Director’s Chair column: Bringing a star from the silver screen to our stage
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.
Friends, it’s an exciting time to be in this valley. Those who know me know that I get extremely passionate about and stand 100 percent behind every show that we host at the Vilar Performing Arts Center because I know that it will be a great show, but in the coming couple of weeks we truly have some spectacular things happening down here under the ice rink in Beaver Creek.
First on the list is this Sunday: Jonas Kaufmann.
I’ve dedicated an entire Director’s Chair column to this famed operatic tenor and I won’t dive in again, except to say that his voice and the experience you will receive if you come to his recital on Sunday are something quite exceptional. Mr. Kaufmann joins us for one of very few solo performances in the U.S. this year, and we have guests from all over the world coming to our hall to hear him sing. It’s going to be a magical evening and even if you’re not traditionally an opera enthusiast, we hope you’ll consider this opportunity.
With one international star on Sunday comes two more just a few days after. Robin Williams – arguably one of the brightest imaginations on the planet – will be joined on stage with David Steinberg for an evening of comedy in sit down format on Thursday. Though Steinberg’s name is less recognizable, he’s the visionary behind many of the most successful projects and sitcoms on television.
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I’ve received a few calls and comments from community members balking at the sticker price for Robin Williams, and my response has been this: First, I recognize that a ticket at this price does not cater to everyone in our community, and we’ve worked hard to bring a great variety of shows to our venue that serve various tastes and price levels. And second, never in our wildest dreams could we book Robin Williams (nor did we expect to, until very recently) without the extremely generous support of our donors. Even with the contributions we’ve received, the Vilar Center will not profit from this show. We brought it to the valley because a big name is a huge win for this community in so many ways.
The last show that I want to get on your radar (and I wish I had room to mention more) is Marc Cohn. This is his third appearance at the Vilar Center and each of his previous concerts stand out as audience favorites. I sometimes receive a blank stare when I mention his name, until I mention his legendary hit “Walking in Memphis.” And suddenly, eyes light up and his famed soulful croon floods back into memory.
Cohn will be featuring his latest project, titled “Listening Booth: 1970” with a series of transformed songs from Cat Stevens, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Van Morrison, Smokey Robinson, Creedence Clearwater Revival and Bread. It will be a legendary evening of a very successful era of rock, and it will feature one of the few voices that has the right and the talent to take it on. Cohn takes our stage Wednesday.
I’ll see you at the show!