Steamboat Cabaret set for 40th anniversary
A tradition that dates all the way back to the early 1980s will continue next week. Presented by Steamboat Creates, local performers will debut their annual Cabaret performance and fundraiser on Wednesday, June 8, and run through June 11 at The Depot Art Center.
Steamboat Creates, formally known as the Steamboat Springs Arts Council, dates all the way back to 1972 and is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, while its popular Cabaret fundraiser celebrates its 40th anniversary.
“Cabaret is one of Steamboat Creates biggest fundraisers and has a wonderful legacy,” said Kim Keith, executive director of Steamboat Creates.
The show will feature skits and songs that will poke fun at Steamboat Springs and all its idiosyncrasies. The audience can expect jokes on localized topics such as pickleball, poodles, physical therapy and the Yampa Valley Electric Association, according Paula Salky, one of the two co-directors of this year’s show.
“It’s just gonna be a wonderful mélange of everything in our valley,” said Salky.
Salky says this is a large group compared to previous years at about 40 or so — mixing Cabaret veterans with eight newcomers.
Expect to hear popular songs rewritten with lyrics specific to the Yampa Valley, “Weird Al” Yankovic-style, and expect to see short skits that were written from scratch by the performers themselves.
“They don’t do anything like this in Vail,” said Kris Hammond, who has performed in Cabaret since 1992. “For a very amateur show, Cabaret is really good.”
What: Steamboat Creates Cabaret
When: 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, June 8 – Saturday, June 11
Where: Depot Art Center, 1001 13th St, Steamboat Springs, CO
Hammond says the early Cabaret shows were traditional talent shows, but over time became a showcase for original content that takes jabs at the local community. For many years, Hammond has performed as an original character called “The Postman,” who reads to the audience various stray letters from around the community. He will be reprising this role again in next week’s show.
According to Brad Kindred, who has been involved with Steamboat Creates since 1985, the annual Cabaret show started organically, mostly by local schoolteachers. He says he’s seen 12 kids who have gone through Steamboat Creates or the Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp who grew up to have careers in the performing arts.
Still, Kindred says he would like to see the town have a dedicated performing arts center. The Chief Theater, which hosted Cabaret for a long time, closed during the pandemic and was supposed to reopen early this year after renovations, but that timeline has been pushed back indefinitely.
The Depot Art Center was the venue of the first Cabaret 40 years ago, and since then the venue has shifted around a lot. Last year it was at Howelsen Hill, and the year before it was on the internet.
Rehearsals started on June 1, and the cast won’t get to practice at the Depot Art Center until Sunday, June 5. According to Hammond, their first rehearsal was as chaotic as one would expect for a first practice.
“It’s hard to believe that there’s actually going to be a show in a week after watching the first rehearsal last night,” Hammond said. “But that’s the same every year. That never changes.”
The shows start at 6:30 p.m. beginning Wednesday, June 8, until Saturday, June 11. For general admission, doors open at 6:00 p.m. For VIPs and sponsors, doors open at 5:30 p.m. Tickets can be found at steamboatcreates.org/opportunities/cabaret/ and are $40 for general admission, and 75$ for VIP admission and includes hors d’oeuvres and a drink.
Ticket sales go to support Steamboat Creates, which supports art and artists in the community.
To reach Spencer Powell, call 970-871-4229 or email him at spowell@SteamboatPilot.com
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