathan Acosta-Soto, Tyler Baker, Abbey Stream, Dauson Normile, Jay Bower and Jennifer Stream. Thursday, March 31 marks the opening night of “Little Shop of Horrors” at the FMHS Glenn Miller Auditorium with the first performance at 7 p.m. Follow-up performances are Friday, April 1 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, April 2 at 2 pm 7 pm Tickets will be available for purchase at the door, costing $5 for students/seniors and $9 for adults.

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Meow Wolf’s Vortex Music Festival at a Sun Valley Junkyard This August

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Meow Wolf will hold its Vortex music festival on what is now an industrial lot in Denver’s Sun Valley neighborhood, putting an end to speculation about where the signature public event would take place when it first arrives in town this year. It will be the first event to be held at The Junk Yard, which is a new downtown open-air venue run by music promoter Live Nation. The site, at 2323 Mulberry Place, is about a mile south of Meow Wolf’s permanent immersive installation, Convergence Station, in an industrial neighborhood just east of I-25. The event, from Aug. 5-7, will include three days of music for all ages, food trucks and other entertainment, Live Nation said in a statement last week. The Denver-based mega-developer described the property’s owners as “family friends from Live Nation.” Publicists for Meow Wolf and Live Nation did not immediately respond to questions about the capacity of the venue, or who the “family friends of Live Nation” are. “The new owners of The Junk Yard saw a tremendous opportunity to transform a junkyard into a multi-faceted music festival in the heart of the city,” the statement read. “The new venue will undergo a dramatic metamorphosis into another world for Vortex 2022, a transition that is common for many Meow Wolf events and activations, with two impressive stages (Viscera Stage and Atria Stage), art installations… and comfortable rest areas. .” Since the location is in a tangle of off-grid cul-de-sacs, Meow Wolf has included suggested routes on their experience planning page. That includes the closest bus stop (West 8th Avenue and Wyandot Street); the Light Trail station at 10th and Osage streets; and other RTD and bike share options. (Or, it’s a 45-minute walk to the center of town.) There is extremely limited parking in the area, authorities said. Meow Wolf announced in April that the festival would be coming to Denver for the first time this year, having previously been based in Taos, NM, but had not disclosed the location. Meow Wolf opened its convergence station in Denver in September 2021. Previously announced acts include Toro y Moi, 100 gecs, Bob Moses, Neil Frances, Duke Dumont and Maya Jane Coles. Local musicians scheduled to perform include Neon the Bishop, Mr. Frick, Send/Receive and Peer Review. A one-day general admission ticket for the festival is $69.50 per day, while three-day general admission is $198.75, via ticketmaster.com. Tickets are now on sale. Meow Wolf Denver last year opened its Convergence Station facility to praise and buzz, having first cornered the market on “immersive experiences” years ago from its Santa Fe home base. Meow Wolf said it ticked the customer location number one million on June 15. Sign up for our weekly newsletter, In The Know, to get entertainment news delivered straight to your inbox.

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Coloradans May Be Asked To Legalize Psilocybin In The November 2022 Election

