“Since I Dreamed”: A Must-See Magical Mystery Tour, Go!

“Since I Dreamed”: A Must-See Magical Mystery Tour, Go!

Telluride Theatre’s “Since I Dreamed” is now up at the Michael D. Palm Theatre. The extravaganza plays over two successive weekends: March 6-10 & March 14-17, 2019. Mark down the times: March 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 7 p.m.; March 8, 9, 15, 16 late-night double feature at 9 p.m.; March 10 & 15, 5 p.m. 

During the evening the audience moves (seated on a movable platform). And seating is extremely limited for each performance. Please arrive early. No refunds are given for latecomers. Fun for the whole family, “Since I Dreamed” is rated PG. (Yes the show is appropriate and should be great fun for kids 8+.) With music, crazy characters, a wildly talented cast of actors, this happening is not to be missed. 

Tickets are $20 adults; $10 for students. To purchase, please visit telluridetheatre.org or call 970.708.7629.

With its original productions especially, all made up by Artistic Director Sasha Sullivan from whole cloth, Telluride Theatre aims to rock your world. Set to the soundtrack of Avalanche’s “Since I Left You,” in concert with the words of Freud, Jung and Einstein, ”“Since I Dreamed” certainly checks that box. Think “Alice in Wonderland” meets “The Wizard of Oz.”

The refrain of the title track of “Since I Left You” states “Since I left you/I found the world so new…” In general, the music of Aussie group on this very special (to Sasha) release seems to revel in a thousand shades of joy – a fair summary of the one-hour, one-minute happening that is “Since I Dreamed.”

The album is madly glad. So is “Since I Dreamed.’ And, as the lyrics suggest, the production is all about leaving the heavy burden of our personal histories at the door and giving ourselves a hall pass to float off, as in a dream, to some some exotic Elsewhere.

And the archetypal “Elsewhere” is where you go if you go to the show, channel your inner child and get into Sasha’s head.

The death of her sister from cancer proved to be the catalyst for Sasha to fulfill a life-long desire to write a dream play. Over a period of about six months, she created her latest magical mystery tour with a lot of help from her friends Lauren Metzger and Kris Kwasniewski. According to the program notes, “The result is a visual representation of the visceral and surreal aspects of the unconscious mind as it grapples with the onslaught of everyday stimuli.”

A mouthful that rolls up into a wild and woolly roller-coaster ride, at once fun and a bit scary – as dreams can be.

Night after night, elaborately crazy stories plant themselves in your mind through no apparent choice of your own. And, since that is true, something intriguing must be going on.

Just how intriguing?

How nuts?

Find out by getting into bed with Suzy – metaphorically speaking – the happening’s protagonist, played by Cat Lee Covert, Telluride Theatre’s boundlessly talented Managing Director, who does double duty as the production’s choreographer.

Watching Cat on stage is high-calorie eye candy, so lucky for us we get to binge: Cat is never off the stage.

The lissome lady can switch in the blink of an eye from hard edge, in your face, Fosse-esque moves to a bendy gummy bear, from fearless to vulnerable. Bottom line – or bottoms up – Cat has all the goods to deliver a thoroughly engaging performance that convinced us all on opening night that, like Jung hypothesized, dreams are loud and clear messages from the unconscious, offering, in symbolic form, insights and advice the conscious mind might have missed. Given what happens on stage, Suzy’s dreams are clearly more than some boring process for consolidating the memories du jour.

When oversized teeth appear on the scene, one of many examples of wonderful, whimsical props designed by Lauren and Kris, according to prevailing theories, the dreamer is dealing with feelings of powerlessness and loss of control – feelings which bite throughout Suzy’s travels in her dreamscape.

In contrast, the presence of a nurse (Stanya Gorraiz) throughout the production suggests Suzy’s ability to carry herself through any problem, no matter what comes up – like a gaggle of devils; nuns who seemed to have taken a wrong turn out of the Met’s Heavenly Bodies blockbuster; evil doctors; and technology encroaching on the natural world.

