Grapefruit Lab’s Latest Production Strange Bird, Queer Bird Runs April 7 – 15

Lars Reid and Julie Rada in rehearsals for Strange Bird, Queer Bird

Strange Bird, Queer Bird is the latest production from Grapefruit Lab and it launches on Friday, April 7 and runs the following two weekends (see dates and times below) at Buntport Theater at 717 Lipan St., Denver, CO 80204. Per the latter’s press release:

“Strange Bird, Queer Bird, the latest original show from Grapefruit Lab, is
an early-pandemic love story based on actual events. After a single face-to-face date, the world shuts down, but two queer people manage to connect despite the imposed distance. Against the backdrop of forest fires, uprisings in the streets, uncertainty, and massive death – this show finds a hopeful tone in the personal and profound connections still happening between people.

“It’s a story told through music, dance, and intimate correspondence,” says Lars Reid, one of the creators. “A story about falling in love, and finding comfort in a time of great loss and widespread isolation.” The text is taken verbatim from letters, phone messages, journal entries, and poems between Reid and Julie Rada – who perform as themselves. These words are joined with original dance (Kate Speer, Allison Blakeney) and live music (Teacup Gorilla) to create a poetic reflection on blossoming love.

“The show is inspired by the complex mating rituals of bowerbirds,” says Rada.
“These birds build intricate nests and colorful collections to impress each other – and we’re telling a queer version of that story. In the context of the pandemic, it’s a story that seems relatable, in spite of these specifics.

“This vulnerable, charming production is a collaboration among many other local artists. In addition to the creators and performers, the show features sculptural scenic pieces and costumes created by the masterminds at Colorado Shoe School: Annabel Reader and Dan Huling. It is also being performed at (and co-produced by) Buntport Theater, another company known for their innovative original work.”

Allison Blakeney and Kate Speer in rehearsals for Strange Bird, Queer Bird

All ticket sales for the Sunday April 9 performance will benefit the Denver Actors Fund which profides financial support to Colorado artists in medical need. On Saturday, April 15 Grapefruit Lab will host a thirty minute “creative conversation” at 4 pm for attendees with an interest in a behind-the-scenes glimpse into how the production was made.

As per usual for Grapefruit Lab, a performance company founded by long-term collaborators Julie Rada, Miriam Suzanne and Kenny Storms, this show will be a mixed media affair imbued with great creativity, humanity, humor and warmth that will provoke thought and reflection on the subjects presented. For tickets visit Grapefruit Lab’s website at this link:

Allison Blakeney and Kate Speer in rehearsals for Strange Bird, Queer Bird

Friday, April 7, 2023 – 7:30pm
Saturday, April 8, 2023 – 7:30pm
Sunday, April 9, 2023 – 6:00pm (fundraiser for Denver Actors Fund – suggested
donation $20)
Friday, April 14, 2023 – 7:30pm
Saturday, April 15, 2023 – 2:00pm
Saturday, April 15, 2023 – 7:30pm


Author: simianthinker

Editor, primary content provider for this blog. Former contributor to Westword and The Onion.

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