Editor’s note: Director’s Chair is a column where Kris Sabel, who is in charge of cultural programming for the Vail Valley Foundation, gives his expert take on shows not to be missed at the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek.
We’ve all had this experience. We are in a really dark or upsetting place in our lives, it seems that things can’t worse and then someone says something funny or we see someone slip on a banana peel and we let our defenses down, we smile or laugh — even if we don’t want to — and voila, the negative is diffused. I think it is no coincidence that in the past three winter seasons, comedy shows have sold the highest percentage of tickets out of all of our offerings. We can all use a good laugh to take our minds off of the economy, the divisiveness in our politics and all of the unimaginable and absurd things happening, from school shootings to chemical weapons to unexplainable natural disasters.
We have a great opportunity for you to take a break from the stress and laugh out loud this Sunday with “50 Shades! The Musical” at 8 p.m. “50 Shades! The Musical” is a parody of the “Fifty Shades of Grey” phenomenon. For those who haven’t read the books or think this is just for the women, please indulge me for just a few moments more while I try to explain what this is all about. Keep in mind, this show has been selling out all over the country to male and female audiences, and having read the books is not a prerequisite to an evening of fun.
The show opens with a ladies book club deciding to read “Fifty Shades of Grey” and follows the hilarious path of their discovery as the book unfolds. Think “Fifty Shades” meets “Saturday Night Live.” It’s going to be a hilarious evening featuring original dance numbers and original songs with names like “They Get Nasty,” “I Don’t Make Love, I F#*!” and “There’s a Hole Inside of Me.”
So, if you’re like me and you haven’t read the books and have been slightly amused and slightly bewildered, wondering what all fuss is about (the book series has sold more than 70 million copies worldwide!), then this is your chance to try to understand this social phenomenon, maybe get some insight into your mate and have a laugh all at the same time. The show is best reserved for ages 18 and older, and if you have a problem with sexual innuendo and poking fun at sadomasochism, then this may not be the show for you.
If I’ve still not sold you on the fun-filled evening that is “50 Shades! The Musical,” we have our winter Broadway series on sale now with “pick three” and “pick four” package options. We’ll bring the beloved classic “Mamma Mia!” to our stage, along with “The Midtown Men” (four stars from the original Broadway cast of “Jersey Boys”); “Man of La Mancha,” one of the great triumphs in American musical theater history; “The Ten Tenors,” featuring Broadway’s greatest hits, and more.
Whether it’s a classic you’ve seen again and again, or a Broadway show you’re experiencing for the first time, I can assure you that Broadway at the Vilar Performing Arts Center is a refreshing and unique experience.
Take my word for it – you don’t want to miss “50 Shades! The Musical” on Sunday. It’s unlike any show we’ve ever hosted. I hope to see you this weekend and back again as we continue our Broadway journey this winter.
I’ll see you at the show!