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Photo Flash: First Look at THE TRAVESTY OF LEAR on The Betsy Stage

The story of Lear as King of the Land and aging father of three daughters is the stuff of fairy tales - a test between love, loyalty and greed. The Betsy Stage has taken Shakespeare's timeless tale and set it in the Old West. Lear, the owner of The Scarlet Slipper Saloon, puts his three favorite prostitutes to the test as he divides his kingdom. "The Travesty of Lear" is designed to surprise and amuse audiences. Scroll down for a first look at the cast in action!

Michael Vasicek (Lear) is the proprietor of "The Scarlet Slipper," Charlotte Patti Murtha (Lil) is the first of Lear's favorite whores, Michal Andrea Mayer (Violet) is Lear's second favorite whore and Brooks Mullen/Elinor Reina (Cordelia) are third as Lear's favorite whores. Jacob Abbas/RJ Harris (Bob) play the fool, and wisest of all the characters, Jim Hitzke/Kevin Lowry (Ed) is the first cowboy with Phil Luna/ Todd Simmons (Oswald) as second cowboy.

Co-Founder Samantha McDermott said, "The goal of the Betsy Stage is to create community through art. This has been a family mission starting many generations ago - my great-grandmother wrote the play A Worm in Horseradish, which was first performed by the Jewish Repertory Theater. My grandmother acted with the Westchester Children's Players, a troupe that travelled the underserved neighborhoods of NYC and performed in local schools for free. My mother, Jeri Franco, would spend many of her weekends traveling with the troupe as well, and she is now my partner, co-author and Artistic Director at the Betsy Stage, as well as a recently published author of the children's book Ma's Garden. So, it definitely runs in the blood and we are excited to bring our family mission to the amazing Denver arts community".

The Betsy Stage presents "The Travesty of Lear" November 8 through January 25 (no performances 11/28-12/1 and 12/26-12/29) at 1133 S. Huron St. Denver, CO 80223. Performances are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and Monday, November 18 at 8 p.m.; Sundays at 2 p.m. All performances are FREE, donations are accepted. Reservations are required by calling 720-328-5294. More info and video at

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Lear Cast

Elinor Reina, Michal Andrea Meyer, Patti Murtha, Michael Vasicek

Kevin Lowry, Jim Hitzke

Brooks Mullen, Michal Andrea Meyer, Jeannie Saracino

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