Curious Theatre sets family tension to the music of Charles Ives

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10min 41sec
Photo: Actors Dave Belden and Kate Berry
Actors Kate Berry, left, and Dave Belden perform an excerpt from the Curious Theatre's production of "Charles Ives Take Me Home" in the CPR Performance Studio. The production runs through Feb. 14.

A new production Denver’s Curious Theatre Company tells the story of a violinist who’s so passionate about classical music -- and particularly composer Charles Ives -- that he can’t connect with his basketball-loving daughter.

“Charles Ives Take Me Home” by playwright Jessica Dickey features actors Dave Belden as John, the father, and Kate Berry as Laura, the daughter. The story jumps from decade to decade, showing key scenes in their relationship.

Throughout the play, a fictionalized version of Ives acts as a narrator, advisor, and occasional spectral philosopher.

Here’s a clip of Berry and Belden performing a scene from the play in which John tries to teach his reluctant daughter Laura a few musical terms:

Belden and Berry spoke with CPR arts editor Chloe Veltman about preparing for their roles, the tension that sometimes arises between music lovers and sports fans, and why Ives’ music helps set the tone for the story.

“The great thing about Ives is that he was interested in and good at so many things," Belden said. "He was a wonderful composer. He was an amazing insurance executive … and he also loved sports -- he played baseball when he was young. And he was able to incorporate all of these things into his life in an amazing way."

Belden also talked about working as both an actor and violinist. Click the audio above to hear the interview.

Here’s a playlist of Ives compositions featured in the play, which runs through Feb. 14. You'll need a Spotify account, which is free, to listen:

For more on “Charles Ives Take Me Home” and the composer’s music, listen to CPR Classical at 8 a.m. Saturday for Monika Vischer’s interview with Ken Singleton, an Ives scholar and University of Northern Colorado professor.