Colorado’s hidden gem is just a Johnstown away

Up north in Johnstown, Colorado there are two distinct theater cornerstones. The first is the Candlelight Dinner Playhouse. This unique theater has brought joy and entertainment for almost 10 years to the Colorado theater community. The second is the fierce and talented skill of Beth Beyer inside the playhouse.

Beth Beyer

Beth Beyer during an interview with Avery Anderson, in her classroom. Photos by Andrea Herrera • aherre38@msudenver.edu

Beyer grew up in Colorado Springs and attended the University of Colorado, Boulder where she studied opera, a skill she admits she has not used since graduating.

Like many up and coming actors do after graduation, she began her search for stardom or any job that could provide a living.

“I worked on a cruise ship right out of college for a year. When I got off the cruise ship I had to decide. Was I going to L.A. or New York? I couldn’t decide,” Beyer said.

In the end, New York City was the direction the young actress chose. In the Big Apple, Beyer continued to discover her talent, herself and her passion for the theater.

“I got my music degree in school but we didn’t focus on acting at all,” Beyer said. “I was like a decent singer, but I was probably not the best singer in the room. But what I think booked my job was the acting.”

After spending 14 years away from Colorado, she knew it was time to come home. So when she saw that the Candlelight Dinner Playhouse was holding auditions for one of her favorite parts, that of Adelaide in ‘Guys and Dolls,’ she jumped at the opportunity and was offered the part.

“There’s like a kindred spirit. I connect with her really easily and she’s got so many different facets to her and she’s very vulnerable. She’s very naive but she’s also very wise and funny, just funny,” she said.

Since her first encounter with the Candlelight, Beyer has become a staple for almost every production. She has performed in six productions including Dolly Levi in ‘Hello Dolly’ and The Witch in ‘Into the Woods’. Even after all that time, she still says that Adelaide is the role she would always come back to.

When taking on any sort of a role, Beyer admits, it is not easy. While she looks so graceful on stage, Beyer said that without research none of these roles would come to life.

“A lot of research, whether it’s watching other productions of it, obviously going through the script. I studied acting in New York for four years with this teacher called Penny Templeton and she’s got a very precise process, I guess. And so, I get my book out, I get my tools out and I go through. And I have very
specific things I do when I breakdown a script. So, I spent a lot of time going through the script and
breaking it all down,” Beyer said.

Beth Beyer

Beth Beyer as The Witch in ‘Into the Woods’ at the Candlelight Dinner Playhouse

Stealing bits and pieces from others, memorization, and surrounding yourself with good people are all things that Beyer mentioned when talking about how she approaches a role.

“I worked a lot with Don Berlin at the Candlelight, he’s the main director I worked with there, I worked with Pat Payne too, but mostly Don Berlin who I adore. He always thinks so much before he gets there which, I really appreciate, Beyer said. Not all roles come easily. One stood out for Beyer as being a bigger challenge.

“Dolly was really hard. I don’t know if it’s just because of the Carol Channing, Barbra Streisand facet. But I think any time you take on something that it’s been such an iconic thing you don’t want to be that person. You don’t want to go out there and do an impression of Carol Channing doing ‘Hello Dolly’ or Barbra Streisand. And so, I think it was a little daunting because of those two people. I didn’t want to be
them,” she said.

Beyer is not just an actor. She is a mother of two boys and runs her own business. Between family, business and her acting career, life can get a little hectic, so she decided to cut down on her stage time.

Melanie Townsend remembers seeing Beyer as Dolly Levi and was impressed in her talent, commitment to her craft and her ability to juggle both work and family.

“I remember talking to her after the show and how she said she’s has little ones waiting for her back at home and how she had to get them up in the morning for school. Granted, this was at 11 o’clock at night. If there’s one thing I like more than an awesome performer, whose reach extends far beyond a small dinner theater, it’s a kick ass mom who can do it all,” Townsend said.

Beth Beyer is a true diamond in our vast Colorado theater community. She has brought many memorable roles to life on stage across the country and right here in our backyard.

“At this point where I am right now with my family and everything, that’s all I need. I just need to be able to stretch my muscles every once in awhile,” Beyer said.

Author: Avery Anderson

Avery Anderson is the General Manger of Met TV. He hosts The Nightly Met an entertainment show that highlights local art and culture. He loves the theater and all art and is an advocate for local theater companies through his many stories. He also enjoys gardening and being outside.
Connect with him through email at aande133@msudenver.edu

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