I first saw Leonard Barrett in 2004, when he was starring as Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls, staged by the Phamaly Theatre Company at the Space Theatre at the Denver Center. His performance was intriguing, stylish and poised, yet at the same time entirely his own: He knew how to own the stage, and his singing was original, a sort of jazzy variation on what you usually get from musical comedy performers. Over the years, one particular moment stuck with me: Barrett had ascended one of the stairways that run up from the stage through the audience and was standing at the top, singing, when an audience member dropped her purse almost directly at his feet. I froze. It takes deep concentration to perform, and everyone knows — or should — that it’s taboo to distract an actor in the middle of a scene. But this obnoxious woman went a step further. She tugged on Barrett’s trouser leg, pointed to the purse, and indicated he should pick it up. A second’s pause and then, still singing, he turned and adjusted focus. It was Sky Masterson who handed over the purse with a small, courteous flourish.

Barrett laughs when I remind him of this. He doesn’t remember the incident, but says, “It sounds like something I would do.” Read the entire review on Westword.