Celtics for cancer, indoor/outdoor theater and Jubilee (again)


by Ted Holteen

It’s gut check time in Durango. With summer officially upon us, locals are hard-pressed to find reasons not to flee town for cooler and calmer climes. Last weekend, there were no fewer than four fatalities in and around our vacation wonderland, an inauspicious beginning to the season upon which so many of us rely to make ends meet. And last weekend it was still spring. So my advice is leave, and the sooner the better. Go be a tourist in some other town and instead of hating, be hated. Rather than gripe about being stiffed for a buck-fifty on an $87 check, short-pay a UCLA coed at Disneyland for two Slushies. On second thought, don’t go to Disneyland. It’s a silly place. Do, however, go somewhere, because I assure you things will get much worse before they get better.

But Ted, you say, some of us still have jobs and we can’t simply drop everything and go running off to your posh playgrounds like Las Cruces and Bloomfield. True, that, and my apologies for being so condescending. I have a newfound kinship with and understanding of Paris Hilton. As for the rest of you wage slaves, scrape together a few of your tips or embezzle from your employer and head to the Abbey Theatre tonight (Thursday) to see a great band and support an even better cause. Seven Nations, neo-legends in Celtic music, will play in support of Country Kids With Cancer, a group that gives money to the families of children in rural areas so they can travel to treatment centers in larger cities. It was founded right here in Durango by cancer survivor Sarah Shank, and if you’re waiting for one of my bad jokes, don’t waste your time. I don’t make jokes about cancer. As for the band, they’re touring in advance of two new CDs, one of new stuff and the other a compilation of three CDs in the ’90s when the group was still called Clan Na Gael. The doors open at 8:30 p.m., and whether or not you attend the whole show, they’d be happy for any donation you can throw their way.

Now I understand that some people want it all and don’t think they should have to pay for it. They have free beer cards with every Steamworks employee’s name; they’ve memorized the happy hour gratis food at every bar in town; and they steal cable. You know who you are. Normally, I’d chuckle and say “silly hippie,” or some such witticism, but in this case my tongue has been tied. For you see, this summer every Thursday is Freeloaders’ Thursday! You can start at the Ska Brewery in Bodo for the all-too popular Ska-B-Q. The most generous brew crew in all the land cooks up free grub every week or invites a local business to do the same, and all you have to do is buy the beer. The Ska boys started this to give the good people a place to get together every week and discuss the marginally important issues of the day, and if you’re really just looking for a free handout, do us all a favor and go home to Mom’s instead. Anyway, once you’ve exploited the aforementioned generosity to your full potential, head up to the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College for free bluegrass with The Hot Strings. That’s right – every Thursday through Aug. 4, the Concert Hall will put on a free bluegrass show from 6-8 p.m., and this week’s a good one. (I’m sure they’ll all be good.) Anyway, you see where I’m going with this. After an afternoon and early evening of being the recipient of charity, you should be more than ready to give a little back by 9 p.m. or so at the Abbey. See? Guilt DOES work.


Speaking of the Hot Strings, after their free show Thursday, they’ll head up the Million Dollar Highway for a paid gig at the Silverton Jubilee this weekend, with sets on Friday and Saturday. Lindsay scooped me on the festival in last week’s column, but it’s worth mentioning again. Silverton rarely brings in the big-name acts that keep popping up at other Colorado festivals, but that allows some of the unknowns to show off their talents without playing in the shadow of some overrated has-been like that disastrous P-Funk thing a couple of years ago at Blues & Brews. Ugh. Case in point if you go: Check out Gary Gackstatter, The Joe Craven Trio and Los Mocosos. And with last week’s tragedy still fresh in the minds of every Silverton resident, please slow down and be careful.

I love it when smut is disguised as high art. Most artists and writers, from Ovid to Oscar Wilde, are sexual deviants at heart (present company excepted, sort of), and audiences can’t seem to get enough of their “art,” despite that deviance. Two friends of mine, recently back from Florence, Italy, told of viewing the centerpiece schlong on Michaelangelo’s David while the curator spoke of its “perfect scrotal placement.” True story. But my point here is that often, today’s calloused audiences ignore legitimate theater because they don’t think they’ll relate to its themes. To them I offer this challenge. Check out FLC’s Summer Theatre Festival, which concludes this weekend with two different plays in the Amphitheater. On Thursday and Saturday, it’s “Miss Julie,” whose press release warns parents of mature themes and includes the words “desires” and “sexual battleground” in the same sentence. Ooh la-la! Then “A Servant of Two Masters” runs on Friday and Sunday, which is “fast, fun slapstick” and includes two duels. As one who believes strongly in the resurrection of dueling in American society, I recommend this play as highly as any that I haven’t seen. Start time for all four shows this weekend is 8 p.m., and it only costs 10 bucks.

For as much of the summer as I have material to do so, each week I’ll be featuring a different unique activity or odd thing that goes on all the time in our area that often flies under the radar of many locals. That starts next week. If you or someone you know is involved in such a venture, please contact me at the e-mail address below. Next week, I’ll have a review of the new season for the Diamond Circle Melodrama, so I should probably go see it sometime this week.

Thanks again to Lindsay, who may make a return sooner than she thinks, as I hope to take my own advice and spend as much of this summer away from here as I can. Give me a reason to stay – egholteen@hotmail.com. Please tip your bartenders and waitstaff generously. •



In this week's issue...

January 25, 2024
Bagging it

State plastic bag ban is in full effect, but enforcement varies

January 26, 2024
Paper chase

The Sneer is back – and no we’re not talking about Billy Idol’s comeback tour.

January 11, 2024
High and dry

New state climate report projects continued warming, declining streamflows