A little song, a little dance and big comedy in Glenwood
Ryan Summerlin May 29, 2009
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” Vaudeville is making its Glenwood Springs comeback.
The new Glenwood Vaudeville Revue ” featuring a polished cast of singers, dancers and musicians ” takes the stage for century-old entertainment that has stood the test of time. The show opens Friday, May 29, and runs every weekend through Sept. 27.
“I’ve always just liked that kind of entertainment,” artistic director John Goss said. “Wacky, novelty ideas that entertain people.”
Since the late 1800s, vaudeville variety shows have captivated audiences with song, dance, magic, comedy and all-around silliness. The Glenwood Vaudeville Revue at the Blue Acacia Theatre in the Masonic Lodge is no different.
“If you’ve come to the Glenwood Vaudeville Revue for fancy schmantzy, artsy theater, you’ve come to the wrong place,” said Goss, at Wednesday night’s sneak preview.
Goss said the cast’s invite-only opening was so popular, performers received a standing ovation at the end of the show.
“I think everybody had a great time and that’s what it’s all about,” Goss said.
The cast includes professionally trained actors, many who have performed in New York City, Los Angeles and at the Crystal Palace in Aspen, which closed its doors in 2008. Glenwood Springs sweetheart Jennetta Meitler Howell is among the revue’s familiar faces.
“I feel very fortunate with the caliber of talent we have,” Goss said. “I’ve always planned a vaudeville show. It’s fun and entertaining for people. And cost-effective to put on, that way you can build the show around the performers.”
During the first two weekends of the season, the show features pianist Jonathan Gorst. He is the highly acclaimed musical director and conductor for the national tour of “Phantom of the Opera.”
“He went from the sublime to the ridiculous,” Goss joked as he introduced his long-time friend.
Goss and Gorst first met as stage performers at the Imperial Theatre in Cripple Creek, Colo., starring in vaudeville shows and melodramas. Gorst, who has also worked on “Cats” in New York City, seemed right at home playing the Blue Acacia Theatre’s upright Bradbury piano. As the audience filtered in, he played old-time favorites such as “In the Good Old Summertime,” “Give My Regards to Broadway,” and “My Wild Irish Rose.”
“We’re going to have a good old-fashioned sing-along,” he said.
Born in Colorado Springs, Gorst paid tribute to his Centennial State roots by playing “Going Up to Cripple Creek” as the audience clapped to the beat.
“This song is one of the dearest to me,” he said.
Just one of many vintage ditties to sing along with this summer at the Glenwood Vaudeville Revue.