Addressing the Tough Stuff Builds Community at The Bug

North Denver Theater is a Hub for Classic and Emerging Theatre

By Jacqui Somen

Denise Perry Olson as protagonist Angela Kennedy Lipsky in “My Brilliant Divorce.” Photo by Richard H. Pegg

“My Brilliant Divorce” opens with a woman talking about how her husband left her; what ensues is two hours of fun. Yep, fun. That might not be what you would expect with such a topic, but it works.

This one-woman show about divorce is a favorite in the theater community. The play ran on The West End in London for years and was nominated for an Olivier Award. Now, you can catch a performance at The Bug Theatre in North Denver, starring renowned local actress Denise Perry Olson and directed by industry veteran Richard H. Pegg. The show is entertaining, but it also takes a serious look at what it means to be human. 

The play explores mature topics (sex, divorce, dating, vibrators) that could be “perfect for a girl’s night out or cathartic for women going through a breakup,” said Pegg. According to organizers, “My Brilliant Divorce” “strikes a chord for any woman who has been through one, and for everyone else, it is an engaging heart-to-heart with a friend who is far funnier and more entertaining than your real life ones in suffering mode.”

“Art is important because it allows us to look inward,” said The Bug Director Alex Weimer. 

EXPOSED Performers on Feb. 19. Photo by Mike Denman, Better Than Awesome

And “My Brilliant Divorce” isn’t the only performance at the theater encouraging attendees to look deeper this month. North Denver theater-goers can also catch a performance of “EXPOSED Storytelling,” a theatrical, true-storytelling experience focused on community healing through shared traumatic stories from the past. It can be intense, but director Josie Nixon is a master at bringing the audience back from the edge. At the end, the audience and storytellers may experience a sense of healing, connection and understanding.

Weimer points to the importance of live experience to create different but shared experiences. Located on Navajo Street near 37th Avenue,The Bug is an ideal locale to build community while experiencing live performance, whether humorous, intense or simply entertaining. 

“The Bug is a place where all sorts of things happen,” Weimer said. 

Interim marketing manager Eileen Agosta added, “our mission is to make the arts accessible to everyone in our community, and to open our space to as many different kinds of shows as possible.” 

This kind of accessibility fuels innovation and exploration, making The Bug a haven for emerging and seasoned artists alike. 

“I’ve worked at the Bug as long as I have because I believe in what happens there. I like helping people get their show up. It’s a rare place to work and it’s even rarer to have these places around anymore,” said Weimer, who has been at The Bug since 1998.

For those wanting to explore the tough stuff through quality storytelling and raw performance, The Bug is the place to be this month. 

“My Brilliant Divorce” runs at The Bug on Fridays and Saturdays from March 1 through March 23.

“EXPOSED Storytelling” will play at The Bug March 18 and once a month through June. 

Visit for more information.

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