Mark Rodgers is breathing new life into the biographies and works of Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci.
Rodgers is the creator and host of the original multi-media performance “Discover da Vinci & Michelangelo: Side by Side,” which is making its Colorado debut at the Breckenridge Riverwalk Center on Monday, Aug. 4. He also is the curator of the da Vinci Machines and Michelangelo exhibitions, now touring the United States from Florence, Italy.
“We start out with movies and animations and Internet feeds,” Rodgers said. “It’s really nonstop 2 1/2 hours of talking about da Vinci and Michelangelo — how they were brought up, how they viewed their life, how they saw themselves in the universe. And then we apply that to today.”
The program began as a da Vinci tour and expanded when the Michelangelo exhibition arrived from Florence. Rodgers said the more tours and presentations he gave, the more people wanted to know. He said he is unaware of any similar program that has compared and contrasted the two artists.
“We couldn’t be more excited about the response,” he said. “For myself, this whole thing has been life changing. After one performance, one person said to us, ‘I look at the world differently now.’ And that’s exactly what we want to do. We want everyone to discover and tap into their own da Vinci and Michelangelo.
“We knew going into this that the only bar we’d set is ‘spectacular.’ If I ever have an opportunity to run into da Vinci or Michelangelo in the afterlife, I want them to walk up to me and say, ‘Hey, you did really good.’”
The Breckenridge Art Gallery will be hosting a pre-event cocktail hour with Rodgers in attendance. A very limited number of Gold VIP tickets are available for this cocktail hour. One hour before the show, Nancy Branca, Cecelia Eidemiller and Jon Hans will be exhibiting and painting in the lobby.
As part of the Backstage Theatre’s continuing 40th anniversary celebration, internationally renowned master of acoustic guitar Esteban will dazzle audiences with his amazing showmanship and musical skills at the Breckenridge Riverwalk Center Saturday, Aug. 23, at 7:30 p.m.
Both of these events are fundraisers for the Breckenridge Backstage Theatre. In May, the theater is getting an extensive upgrade, including an expanded lobby, more seating and a raised roof. Attendance helps support the theater while it is “on the move” during the six- to nine-month construction period.