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Chief Theater welcomes two comedic performers to its stage

Kari Dequine Harden/For Steamboat Today
Katie West will bringing her comedy back to her hometown with a show at the Chief Theatre on March 9.
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— Two treasured acts are returning to the Chief Theater for shows sure to bring laughs, and neither is for the faint of heart (or the kids).

First, on March 3, Kip Attaway brings his one-of-a-kind show combining music, comedy and mayhem to Steamboat Springs. Attaway has been performing in Steamboat for almost four decades.

In his early career, Attaway had two LP releases in the top 100 country songs on the Billboard Music Chart and, with his former band, took first place at the Marlboro Country Music Talent Roundup in California.

Since then, he’s released a total of 13 albums and developed his one-man comedy and music act. He does impressive impersonations, involves the audience and pokes fun all around.

“I used to write nice songs,” he said. “But they don’t sell.”

The Mount Pleasant, Texas, native moved to Idaho in the 1970s before settling in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Attaway spends a good bit of time on the road — a place and state of mind of which he never grows weary.

“It’s in my blood,” he said. “I’m basically a truck driver with a guitar. I drive for a living and play for fun.”

Attaway first performed in Steamboat almost 40 years ago at the Tugboat. Years later, he got a house job at Buddy’s Run at the Sheraton (now Bear River).

They moved him around to several different spots in the hotel, as his show got too rowdy for some guests. He still proudly holds the record for the all-time bar sales record.

And then, there was the time Attaway performed in Vail, was unimpressed, and became inspired to sell “Vail Sucks” T-shirts from the stage. They were very popular, he recalled. Eventually, someone from Vail contacted the hotel demanding the sales cease, “But not before I’d sold thousands.”

Attaway said he loves Steamboat, “a great town, where I’ve got a lot of great friends.”

Chief Theater Executive Director Scott Parker first remembers meeting Attaway when he performed at Slopeside’s apres ski about 20 years ago.

“He would buy me shots of tequila, and Kelly Anzalone and I would juggle flaming torches in front of the stage,” Parker recalled, while Attaway played “Fire On The Mountain.”

Parker remains a friend and fan, and describes a Kip Attaway show as “a stroll down memory lane in the form of a musical comedy history lesson.”

Attaway recently signed on a regular gig at the Deadwood Mountain Grand in South Dakota. They’ve hired him for his lifetime, but Attaway said he’s not worried that’s too significant an investment.

“I’m 62, but my liver’s like 875,” he quipped.

Comedian Katie West returns home

On March 9, hometown comedian Katie West brings her hour-long stand-up show back to the Chief for a third appearance since the Steamboat native and former radio host moved to New York City.

In her first appearance at the Chief, West opened for Attaway.

West describes her comedic sense as being without boundaries, and the audience can continue to “expect me to push the limits on everything. I don’t hold back.”

She explores dating, divorce, friendships and family, and her Steamboat show will pay homage to her hometown and history while showcasing “who I’ve grown into.”

West grew up acting and dancing, spending every summer at Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp. She toured around the state dancing and acting and is today very appreciative of the artistic opportunity she had access to in a small town.  

She calls Steamboat a “positive, encouraging place to grow up,” where she was pushed to hold herself to high standards.

In addition to a life spent on stage, West also describes herself as the class clown.

“I like taking a humorous perspective on life, and bringing people together to laugh at things, and show that we all have things in common — including our struggles.”

If only for the three to five seconds of a good laugh, West said, “you can forget about life’s stresses,” then she’s done her job and helped to lighten the load.

Parker, also a friend and fan of West’s, said “as a comedian, actress, dancer … she is as good as they get.” West is a lifetime member of the Chief Players, and Parker describes her as “one of the most talented people I have ever met.”

While there is some additional pressure in performing for her friends and family, West said the stress is outweighed by the fun she has, and “level of comfort knowing I’m going home.”


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