As 2013 comes to a close and 2014 approaches, Colorado arts and entertainment journalist April E. Clark offers some ideas of arts and culture events to check out on the Western Slope.
Western Slope Culture: Vaudeville, The Flaming Lips and more
Glenwood Vaudeville Revue Holiday Show
Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 6:30 p.m.
Sundays at 5:30 p.m.
New Year’s Eve at 5:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.
New Year’s Day at 6:30 p.m.
Springs Theatre, 915 Grand Avenue, Glenwood Springs
For the last four years, the Glenwood Vaudeville Revue has built its old-timey dinner theater stage show into one of the must-see entertainment venues in Glenwood Springs. The family-friendly productions offer food, drink and live comedy, taking audiences back to the early 1900s in the former Springs movie theater on Grand Avenue. John Goss, the revue’s founder and artistic director, recently added an early 20th-century Wurlitzer photoplayer piano to the musical mix, just in time for the holidays. The Glenwood Vaudeville Revue’s holiday shows have become a Glenwood Springs tradition. The revue changes with each season and features slapstick skits, clever jokes, high-energy dance numbers and novelty songs. The holiday variety shows run through Jan. 4.
“Women at Home on the Range”
Through Jan. 19, 2014
Colorado Mountain College, 3695 Airport Road, Rifle
This art show illustrates daily life in the West with 40 paintings by respected female artists. Housed on the Rifle campus, Colorado Mountain College’s “Women at Home on the Range” show hangs through Jan. 19 and features new work by artists Jane Lee and Sharon Martin of Silt, Ruth Mollman of New Castle, and Linda Loeschen of Basalt. The eclectic exhibition includes 10 pieces from each artist. Loeschen, known for her water media paintings of the West, incorporates her own life on the range into her images of horses, cowboys, cowgirls and bears. Lee’s work, often painted on location, pays homage to Colorado’s early homesteaders and pioneer women. Mollman’s black-and-white pencil drawings give life to the quiet heroes of the West while rancher Martin’s photo realism focuses on the beauty of animals in the wild such as deer and herds of elk.
Doctor Robert, the Beatles Tribute
Friday, Dec. 27 at 9:00 p.m.
Black Nugget, 403 Main St., Carbondale
For the past three years, Colorado Beatles tribute band Doctor Robert has been learning the more than 200 rock ’n roll songs that made Britain’s famous foursome internationally acclaimed. On Friday, Dec. 27, the Crested Butte-based quartet will play from their wide assortment of Beatles favorites such as “Hard Days Night”, “Hey Jude” and “Drive My Car” at the Black Nugget in drummer Ben Wright’s hometown of Carbondale. Doctor Robert — named for the John Lennon and Paul McCartney song released Aug. 5, 1966 — features Wright on percussion, along with guitarist and vocalist Casey Falter, Karen Janssen on vocals, percussion, piano, bass and mandolin, and Kevin Reinert on bass guitar and vocals. The mountain town band, that comes appropriately dressed in Beatles’-inspired black mod-style dress, has played the Nugget this year as well as the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park’s Music on the Mountain series. Friday’s free show is a benefit for Carbondale local and band friend, Rene Maggert, who is battling an unknown health issue. The band will help generate donations while spreading holiday cheer.
Monday Night Jazz
Mondays from 7:00-9:30 p.m.
Hotel Colorado, 124 W. Sixth Street, Glenwood Springs
During the holidays, the Hotel Colorado, which opened with grandeur in 1893, transforms into a winter wonderland with thousands of twinkling Christmas lights, holiday displays and a deliberately festive atmosphere. This holiday season, the historic hotel hosts live music to help celebrate the season with Monday Night Jazz nights starting at 7 p.m. The house band includes Justin Pfeifer on piano, Ashton Taufer on bass and Zack Ritchie on drums. Musicians from the Western Slope, including Chris Banks, Tim Fox, Josefina Mendez and Aaron Taylor join the house band for music jams. Up-and-coming musicians also perform, providing the chance for middle through high school students to hone their skills while networking with fellow jazz artists.
The Flaming Lips
Monday, Dec. 30 and Tuesday, Dec. 31 at 9:00 p.m.
Belly Up Aspen, 450 S. Galena Street, Aspen
Each year, the Belly Up Aspen hosts New Year’s celebrations. Past sold-out shows have included Jane’s Addiction and CeeLo Green. This year, the Oklahoma City-based alternative rock band The Flaming Lips performs. The Grammy Award-winning band will help welcome 2014 with shows on Monday, Dec. 30 and Tuesday, Dec. 31 at the intimate Aspen concert venue. The Flaming Lips shows are known for funky performance art and psychedelic party favors for audience interactivity including wild costumes, colorful balloons and confetti, giant hands, and a man-sized plastic bubble.
April E. Clark is a Colorado arts and entertainment journalist. She has worked in media for more than 20 years, covering everything from local elections on Colorado’s Western Slope to paragliding in the Rocky Mountains.