Chess A Musical – Arvada Center, Colorado

Two date nights in one month, how lucky are we! Hubby and I got to go to the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities the first time since we moved to this town and got a real treat on Saturday night- Chess, A Musical.

The Musical- Chess, A Musical has amazing music- really good songs with the highlight being Act II opening with “One Night in Bangkok”. It was a feast for the eyes and ears with all the colors, dancing, and of course, the song is a fun song anyway. There are scores that you will recognize from the 80s and 90s and although I cannot figure out the decade that it is set in, I am assuming it was 80s (before the fall of the iron curtain and the USSR) but then in Act II, you see one of the characters using a cell phone so it could easily be 90s as well. The story, to my surprise, is a love story with all the twists and turns of a giant Chess game and world politics as told through a chess board. It is a good story and was done well in this production that is playing at the Arvada Center (Denver) through April 15. Tickets to the Arvada Center productions are extremely reasonable during normal production dates but here’s a secret on what we did to make it even cheaper since we are not avid theatre goers. We got discount tickets because we went to a dress rehearsal. So the tickets were over half price off. And even for a dress rehearsal, there was not an empty seat in the venue! And, if you buy your tickets at the center instead of on-line, you can avoid all handling charges. But should you decide to catch the normal shows as well, the prices are very reasonable and much cheaper than the Performing Arts prices for downtown venues. And there ain’t a bad seat in the house – check out my venue review below. We sat front row but honestly, you are better off sitting half way up in either the center or prime sections (see seating Chart- Arvada Center) for a great view of all the action!

The Venue– “I can’t believe we have never been here,” I said to my husband as we bought tickets earlier in the day at the box office, located inside the Arvada Center. What a great venue! I cannot say enough great things about this venue and I may be biased because I live near it but there are so many great things about this place. You may know how I feel about venues like the Wells Fargo Center, the Pepsi Center, and the Denver Center for Performing Arts. Yeah, it ain’t good. I am just not a big fan of downtown Denver venues that charge you an exorbitant fee for parking miles away, takes hours to get in and out of the venues, and takes forever to get to/from due to downtown traffic and the maze of one-way roads that frustrate me. I have to say, the Arvada Center is a gem convenient to the cities of Arvada, Wheat Ridge, Westminster, Broomfield, Lakewood, and Golden. Located on Wadsworth Blvd off of I-70, it is easy to get in and out of and at 7pm on a Saturday, even Wadsworth is easy to navigate. Parking is free, ample, and very close to the venue no matter where you park. The venue is cozy and small and only fits about 400 people so there is a a hassle-free fun experience even at intermission and no lines in the ladies’ bathroom (BONUS). There is not a bad seat in the house- you can see the stage from every seat and there will not be a head or two in your way. There are no lines for concessions or snacks either. And get this – the concessions are even cheaper than at the movies. For $4.25 we got two giant cookies, and teas and I saw the alcohol and soda prices so you can see how reasonable they are: $4.00 for beer, $5.00 for wine, and $2.00 for a soda. Teas, cocoa, and coffee were only $1.75. I remember my friend paying $8.00 for a wine at the Pepsi Center for a concert. The lines are short, and there is no concessionaire peddling CDs, posters, and other such items either. The entire affair is class through and through. Even before the show and during intermission, you wait in the art center and there are exhibits to look at including beautiful paintings.

Additionally, did you know the Arvada Center offers summer camps and programs for kids throughout the year? You can also rent out their venue for weddings, and other occasions. Outside the Center, there is a play area for kids to climb a giant dragon and sculptures and a little rock garden. Just a beautiful venue for shows, events, and if you choose to enroll your kids at their various classes you should look at and download their entire catalog from this link.

We had a great time exploring another gem of our city yesterday and seeing a great musical to boot. You won’t want to miss this and the other productions coming this season to the Arvada Center.

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