Twenty shows in seven weeks in Beaver Creek
Vail CO, Colorado
Editor’s note: Director’s Chair is a weekly 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.
Twenty great performances over the next seven weeks round out the Vilar Performing Arts Center’s 10th anniversary season. Now two-thirds of the way through the season, we continue this week with a run of sold-out shows ” comedians Lisa Lampinelli and Jim Gaffigan, both part of Beaver Creek Resort’s Humor on the Slopes event, and musical legends Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.
Coming up next week, we have contemporary dance company Diavalo making an anticipated return engagement on Tuesday. I discussed this company in last week’s column, and want to reiterate ” this is not your mother’s dance company. Diavolo is a spectacle with shades of Cirque du Soleil and Chinese acrobats. On Wednesday we present the beloved classic “The Velveteen Rabbit” with the Enchantment Theatre Company. This is sure to be a beautiful and moving evening with original music, extraordinary puppets, masks and magic. Enchantment Theatre brings to life this charming tale of love and devotion, creating an unforgettable theatrical experience for the whole family.
Typically, we announce our winter season in October with tickets going on sale in early November. This time frame enables us to create, print and distribute our printed materials and also allows our ticket buyers to plan their schedules in advance. The challenge of this time frame, however, is that there are usually wonderful artists who decided to go on tour after we’ve “gone to print.” With the goal of providing the best and most diverse programming available, we will often add performances throughout the season, and I want to let you know of three late additions to this year’s schedule.
On March 22, comedian Josh Blue makes a return engagement to the Vilar. Blue, who was the “Last Comic Standing” on season 4 of NBC’s hit show, has cerebral palsy, and many of his jokes center on living with his disability, how he deals with it and how other people view him. He coined the term “palsy punch” during the final round of “Last Comic Standing,” when he said that the palsy punch is effective in a fight because, “first of all, they don’t know where the punch is coming from, and second of all, neither do I.” Blue also jokes that signing an autograph takes 45 minutes, and that to write down his phone number he has to find a “big ole’stack of paper.”
Josh Blue has turned the burden of living with Cerebral Palsy into the cornerstone of his stand-up comedy. As his online bio reveals, he defies “stereotypes and [encourages] others to overcome their preconceived notions about people who are considered ‘disabled.’ His unique brand of ‘reverse teasing’ affords him the great joy of ‘humbling condescending people.'”
On March 31, we present The Wailers, former backing group of the late Bob Marley. Reggae legends in their own right, now led by Aston ‘Family man’ Barrett, The Wailers’ line up also includes guitarist Al Anderson, saxophonist Glen DaCosta and trombone player Vin Gordon and former City Heat vocalist Gary ‘Nesta’ Pine.
Our last addition is also our final show of the winter season, Dark Star Orchestra on April 11. Recreating entire shows song-for-song from The Grateful Dead’s 30 years of touring, Dark Star Orchestra is loved by both new generation and old school “Deadheads.” Dark Star Orchestra presents its critically-acclaimed live show at esteemed venues from coast to coast and internationally.
With all the variety this winter, there is truly something for everyone.
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