Congratulations to retired attorney Ted Borrillo on the publication of his new book, Denver’s Elitch Theatre: A Nostalgic Journey! It’s a fascinating portrayal of the dramatic history underlying his Academy courses on Elitch’s–and promises to be equally popular.
Denver’s Elitch Theatre is packed with little-known details of the back-stage melodramas that marked the historic theatre’s birth in 1890, its roller-coaster struggles to survive, its repeated rescues from bankruptcy, and its many coups—including luring Broadway legends to its boards. East Coast stage actors knew–as the acclaimed Frederic March once said–that “Anyone who was successful there had an excellent chance of getting better parts when he returned to New York.”
Of course, not every well-known performer behaved like a paragon when in Denver for Elitch’s summer season. One of the dozens (hundreds?) of revealing anecdotes features Mickey Rooney, who was notorious for finishing his matinees up to ten minutes early. Observers reported that Mickey would race through his lines, so he could get to the race track on time to place his bets. His signature offstage exit line: “I said every word! I said every word!”
Ted also regales his readers with entertaining and informative back-stories of pertinent local events (such as the competing Manhattan Beach “resort” built on Sloan’s Lake) and not-so-famous actors—some, like local maven Helen Bonfils, who were much more famous for their offstage roles.
For local-history lovers, theatre devotees and those just seeking an intriguing true story about a cultural icon, Ted’s book is available at http://www.amazon.com/Denvers-Historic-Elitch-Theatre-Nostalgic/dp/0974433144.