Mama Hated Diesels
Denver Center Theatre Company: 3/19 - 5/9
By David Marlowe
Randall Myler and Dan Wheetman are famous for creating musicals, which tear off the labels of bigotry and allow us to see certain groups of people as they really are. They’ve done it for coal miners and blues singers with great success. Now they have done it for the folks who drive eighteen-wheelers. “Mama Hated Diesels” is a thoroughly kicked back, totally relaxing evening of country music that’s strung together loosely on blue collar joking and stories of families with a history of Dads or Moms who are truckers. The very fine cast includes Kathleen Brady, Mike Hartman, Jeanne Paulsen and Charles Weldon. Such artists as Jason Edwards do the excellent singing and guitar playing of some very fine country music. This ruggedly handsome artist assisted by a lively onstage band gives the Stage Theatre a sort of Grand Ol’ Opry ambience. The musicianship is phenomenal all round. David Miles Keenan’s strummin’ and pickin’ adds immeasurably to this enjoyable evening of musical theatre. Jim Steinberg’s glorious photography, seen on dual screens flanking the neon truck-stop signage, nearly steals the show. This artist’s photography of a ribbon of road through the great American landscape is awe-inspiring. At ninety minutes straight through with no intermission the show is too short for Broadway. It’s just about post card picture perfect for Denver though. This is one of the finest productions so far this year at The Denver Center Theatre Company. The only requirement is that you don’t mind listenin’ to some mighty fine country tunes about truckers.