Traveling internationally may be out of reach to Americans for the near future, but that doesn't mean they can't find respite on some quick road trips to great spots a few hours away from their city centers. And what's a great road trip without an awesome playlist? For all our Broadway lovers, we asked a few Broadway, Off-Broadway and national tour company members what cast albums they're bopping to when they get the itch to get out on the open road and relax while their prospective shows are furloughed til 2021. Our first interviewee is the theatre and TV/Film actor, Jason Veasey last seen in the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical, A Strange Loop.
Discover Denver with Jason Veasey
Acting since the age of 10, Jason Veasey has been involved in a huge number of theatrical productions. His most recent project was a new musical at St. Louis Rep called Dreaming Zenzile about the legendary life of Miriam Makeba. Makeba was a singer, songwriter, UN Goodwill Ambassador, activist, and the first African recording artist to win a Grammy. Before Dreaming Zenzile, Veasey was in A Strange Loop at Playwrights Horizon. A Strange Loop won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama on top of an already abundant list of other accolades include Obie Awards and Drama Desk Awards.
“Working on the show was and is the highlight of my career. Over seven years of development" says Veasey. "The Pulitzer was on nobody’s radar. Honestly, we had already won a lot of other awards this season so it was an amazing cherry on top.” Veasey took some time to help us plan a road trip based on not one, but two of his favorite cast recordings.
Where: What city are you in currently?
Veasey: Colorado Springs, CO.
Where: What cast album would you want to listen to on a road trip?
Veasey: I know this might not be allowed, but I’m going to pick two. Sorry, not sorry. The first is the cast album for “A Strange Loop”. One, I’m biased BUT its reeeeeaaally good. For real. The second would be "Taboo"; one of the most underrated scores ever in my opinion. “Taboo” is a musical about Boy George and the Club Culture and his rise to fame written by Boy George himself! Amazing original music. And the VOCALS!
Where: Why those albums?
Veasey: Vocals. Lyrics. Bops. Harmonies. Almost every genre of music is explored between those two recordings.
Where: Do you have any favorite songs on those albums?
Veasey: My favorites songs are all from A Strange Loop. “Periodically,” a song that is basically a one-act play performed brilliantly by John Andrew Morrison. “Tyler Perry Writes Real Life,” “Memory Song,” and “We Wanna Know.”
Where: Would you sing along?
Veasey: Yes. Duh.
Where: Both musicals you choose are approximately 60 min. long so where would you road trip while listening to these albums?
Veasey: I would stop in Denver and go to the Denver Diner. Then drive to City Park and CHILL! Then off to one of what seems like a thousand breweries in Denver. Colorado doesn’t play when it comes to beer. Then off to find a smothered burrito with pork green chili.
Denver Diner has been a family-owned, local favorite for 30 years. The 24/7 diner sports vintage Formica tables and retro neon signs. The short-order cooks fry up some of the breakfast food in the Mile High City. Beyond breakfast, Denver Diner is also well known for making delicious burritos (some smothered in pork green chile, Veasey’s favorite), sandwiches, burgers, and French dips. It’s conveniently located on the corner of Colfax and Speer in downtown Denver.
City Park has something for everyone. It’s home to the Denver Zoo, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, tennis courts, sporting fields, lakes, picnic areas, and plenty of space to simply relax outdoors. The park is 330 acres crisscrossed by pedestrian paths and bicycle lanes. It’s surrounded by hip restaurants, local businesses, and fashionable boutiques. One of those trendy eateries is Tacos Tequila Whiskey, a great place to sate your appetite. The City Park location is open Tuesday-Sunday and offers brunch on the weekends. Enjoy breakfast for dinner with one of their three breakfast taco options or go classic with carnitas or Asada tacos. Vegetarians have plenty of taco choices as well including hongos (grilled mushrooms), cauliflower tinga, or queso a la plancha (grilled cotija cheese). Their menu also has a list of fun margarita options and house-made sodas.
As the first Brewpub in Colorado, Wynkoop is the self-proclaimed home to tastemakers and rulebreakers. Their rotating tap list is full of IPAs, stouts, sours, and specialty brews all made on-premise. Wynkoop is open for lunch and dinner with a menu full of classic pub favorites like wings, burgers, and fish and chips. There are salads, vegan green chili, and the Impossible Burger for vegetarian diners. The Brewpub has been around for 30 years and the brewers will experiment with anything in their beers. No, really. Anything. They’ve used Rocky Mountain oysters, gummy bears, and green chilis in their famous brews.
You can follow Jason Veasey on Instagram and Twitter: @veaseyville.