The Geiger Counter: The sweet sounds of Shakespeare
Don’t know what to do this weekend? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Pull up a seat to the counter and I’ll tell you about everything that’s hot and happening.
As James Corden at the Tony Awards recently pointed out, the physicality of watching people on stage can’t be beat, though the performing arts does have an accessibility issue. Summit County is immensely fortunate to have two local live theater companies perform plays and musicals, since many communities don’t even have a single stage outside of school auditoriums. Closing next weekend is The Lake Dillon Theatre Company’s “Tell Me on a Sunday” while Breckenridge Backstage Theatre’s “The Taming of the Shrew” opened Thursday night.
I personally haven’t seen the musical before nor have I had the chance to make it to LDTC’s production, but as an Andrew Lloyd Weber fan I’m sure “Tell Me on a Sunday” doesn’t disappoint. Starring Emily Dennis as the protagonist, it is a one-woman musical about an English woman arriving in New York in search of love.
If you want to know more about the work and actors, be sure to not miss the staff’s prologues and epilogues. Held 25 minutes before curtain time, the 10-minute prologue offers a brief overview into the production history, the play’s themes, the playwright’s biography and more. Meanwhile, five minutes after each performance, the epilogue has actors and designers leading a discussion about the work.
The show is only playing through June 23 so make sure to see it while you still can. Visit LakeDillonTheatre.org to purchase tickets, which range from $24.50-$53.50.
Just on the other side of the lake is “Taming of the Shrew.” According to the theater, this is the first time in nearly 15 years that the works of William Shakespeare have been performed in Breckenridge. More commonly known as the source material for the film “10 Things I Hate About You” and the musical “Kiss Me, Kate,” the comedy tells the unlikely love story of Katharina and Petruchio as they match wits.
It stars Joey Folsom as Petruchio making his Backstage Theatre debut and Chicago-based Paige Brantley as Katharina. Though the play is open to controversial interpretation with regards to misogyny and gender politics, this production focuses on the pair having mutual respect and coming together as equals.
“Taming of the Shrew” runs through July 7 and tickets range from $15-$37. Visit BackstageTheatre.org to purchase.
‘Strong Songs’ by Kirk Hamilton
I sadly don’t listen to as much music as I should. I gravitate toward podcasts when I work or drive because I won’t be tempted to accidentally type out lyrics to the beat and think conversation makes the trip go by faster.
Thankfully, I have Kirk Hamilton’s biweekly podcast “Strong Songs” to remind me how wonderful music can be. The former video game journalist returned to his sonic roots and when each episode drops I devote all energy to what he’s saying. Like a small, friendly lecture that delves into theory, definitions, trivia and more, I always learn something new while rocking out to a classic tune.
I recommend starting at the beginning, because there isn’t much of a backlog and he frequently references topics discussed in earlier segments. Additionally, the first three episodes come out, well, strong. They break down Toto’s “Africa,” Paul Simon’s “You Can Call Me Al,” — which taught me about its Chevy Chase music video — and Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies.”
But, my favorites are the mailbag episodes. Packed with information, Hamilton responds to listeners asking questions like “What instrument is making that strange noise in this song?” “Why are fugues fun to listen to?” and “Do you have stage fright advice?” It’s a great interactive aspect to the podcast and points out that engaging with music is like having a dialogue.
And, though there is no relation, Hamilton dedicates an episode to “Satisfied” from “Hamilton: An American Musical.” If you like his analysis of one of the best songs from one of the best musicals, I recommend checking out “The Room Where It’s Happening” podcast.
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