Twice a year I have the pleasure of writing to you with my assessment of the Vilar Performing Arts Center's winter and summer lineup, optimistic that their chosen talent (or lack thereof) would surprise me for once. This year I felt an overwhelming sense of familiarity with something that shouldn't be familiar at all.
Have you ever seen the movie "Groundhog Day"? Bill Murray plays an arrogant and egocentric Pittsburgh TV weatherman who during a hated assignment covering the annual Groundhog Day event in Punxsutawney finds himself in a time loop, repeating the same day again and again.
With Vilar's concert series lineup released this week, a sensation of deja vu hit Beaver Creek with an ugly left hook. In celebration of Vilar's 15th anniversary, the selection committee so predictably decided to take the safe route with picking the same exact shows that have already performed for the people of Beaver Creek.
Do any of these names sound familiar? They should as they all have played the Vilar within the last couple of years: Michael Bolton, Kathleen Madigan, Lewis Black, The 5 Browns, Popovich Pet Theater, Monty Python's "Spamalot," Golden Dragon Acrobats, Second City, Lord of the Dance, Dark Star Orchestra?
Shall I continue? Los Lonely Boys, Music of Abba, Jason Bishop Illusionist, Pink Floyd Laser Spectacular, Marc Cohn, Linda Eder, the Beach Boys and a most surprising return by American Idol superstar Clay Aiken! What? Clay Aiken never played for Vilar? Sorry, I am confusing Clay with the other Idol chart-topper, David Archuleta.
Similar to the movie Groundhog Day, Vilar is once again stuck in a time loop, repeating the same experience again and again. Instead of being creative, entertaining and aesthetically significant, Vilar's 2012-13 winter concert series sequel is as dreadful as "Caddyshack II."