Springs-originated Buntport Theater Company on the international fringe 

Buntport Theater Company, the Colorado College alumni who brought original works like ...and this is my significant bother ("Domestic Blisters," December 2) and Quixote ("Sally Forth," March 9) to premiere productions on the stage at the Smokebrush Center for the Arts, is back in Colorado after going international with their act.

The ensemble members sallied forth with Quixote this summer, stopping first at the Fringe Festival in Winnipeg. Buntport joined 110 theater companies performing in a dozen different venues over the two weeks of the festival. Quixote, the innovative play with the chalkboard sets and props, played eight performances in Edmonton, garnering bigger and bigger audiences as word of mouth spread. Buntport will end the summer with four performances of Quixote at the Philadelphia Fringe Festival during the first two weeks of September, but locals can trek to Fort Collins to see the show produced at the Bas Bleu Theater Aug. 10-12.

Plans are in the works for their third original production, an adaptation of a Chekhov short story called Ward Six. Company members are brainstorming about fund-raising and remain optimistic about gaining entry in the hard-to-find-available-performance-space sweepstakes in Denver, jostling for space with three dozen different companies performing on stage in a typical Denver theater weekend.

Though Buntport members count summer festival trips among their successes, financially the summer has been no better than a break-even venture. The exposure, the chance to meet other companies from around the continent, and a rejuvenated return to a new project are just a few of the dividends of their summer on the fringe.

They are eager to continue pushing the door open on new opportunities, but they haven't forgotten where they came from, reporting that they might bring their new show down to the Springs if things work out. Odds are, local audiences will be eager to receive them.

There is good news and bad news for the cast of The Laramie Project as they approach the 100th off-Broadway performance of the docutheater piece focused around the murder of University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard.

The bad news is that the play may be closing as soon as September. The play's fast-track route to New York's Union Square Theatre after its Denver Center Theatre Company premiere ("After Matthew," March 2) suffered from some tough timing; trying to create a buzz about a heavy play during the summer tourist season is an uphill battle. Nevertheless, the stars have come out to see the show, and Liz Smith reports sightings including Susan Sarandon, Ron Rifkin, Lily Tomlin, Joel Grey, and Liam Neeson, attending on his birthday.

The good news is that HBO Films has given the green light to producing an adaptation of the play, according to reports in Variety and Playbill On Line. Playwright Moises Kaufman will write the script, and although no casting announcements have been made, the skinny is that the play's popularity among Hollywood heavyweights could yield a few star turns in prominent roles in the film.

Producer Roy Gabay describes the project as a "full-fledged movie," which lends credence to speculation that the film budget will include location filming in Wyoming, enabling the use of the boldly evocative Western landscape that figured so prominently in the fabric of the play.

Since last week's cover story detailing the high stakes Ron May vs. Doug Bruce grudge match for state Senate District 10, contributions for the July reporting period have been submitted to the Colorado Secretary of State's office. And, with May collecting nearly $100,000 and Bruce $37,000, the race will likely go down as the most expensive of this year.

The winner of the primary, Ron May will face Democrat Daniel Tafoya in the November election. District 10, which encompasses east-central Colorado Springs, is home to a strong majority of Republican voters.

Bruce declined to accept political action money, and his $37,000 included a $15,000 personal loan to his own campaign.

By the end of the month, May had collected nearly $100,000 in contributions, mainly from political action committees representing real estate, developers, tobacco, insurance and gas and oil industries. Many lobbyists and lawmakers expressed disdain at the idea of Bruce serving in the state Senate, where they have routinely been targets of his tirades and personal insults.

Campaign contribution information is generally available online at the Secretary of State's Web site at WWW.SOS.STATE. CO.US/PUBS/ELECTIONS/ELECTIONINFO.HTML. However, July's report has not yet been posted. Secretary of State Donetta Davidson's public relations spokeswoman Lisa Pitts said a new system is currently being installed, and she has "no idea" when the current campaign data will be available for review on the Internet.

Until the system is installed, people who want to review the current list of contributions and expenditures for any legislative or statewide candidate -- including Davidson -- must drive to her office in Denver. Pitts said the office will also attempt to accommodate people who want campaign information over the telephone. The Secretary of State's telephone number is 303/894-2200.


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