Director’s Chair column: A different Burt from the one you know
Ryan Summerlin January 8, 2014
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 that are not to be missed at the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek.
Happy Holidays, everyone! This is a favorite time of year for me at the Vilar Performing Arts Center, as we kick off our winter season. We have 52 performances over the next three-and-half months, and 10 of them are in the next two weeks.
Our lobby is decorated, including a 24-foot high Christmas tree to get you in the spirit of the season. It’s a great time to enjoy our beautiful venue and create some memories of attending live performances with your loved ones.
I truly believe in and recommend all of these performances, and I wish I could tell you about each of them, but I don’t have room for that, so for more information please go to our website www.vilarpac.org and check it out.
Tonight we have an opportunity to share the evening with one of America’s greatest songwriters — Burt Bacharach. I don’t care how old you are or where you grew up, I don’t believe it’s possible to not have his music floating around somewhere in your head and your memories.
Personally, I’ve been a fan of Burt’s since I was a kid. One of my first 45s (that’s an early version of a CD single for those too young to know about them) was Karen Carpenter singing “Close to You,” (what a haunting voice), and another was Dionne Warwick singing “Walk on By.”
Dionne’s voice is etched into my brain, maybe my soul, because she sang so many of Burt’s songs. Hits like “Do You Know the Way to San Jose?”, “Anyone Who Had a Heart,” “I Say a Little Prayer,” and “Don’t Make Me Over,” to name just a few of the 15 top 40 hits that Burt and Dionne had together.
If you didn’t grow up with these songs you might know his music from iconic movies songs like “Alfie,” “Heartlight” from ET, “The Best That You can Do” from Arthur and “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head” from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. I believe these songs are a part of the fabric of a lot of people’s lives, certain songs can take me right back to a specific time or place or emotion in my life. And I can’t wait to relive all of these songs and memories.
HE’S STILL GOING
However it’s the now as well; the music of Burt Bacharach just keeps on going like the Energizer bunny. On Dec. 5th a show opened in NYC called “What’s it all About,” and features 35 of Burt’s songs rearranged and sung by a troupe of young actors and singers. He’s also working with Elvis Costello and Chuck Lorre (creator of Big Bang Theory, Two and Half Men and Mike and Molly) on a musical of their album “Painted From Memory.”
He and Elvis Costello are also working with Mike Myers on an Austin Powers musical for Broadway.
For Sunday’s show, Burt will be joined by a top notch band and three terrific vocalists to sing as many of these hits songs (he wrote 72 top-40 hits and 48 top-10 hits) as they can fit into one show.
This is a rare opportunity to see Burt up close and personal in our intimate venue, I think this show is truly one that is not to be missed.
If you’re looking for something to complement the Burt Bacharach concert, we have a show that’s been hailed as “the greatest contribution to the American Circus since Cirque du Soleil” (Spectacle Magazine).
Cirque Mechanics brings Birdhouse Factory to our stage for three performances on Dec. 28 and 29. With trampolines, aerial feats, trapeze, juggling, contortion, comedy and a touching story to tie it all together, this is a show for the whole family.
I love the direction this troupe has taken to make this show unique and present a new perspective on the circus. I guarantee you and your family will love it.
Happy Holidays, and I’ll see you at the show!