And so goes the random brain-firings throughout the night….

Cat and the other lead dancers – Erika Curry-Elrod, Molly Wickwire-Sante, Kelsey Trottier – suck the limelight whenever they are on stage, always in step even – or perhaps especially – when they are way out of step with the logical order of things.

That said, the entire ensemble cast, slipping into one role, then another, pulls its weight in the kooky world Sasha, Kris and Lauren have created.

Suzanne Cheavens, a fine character actor able to seamlessly disappear into her roles, is unrecognizable in the understated roles of The Bum and the White Spirit.

Rachael Cooke sparkles plenty as Money and beguiles as Nature Girl.

Melissa Harris razzle-dazzles as the Disco Queen – and surprises on stilts.

A laid back Dave Hodges is central casting as The Cowboy.

Beautiful Kris Kwasniewski as the Bubble Bath Queen wears headgear straight out of Marie Antoinette’s boudoir and murmurs lines that could be a lift from Lewis Carroll.

Pitch-perfect Pamela Sante is Suzy’s nifty Fifties Mom and her real life daughter, the enchanting, graceful Tiersa Sante, is The Girl or Cat’s Inner Child, who comes out to play.

Laura Shaunette as The Skater wears a perpetual Mona Lisa grin on her face. The cat that ate the canary?

And Telluride Theatre’s Executive Director Colin Sullivan as The Analyst manages to channel Freud and Jung down to his strategically furrowed brow, tweeds and pipe.

“Since I Dreamed” works as part theater, part film, part dance, part costume parade, part light show, part mixed-media art installation and a no-holds-barred extravaganza thanks in large part to Sasha’s hard-working, talented crew.

Cat, as mentioned did the choreography – kudos for that homage to Travolta and “Saturday Night Fever” – which drives the non-stop action.

Lauren and Kris, again, are responsible for the look and feel of the show and its props, best summed up as minimal but essential, with an emphasis on tongue-in-cheek humor.

Alexei Kaleina’s extraordinary video installation could stand alone as a show inside the show.

Melissa Harris’ never-ending array of costumes are all eye-popping, many glittering like Vegas; some more sober to match the mood of the moment.

Colin Sullivan and Dave Hodges built Lauren and Kris’s set.

Dean Rolley worked the sound.

And Tommy Wince put on the light show.

In the 2015 “Parallels,” Sasha encapsulated theories about a multiverse of humongous proportions, not a uni – as in one – verse. The linear narrative of our lives seamlessly moving from birth to death: Hogwash. In that production, Sasha suggested you can have your cake (in our world) and eat it (in another nearby). Food for thought.

In the 2017 “Dinner with Dionysus” the goal was not to deliver moral telegrams, but to give enduring form to Sasha’s insights about the human condition, warts and all. So she and her company responded to the culture of extreme advocacy, lies, predation, confrontation, judgment and verdict that still exists today by heading for fertile territory, a dinner with the god of reversals: Dionysus. The result was a tour de force of social commentary.

Both “Parallels” and “Dionysus” raised the bar on ritualized merriment, madness and mayhem – but those shows, as wonderful as they were, pale in comparison to Sasha’s latest and perhaps greatest a drum-tight happening.

“Since I Dreamed” is also a moving experience.


Over the course of evening, the audience, which is seated on platform, gets moved around the stage by a “Flight Crew” – Poe Nicodemus, Finn Lichtenbelt, Max Gorraiz, Sam Galbo, plus Kris, Lauren and Alexei – to view the protagonist’s different dream sequences.

All that said, the truth is all you really need to know about “Since I Dreamed” is that you should GO! Like dreams, the production is wildly inventive, haunting and surreal.

Overall, “Since I Dreamed” is a flight of fancy that opens with an actual flight crew (larger-than-life flight attendants and a captain, who kick off the action on Alexei’s video), advising everyone to fasten their seat belts.

A very good idea.

For this trip, forget your frequent flyer miles; psilocybin would be a better option.

Or just sit back, relax and enjoy the ride, fun for the whole family,

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