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Imagine if Coloradans suffering from anxiety or PTSD had a legal way to treat their ailments with psychedelic mushrooms. Advocates say it’s not that far away. Residents could vote in November to legalize psilocybin and psilocin, the psychoactive compounds in magic mushrooms, for use in therapeutic settings after advocates said they had collected enough signatures to qualify the ballot question. On Monday, Kevin Matthews and Veronica Perez of Natural Medicine Colorado, the campaign behind the legalization effort, submitted a petition with 222,648 signatures supporting Initiative 58, also known as the Natural Medicine Health Act, to the Secretary of State’s office. The state still needs to verify signatures, so it’s not a done deal yet, but since it requires about 125,000 valid signatures, Natural Medicine Colorado thinks the question will be in front of voters this fall. If passed, the Natural Medicine Health Act would lay the groundwork for a legal mushroom market by tasking Colorado regulators with creating rules on growing, manufacturing, testing, transporting, selling and buying of psilocybin and psilocin. While the measure restricts sales to designated “healing centers” that are licensed by the state, so you wouldn’t be allowed to walk into a store or dispensary and buy “mushrooms without a prescription,” it also expands decriminalization for possession, use and gifts throughout the state. Because it establishes a new framework for treatment centers, regulators would also define the necessary qualification, education and training requirements for facilitators who administer the substances. Kevin Matthews led the effort to decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms in Denver in 2019. He is now considering legalization statewide. On June 27, Natural Medicine Colorado submitted a petition with 222,648 signatures in support of Initiative 58, also known as the Natural Medicine Health Act, to the Secretary of State’s office. The measure asks voters to legalize psilocybin and psilocin, the psychoactive compounds in magic mushrooms, for use in therapeutic settings. “The most important thing that I hope people understand is that these natural medicines have been used by humans for 10,000 years and in the last 20 to 25 years there has been a significant amount of clinical research at universities like Johns Hopkins and UCLA that really show the effectiveness. of natural medicines,” Matthews, who led Denver’s decriminalization initiative in 2019, said by phone. “Coloradons truly deserve to have access to these amazing healing options because we are facing a mental health crisis in the state right now.” With regard to decriminalization, the measure means that locals would not be arrested for possessing, using or growing a “personal amount” of psilocybin or psilocin, or giving mushrooms to adults over the age of 21. (The term personal quantity is not defined, and as a local rabbi recently discovered, growing more than 30 strains of psychedelic mushrooms can still result in criminal charges.) That ensures more Coloradans have access to these emerging drugs, Pérez said. RELATED: Mushroom Rabbi Grows Ceremonial Psilocybin For Denver Congregation, But Is That Legal? “There are many people in Colorado who have been harmed by the health care system and they will not be the ones who can access through the healing centers. They want to sit with a wisdom keeper or nanny in their home. So we also have a regulated model for those who want the railings,” he said. “That’s what makes the move so beautiful: We meet the most people where they are.” The measure calls for regulations to be put in place and for the state to begin accepting license applications by September 30, 2024, and also establishes a Natural Medicine Advisory Board to consult with lawmakers throughout the process. If adopted, Colorado would be the second state to legalize mushrooms after Oregon. On June 27, Natural Medicine Colorado submitted a petition with 222,648 signatures in support of Initiative 58, also known as the Natural Medicine Health Act, to the Secretary of State’s office. Initiative 58 builds on recent enthusiasm for psilocybin, which has shown promising results in treating depression, PTSD, anxiety among the terminally ill, and even nicotine addiction in college studies. And he’s not alone: ​​Decriminalize Nature Colorado advocates have been campaigning in support of a competing ballot measure, Initiative 61, which aims to decriminalize entheogenic plants and mushrooms, including psilocybin, dimethyltryptamine (DMT), and ibogaine, without establishing a legal market. . Nicole Foerster, campaign leader in competition, was not immediately available for comment, but she expressed concern about who would be left behind by a regulated market earlier this year when they introduced the proposed initiative. It is unclear how many signatures Initiative 61 has collected so far. “Without decriminalization and security that allows affected communities to organize more effectively, regulatory models will make it difficult for the most disadvantaged groups of our population to continue to access the natural medicines that they safely use to heal themselves,” Foerster said in a statement. January release. . “To address this, we are advocating for a simple change to existing laws on these controlled substances.” The original draft of Initiative 58 included the legalization of other psychedelics, such as mescaline, DMT, and ibogaine; however, the current measure only covers mushrooms, at least until June 1, 2026. Thereafter, the aforementioned substances could be added to the regulated system. Matthews and Perez said their goal is to start gradually and not overwhelm regulators with additional substances that require different approaches. “This is new to Colorado. I think two years for (the Department of Regulatory Agencies) and the advisory board to develop something for psilocybin is an excellent time frame,” Pérez said. “Loading DORA with five different substances with different applications, that’s a lot. Let’s start with one, make sure you have a good solid foundation.” Sign up for our weekly newsletter, In The Know, to get entertainment news delivered straight to your inbox.

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Governor Polis Takes Action to Address Lifeguard Shortage at Colorado Public Pools

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Gov. Jared Polis is jumping into the water in an effort to help rescue some of Colorado’s public pools that have been unable to open or have had to reduce hours due to a significant lifeguard shortage. Pools in Denver, Aurora, Thornton and Boulder have struggled to find enough employees this summer, part of a nationwide lifeguard problem. Aurora Governor and Mayor Mike Coffman appeared Tuesday at the Aurora Central Recreation Center to lay out Polis’ three-pronged approach. First, he is enacting an emergency measure that will allow 16- and 17-year-old staff members to work overtime if they choose. Those lifeguards could earn up to $24 an hour. He also announced a $25,000 grant program that area aquatic centers can apply for starting July 1 to potentially use to pay their staff more or put toward recruiting efforts. “This additional funding from the state of Colorado … will allow us to hire the talent, train the talent necessary to keep all of our pools open this summer,” Coffman said. The final piece is a program that will allow aspiring lifeguards to be paid $1,000 for a week of lifeguard training. Several of the state’s public pools have delayed the start of swimming season and/or operated on limited hours this summer after facing staffing shortages, particularly a lack of lifeguards and supervisors. A statewide survey, Polis said, found that only 57 percent of Colorado pools are fully open. “Opening our pools is really a watershed moment for our state, and trust me, it’s not a cakewalk: we’re getting it done,” Polis said. In Aurora, all six of the city’s outdoor pools opened on May 28, but only on a limited basis due to lifeguard shortage issues. Aurora lifeguards Kenzie Mayotte, 18, and Briseis Medina, 16, said that when they needed to cover a shift, it was often hard to get someone. “It’s that you don’t have hours or you have too many,” Mayotte said, “and you can’t find coverage.” Medina said that she could take advantage of the extra hours now that she is on summer vacation and the two agreed that they believe the governor’s announcement will definitely encourage more lifeguards to work longer hours. “I’m pretty sure it will help our staff to really hit the ground running knowing it’s time and a half and making more money for the summer,” Mayotte said. Ella sign up for our weekly newsletter, In The Know, to get entertainment news delivered straight to your inbox.

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