Still trying to decide how to spend your Labor Day weekend? Here’s a rundown of what’s going on around Summit County, so you can make the most of the last official days of summer.
Author speaks at French Kiss in Breck
James “Mac” McCarty, author of “The Vatican Conspiracies,” will speak about his book Saturday at French Kiss in Breckenridge.
“The Vatican Conspiracies” revolves around crisis and controversy at the very top of the Roman Catholic Church and the Vatican city state. In a story that could have been ripped from recent headlines, the novel weaves mystery, political intrigue, Catholic Church history, power struggles, Church teachings, Vatican art treasures, espionage, legal tangles, extortion, international relations and a little romance into a fun and surprising plot. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s recent resignation and replacement by Pope Francis make this book especially timely, as the novel also addresses papal incapacitation and succession (as well as such subjects as the ordination of women and the important role of gay priests).
Learn more about this timely novel and its author and discuss some of the contemporary issues facing today’s Roman Catholic Church — the world’s oldest institution. McCarty will present remarks about his book, take questions and sign books.
The event runs from 10:30 a.m. to noon, and books will be available for purchase. French Kiss is located at 226 S. Main St. in Breckenridge. Visit www.vaticanconspiracies.com for more information.
Copper Country brings amateurs to spotlight
Aspiring country music stars will share the stage with some of the genre’s biggest names this weekend during Copper Country at Copper Mountain.
The 31st annual Texaco Country Showdown is designed to find the most promising country music talent in America and to give these performers a chance to launch their professional music careers. Copper Mountain will host the state finals of the Showdown on Sunday at 12:30 p.m.
Troy Harris and Brandon Lee Gardner, a two-man band from Eagle County, are hoping this will be their year to move on to regionals and ultimately find their way to the national finals.
“This is my third time making it to state,” Harris said. “I met Brandon last year, and we decided to team up this year and play together.”
Harris and Gardner qualified for the state finals by winning the KSKE Ski Country local contest at the Eagle County Fair & Rodeo in July. The two will take the stage mere hours before country legend Kenny Rogers occupies the same space.
“It’s a big audience, a big-time stage; it’s pretty cool,” he said. “It’s a rare opportunity to get to play on a big stage that other big names have played on.”
Harris said he thinks this will be the duo’s year to win it.
“We play four times a week at bars in Vail and private gigs and stuff, so we’re always practicing,” he said. “We started playing with each other four months ago, and we kind of just click.”
The two share vocal responsibilities, with Gardner on rhythm guitar and Harris on lead.
“We’ve definitely got it as far as the best vocals,” Harris said. “There are some girls out there who can sing, but our stage presence is key for us, the audience really gets into it, so I think it could be our year.”
The Country Showdown begins each spring with more than 450 local talent contests sponsored by country music radio stations throughout the U.S. Winners advance to their respective state competitions and compete for a $1,000 prize, the state title and the opportunity to advance to one of five regional finals. It’s the last step before the prestigious national final held at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn. The audience cheers on the regional winners, as they compete for the grand prize of $100,000 and the national title.
Lake Dillon Theatre presents ‘The Owl and the Pussycat’
The Lake Dillon Theatre Company continues its 2013 theater season with “The Owl and the Pussycat,” a witty yet moving interpretation of the age-old tale of attraction between opposites by Bill Manhoff.
Out of the window from his San Francisco loft, aspiring author Felix spies his neighbor, Doris, an actress, model and sometimes prostitute, accepting money after an evening rendezvous. Felix complains to the building’s landlord, who then evicts Doris, leaving her out on the street. Furious, she demands an explanation from Felix, and ultimately, the two find themselves on a hilarious, bumpy and touching journey of self-discovery and love.
“‘The Owl and the Pussycat’ is a funny and smart look at a romance between two opposites in the 1960s,” said Josh Blanchard, Lake Dillon Theatre Company executive director, who also serves as director for “The Owl and the Pussycat.” “It’s a gem that we are very excited to share with our community.”
Debuting on Broadway in November 1964, “The Owl and the Pussycat” originally starred Alan Alda and Diana Sands. Denver-based actor Scott McLean makes his Lake Dillon Theatre Company debut as Felix, and Selah Grace, who starred in last season’s “Kiss of the Spider Woman,” plays Doris. The play has scenic design by Jared Grohs, lighting design by Nick Kargel, costume design by Nikki Harrison, sound design by Lake Dillon Theatre Company production manager Ben Whitmore and properties design and stage management by Hannah-Elise Johnson.
Performances begin today and run through Sept. 22. Tickets are $27 to $31 for adults and $23 for students and may be purchased by visiting the Lake Dillon Theatre Company website, www.lakedillontheatre.org, or by calling (970) 513-9386. For a full schedule of performances, visit www.lakedillontheatre.org.
Oktoberfest comes early to Frisco
Oktoberfest Frisco comes to Frisco Adventure Park/Peninsula Recreation Area this weekend, today through Sunday. The event features live music from Those Austrian Guys and the Polkanauts, as well as traditional stein-holding and leg-wrestling contests.
Grub on bratwurst, schnitzel and knodel, and wash it all down with a beer from one of Germany’s finest breweries, Paulaner.
Andy Grogger, of Andy’s Kitchen, and the Summit Community Orchestra, the event’s beneficiary, will be hosting Frisco’s Oktoberfest celebration. Grogger was born and raised in Austria before moving to Munich, Germany, to learn the craft of ice sculpting.
“For several years, I worked at the Munich Oktoberfest and managed one of the beer tents,” he writes on the event’s website. “Since coming to America, I have enjoyed sharing my heritage with my friends. I bring my love of the music, food and culture to host the most authentic Oktoberfest west of Munich.”
Grogger invites local residents and visitors to join him in Frisco to “dance a polka, drink a stein and eat a brat, all in the traditional Oktoberfest style.”
For more information, visit www.oktoberfestfrisco.com.
DooWop Denny’s season finale
The Silverthorne Pavilion will host local favorite DooWop Denny and his last rockin’ oldies dance of the season today.
Lifelong entertainer DooWop Denny promises “music to bring out the rock ’n’ roll kid in you,” with songs from the ’50s and ’60s, island tunes and slow dancing. “Wear your dancin’ sneakers!” Denny said, as he encourages folks of all ages to feel the foot-stompin’ beat at Silverthorne’s elegant ballroom.
As a Motown kid in the 1950s, Denny grew up to the pulse of rockabilly and R&B and still can’t seem to get it out of his system. For the past 14 years, he has spent summers in Summit County bringing his unique show from his home in Sarasota, Fla., to a variety of events in and around Colorado.
The town of Silverthorne hosts tonight’s dance party. Doors and cash bar open at 6 p.m., and dancing begins at 7. Bring your own snacks and munchies. Tickets are $12 in advance or $14 at the door, available at the Silverthorne Recreation Center or by calling (970) 262-7370. All major credit cards are accepted. Because the show usually sells out, it is recommended that tickets be purchased in advance. For more information on the DooWop Denny Rockin’ Oldies Show, visit www.doowopdenny.com.