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A dose of laughter

Kris SabelVail, CO Colorado
Special to the Daily
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There’s nothing better, in my mind, than a little comedy to take your mind off your worries and cares. And there’s no better way to get that dose of laughter than when standup comedian Craig Shoemaker returns to the Vilar Center Sept. 13 for an encore performance. Shoemaker, whose comedy nickname is “The Lovemaster,” sold out the Vilar Center and established himself as a Valley favorite when he performed last winter as part of the “Humor on the Slopes” weekend, with the New Yorker Magazine. Now you have another chance to catch this funny man, so don’t miss it!

Shoemaker is what one might call a “decorated” comedian. He has won the Comedian of the Year Award, two Emmy Awards and a Toastmaster Award; performed at every major comedy venue in the country and was seen by over two million people in 2006 alone. On the big screen, Shoemaker co-starred with Patrick Stewart in the film Safe House, featured in the box office hit Scream 2 and starred in Dark Honeymoon opposite Daryl Hannah. Shoemaker’s own movie, The Lovemaster, won “Best Film” honors at the Independent Film Festival in Los Angeles and garnered rave reviews.Anyone who experienced this comedian last winter certainly knows this is a must-see show. Shoemaker sold out the Vilar Center, and had the crowd rolling throughout his routine. By channeling his audacious, sometimes naughty, always funny persona “The Lovemaster,” Shoemaker presents commentary on everyday topics – from relationships to family ties to mundane things like a traffic jam – in an irresistibly, side-splittingly funny perspective. In fact, his “Lovemaster” routine was voted Most Popular Comedy on XM Radio’s Big Schtick channel.

But it’s not all just fun and games for this comedian. The project closest to Shoemaker’s heart these days is “Laughter Heals,” a non-profit organization he created to help spread humor to patients with cancer and other terminal diseases. Shoemaker argues that more and more research supports that laughter is indeed, if not the best medicine, certainly a cheap, effective, natural and enjoyable adjunct to healing. As he states on the organization’s website, “if laughter is the best medicine, we want to be the free pharmacy.” With laugh-mobiles, classes for caregivers, an extensive Web site (laughterheals.com) and even a network of professional comedians who will perform for free, Laughter Heals has proven to be an incredible resource for those trying to find the humorous silver lining in oftentimes bleak situations. And it works. Though far from ailing, I was having one of the most stressful weeks of the winter when he performed last year. Just a few minutes into his routine, I was howling with laughter, my mind far from my worries. I truly left the Vilar Center feeling ten times better than when I walked through the doors.

This event is part of the Beaver Creek Resorts Wine and Spirits Festival, which runs the Sept. 13-16, and tickets include complimentary cocktails, wine and appetizers to warm you up for the performance. World-renowned wine and spirits expert Anthony Dias Blue will be on hand to help you sample award-winning wines and tasty cocktails, all included in the ticket price of $38. I challenge you to find a better value for such a varied and enjoyable evening!One last note – this is not one for the kids. Shoemaker’s comedy is geared toward the grown ups, and some content may be unsuitable for our younger audiences. I hope to see you at the Vilar Center, laughing away your cares, and enjoying the final show of the summer season.


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