Johnny Jane

The production features Kim Nuzzo as a fallen angel; Finn Benham as the angel’s caretaker, a trans youth coming to terms with their violent past; and Valerie Nuzzo as the mysterious visitor bent on revenge. The play explores identity, forgiveness, love and othering, and contains adult language and themes, including drug use.

Adults Only
57 minutes
Theatre, LGBTQ+
Mercury Cafe Ballroom
2199 California St, Denver, CO 80205

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Finn Benham (Johnny Jane/Zephyr Stage Assoc. Director/Playwright)  is an artist from Fruita, Colorado, whose work ranges from plays and musicals to poetry, mask-making and filmmaking. Works include past ZS productions and short film “Derek Daffodil and the Journey to the Places Unseen” on YouTube. They continue to focus on themes of mental illness, surreality and gender expression.

Kim Nuzzo (Angel/Zephyr Stage Assoc. Director/Playwright) is a visual artist and poet. He has performed a variety of roles in Zephyr Stage productions, most notably as Walt Whitman, in Multitudes, a one-man show performed around the country and internationally at the Festival Fringe in Edinburgh, Scotland. He is dedicating his performance to the eighty-three-year-old Russian artist and peace activist, Vladimir Ovchinnikov, recently profiled in the New York Times.

Valerie Nuzzo (Crusader/Exec. Artistic Director/Playwright) has written several plays, including co-writing Multitudes – a one-man show about the American poet Walt Whitman with Kim Nuzzo. She has performed in more than 50 productions with Thunder River Theatre Company in Carbondale, Colorado, including playing all the big Greek girls - Lysistrata, Medea and Antigone.

Caroline Coughran (Stage Manager/Zephyr Stage Company Member) has appeared in two Zephyr Stage productions – Eleemosynary, and Gilgamesh and Enkidu. She enjoys fiction writing and collaging.

Joe Simic (Demon No. 1/Asst. Stage Manager) is originally from the Midwest, and is a lover of cinema and performance arts. Always eager for new experiences, he joins Zephyr Stage for the first time as an actor and crew member. 

Jamie Whiteley: (Lighting Designer) proves the good fortune Zephyr Stage finds all along the way, showing up and asking if he could help! He has created the palpable light and shadow in the show that feels like a character in itself. Zephyr Stage is so thankful for Jamie’s artistic contributions!

Absolutely amazing!
I was fortunate enough to see this incredible production three times while it was in Palisade, Colorado and it got better each time. It’s a powerhouse of a script performed masterfully. You do not want to miss this.
This is a brilliant heart-wrenching story that is like nothing I’ve imagined. Once again, Zephyr Stage has spoken to that deeply set part of me that feels, learns, and expands my soul so that I see life a little clearer. I hope many people make time to experience this piece of art.
This was brilliant, the acting masterful. I feel so fortunate to get to see something like this right here in my little hometown!! I was afraid it might be depressing because of some of the adult content, but that was far from the focus of this gem of a play.
We attended this and it was extremely thought provoking! Very well-written and the cast performed touching and well delivered messages. I have to be honest, I was thinking this play might be too depressing for a cold Jan night but I was pleasantly surprised. It will make you laugh and think, and might even make you cry but I believe each audience member leaves with a different experience based on your own life’s journey. Kudos to everyone involved and BRAVO to the actors.
I just got home from Zephyr Stage's production of Johnny Jane at Fruita United Methodist Church. Wow!
I saw it the first time they performed it in Palisade, but the setting added a whole new layer to the ambiance. I sat in the front row pew and got to reexperience this show's wonderful magic.
As a playwright myself, the second viewing really allowed me to appreciate the dramaturgy of it all. This play is so well written. The beats are clear, the arc is so well crafted and the characters are balanced evenly. It's rare to be able to call a play with three speaking characters an ensemble piece, but that's what Johnny Jane is at its heart.
That's not to mention the myriad theatre forms that the authors and lead actors, Finn Benham, Kim Nuzzo, and Valerie Nuzzo, put into this script. There's Brecht (who was referenced by name to me as I entered the venue. It put a giant smile on my face.) There's Pinter, there's Lecoq, there's Sartre, and almost certainly more that I missed or am unfamiliar with.
Art is always made in conversation with other art and Johnny Jane holds that conversation at such a high level that I've been entirely blown away both times I've seen it.
I can't stress this enough. Do not miss this show. If you enjoy theatre that has something to say and isn't afraid to grab you and hold you and change you while it's got you, see this production.
An incredibly thought-provoking and moving production. Poetic in its execution, thoughtful in its messaging. Johnny Jane is a true masterpiece.
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Mercury Cafe 2199 California St, Denver, CO 80205

Entrance: The main entrance for both the Ballroom and the Jungle Room venues is on the southeast side of the building off of California St. 

Parking: There is a large paid parking lot just across California St. and street parking

Accessibility: If you have any accessibility needs or concerns, please reach out to us at

Admission: You must show your ticket confirmation or purchase a ticket at the venue; all seating is general admission, audiences will wait in a queue before entry to the show