When the Montrose Arts Council needed a scheme to raise money earlier this year, councilmember Dick Shannon had an inspiration. A decade or so ago, Shannon, an actor and director at Magic Circle Theatre, was starring in the musical Guys and Dolls. “We were going to take it to England, but we needed to raise the funds to do it,” he says – so Shannon organized a musical variety show at Magic Circle. A decade later, he has organized another musical show, “Broadway Comes to Montrose,” only this time it’s on a bigger stage: it’s a one-time event at the Pavilion. Through his years at Magic Circle, where he has worked on 16 different plays and musicals, Shannon has come to know numerous local actors and singers; he’s reached deep into his list of contacts to recruit several of the best, including Rob Hunter (“great voice, wonderful stage presence”), the star of last year’s South Pacific, and Bethany Ward, fresh off the lead in Circle’s recent production of Sweeney Todd. Show tunes will include “Sun and Moon” and “The Last Night of the World” from Miss Saigon, “Hair” (from the show of the same title), “The Impossible Dream” (Man of La Mancha), and more. Shannon even persuaded local favorites Gotta Be Girls to join in. “They told me they don’t do show tunes,” he says, “I said okay: your song is from Off Broadway. Way off Broadway.” What they’ll sing, he doesn’t know yet. There haven’t been any rehearsals, nor will there be. “Everyone will come prepared to do their songs,” he says. On Sunday morning, the singers will arrive at the Pavilion, “We’ll do a sound check, figure out where everybody will stand, where the lighting is good, and what type of mike they want,” says the director. At 3 p.m., the show will go on.
Author Craig Childs and a China Presentation in Telluride
This Friday, Oct. 12, Telluride’s Wilkinson Library offers a pair of programs that its marketing coordinator, Ryan Wilson, calls “a twofer.” At 7 p.m., husband-and-wife team Tass Thacker and Bruce B. Junek, who Wilson says met in the San Juans, give a slide presentation on their bicycling trip through China, a terrific chance to learn what it is like to two-wheel through that beautiful, challenging country without knowing the language. In Wilkinson style, the Library will offer complimentary catered food to match the event, from the longtime local restaurant Shanghai Palace. Directly following Thacker and Junek’s presentation, at 8 p.m., a global adventurer of a different sort – author Craig Childs – will be on hand to discuss his latest work, Apocalyptic Planet: Field Guide to the Everending Earth. In it, Childs, who lives in Crawford, travels from the deserts of Chile to a land bridge in the Bering Sea, among other places, to limn the many possible endings, including ice ages and super-volcanoes. “This may be a personal, subjective view, but I consider Craig Childs to be the Edward Abbey of our time,” Wilson says (Abbey wrote the elegiac Desert Solitaire). If you’d like to hear more about Childs’ travels (or Thacker and Juneks’), once the author’s presentation is done, head over to the Steaming Bean at 9:30 p.m., where the Wilkinson will hold an “after hours” discussion of the two presentations. There will also be a demonstration of Chinese Kung Fu at the Bean, and DJ Soul Atomic will spin some (presumably)World Music.
In Ouray: David Baker and Friends
Singer-songwriter David Baker says he hosts a get-together with his musician friends “sporadically” – the last such concert was in 2008 – but whenever these events occur, they are special. On Saturday, at 7:30 p.m., David Baker & Friends will gather onstage at the Wright Opera House for one of his occasional concerts. Along with Baker, local artists Mike Gwinn and the North Fork Flyers, the group Dolce Voce, and children from the Ouray Schools under the direction of their teacher, Allyson Crosby, will appear. Baker, who is originally from Dallas but has lived in the Ouray-Ridgway area for the past 10 years, wrote the background scoring for the PBS kids’ series Wishbone and Jay Jay the Jet Plane. On Saturday, he’ll debut three new songs. One of them, “How I Wonder,” will be sung by the Ouray schoolchildren. The bedtime classic “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” is a jumping-off point for “How I Wonder,” which is a “more-extended musing” on what a star is, Baker says. Concerts with Baker “tend to cause folks to be amazed (and proud) at the quality of artists we have in our midst,” says the Wright’s Joyce Linn, “and David pulls it all together with great polish.” The musicians have been rehearsing for several weeks now, “in Montrose, in Ouray, with the band, with Dolce Voce, with the kids at the Ouray School. A couple of players have been driving over for rehearsals from Paonia,” Baker says. “When the musicians are really combining with each other and the audience, and it all comes together, it’s magic,” he says. “I’m just in it for the joy.”