by Beki Pineda

THE CROWN – Written by Danial Clarkson; directed by Owen Lewis and Danial Clarkson  Produced by James Seabright (Presented by the Denver Center for the Performing Arts Cabaret at the Garner Galleria Theatre, 14th and Curtis, Denver) through November 20. Tickets available at 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org.

An English actress named Beth has always dreamed of playing the Queen in one of the numerous movies, plays and TV shows featuring her majesty. That would by QEII – the one who just passed. Remember? So when she found out that Netflix was holding auditions for someone to play Elizabeth in the fifth season of THE CROWN, she knew her time had come. In spite of the fact that this season is about the Queen’s later years and dear Beth was in her 20’s. She and her manager set out on a journey to get her in front of Reed Hastings, the head of Netflix to show him she could do it.

They have stopped in Denver and put together this little demonstration of Beth’s talents because Stanley, her manager, had convinced her that this is where Reed lives. And, as a matter of fact, there he is, sitting in the front row of the audience. Cue unsuspecting audience member. [CLUE: Don’t sit in the first five rows or you may be called on to participate. Or demand seats close up if acting silly in front of strangers turns your crank.] They are going to ambitiously act out the first four seasons of THE CROWN to show Beth’s unending talent and determination. What ensues is a rollicking, robust and raucous evening of fun.

Elezabeth Arends does prove her talent but not by acting as a stately Queen. She gets into the spirit of things by becoming not only Lillibet but Princess Margaret, Princess Anne, some of the younger royals and even a Corgi. Brendan Murphy trying to make up for the fact that he forgot to send her audition tapes to the casting director plays both of Margaret’s husbands, various Prime Ministers, Prince Phillip and a second corgi. You don’t have to have watched even one episode of THE CROWN to enjoy this wickedly funny parody. But after seeing this show, you will want to dig it out of your watch list and catch up.

This is a short run for a Galleria show but perfect for a date night. Not really for the kiddies. Catch it quick while you can.

A WOW factor of 8.5!!

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