Much more than disco
BEAVER CREEK – Cursed John Travolta. It was his movie “Saturday Night Fever” that draped the multi-colored polyester disco-craze cloth across three years of the 1970s that eventually stamped the decade with a bad music reputation.But if you’re like me, disco music – not to mention Travolta – really aren’t that bad, and admit it, polyester feels good. Nonetheless, Rick Seeber has created “8-Track” The Sounds of the 70s, a time-traveling musical romp through the impassioned ’70s that seeks to remind people of the good music from the decade. There is about a six-minute segment of disco, however, for all those who want to dust off their platform shoes. It comes to the Vilar Center in Beaver Creek Monday at 7:30 p.m.”Seventies music became cliché, but for people like me who lived through the ’70s in their 20s, we knew some great, great music from the decade that’s not disco,” said Seeber, who was inspired to write the musical after spending 15 years of his life directing “Beehive,” a show surrounding sounds of the 1960s. With the help of his good friend Michael Gribbin, the musical director for the A company of “Les Miserables,” Seeber links 56 different ’70s tunes through several “tracks,” or scenes. There’s very little conversation between the four vocalists, most of the song segues are constructed with lyrics.”I’ve put the songs together in very interesting ways. As an audience member, you find yourself in another song and wonder how you got there. They don’t know the song’s coming, but there’s always a meaningful reason for the segue,” said Seeber.”Best of My Love,” “Takin’ It to the Streets,” “What’s Going On,” “Brick House,” “Afternoon Delight,” “Just the Way You Are,” and “The Letter” are just some of the tunes you’ll here during the performance.
“It’s the soundtrack of my life in the ’70s. There’s not a song in this show that I’m not able to communicate about to the cast on what I was going through specifically at that time,” said Seeber.Vocalists Tonya Phillips, Liana Young, Teddey Brown and Nik Rocklin are all in their 20s, so Seeber uses his life’s anecdotes as a tool to express to the young cast the emotion of the songs. “I used to go these parties and ‘Brick House’ would be cranked up to the max. I fell down at one of these kind of parties and broke my knee cap. The woman I’m about to marry was with me at that party,” said Seeber.These tunes are classics that transcend generations. Peter Connolly, 28, of Eagle-Vail thinks the revival of ’70s music among younger generations is due to the movie “The Doors.””When me and my friends saw that everyone started growing their hair out. It was a watershed effect,” said Connolly. “Seventies music is raw. I think people wanted to cleanse themselves from the synthetic sounds of the ’80s, so they listened to ’70s music.”Seeber said “8-Track” is a bit ironic because even though most of the songs are 30 years old, most, if not all, ring true today.
“One side, the show is a safe haven, people go away to this fun time. But it also has a lot of meaning to it because of world affairs today. It’s an amazing thing to watch,” said Seeber.Seeber adds that it’s a family show, but audience members should bring along with them their Bic lighters. Don’t use them until the cast does, he advises.For more information or to buy tickets, call 845-TIXS (8497) or go to http://www.vilarcenter.org.
Arts and Entertainment Editor Cassie Pence can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 618, or firstname.lastname@example.org.Vail, Colorado