I took along a chili pre-taster with me to the first annual Chuck Wagon Chili Challenge at the Downtown Hoedown last weekend, because I was scared of the painfully spicy wrath of the 24 chilis. Surprisingly, I tasted all of them – except the one I was warned about – and the biggest spice wimp in Steamboat still has her taste buds intact. But I wasn’t the only attendee who appeared to be doing Lamaze after gulping down tastes of chili.
The best part of the Hoedown was square dancing with the Greenridge Mountaineers dancers. They welcomed us into their circle and held our hands as the caller told us what to do. It was easy and fun, and taking the smile off my face was the only thing that couldn’t be taught. The Greenridge Mountaineers meet every Friday at 7 p.m. in Hayden, and experienced and inexperienced newcomers are always invited. Call Elaine Sturges at 879-3521 for more information.
Reality Town USA
Ski Town Productions and director Seth Bograd delivered yet another hilarious, multimedia and somewhat slapsticky production in which the audience even got to choose the ending. So many people attended the last show Saturday night that the producers had to borrow chairs from neighboring restaurants to fit us all in.
My favorite character was Brian Harvey, who was played by Tanish Pealgreen. She was amazing, and it just proves that the cast makes as much fun of themselves as they do the ski area, the City Council (poor Ken Brenner), the justice system, Mount Werner Circle, the Steamboat Grand Resort Hotel, Craig, Realtors, rednecks, ski bums and recent and overplayed politics. And newcomer Tony “Kat ‘N Tha Hat” Counts is a great edition to the cast. He played Billy Kidd, aka “The Director,” and the town’s token black man. Aly Matthews (the original Sarah Louise Ursula Tucker) also made a comeback after studying performing arts in New York City.
The band was headed by Andy Pratt on piano, Tim Cunningham on bass and Kurt Wipperfurth on drums. “Billy’s Lament” is still one of my favorite Ski Town Productions songs based on School House Rock. Ski Town Productions has now produced a compilation CD of songs from many of the productions that were recorded live, in case you need to listen to that one song you can’t get out of your head. The songs all have catchy melodies and lyrics that stay with you long after you leave the theater.
The ending did have the promised surprise twist, but the best part was the sweet little song about why we all moved here and how we struggle to survive to live in this beautiful place we call home – Reality Town USA.
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Live music will echo through the mountains once again in August, as the Steamboat Mountain Music Series presented by Bud Light kicks off Sunday.