February 2010

It all worked out a whole lot better than "The BIg Chill," when this group of three friends, all Bennington College alums, got together for a reunion of sorts.

 Sasha Cuciniello is the tireless, resourceful founder/director/principal actor of Telluride's popular grassroots theatre troupe, SquidShow, a woman who throws herself into her work body and soul, and expects – and gets – the same from her fellow thespians. Sasha's friend, Kristina Smith, is now a New York-based director who appears to give her actors a lot of rope and an affectionate pat on the butt before sending them out on a tightrope without a safety net, a good thing in a community that thrives on risk-taking. The third musketeer is Alexei Kaleina, a videographer, with a sharp eye and wit to match. His special effects added a whole other dimension to the group project – with a wink to "Miss Saigon."  Sasha, Krissy, and Alexei conspired to adapt Charles L. Mee's "Big Love," and the result was a theatrical free-for-all and tour de force of physical theatre that felt at once spontaneous, urgent, and unmistakably hip. Monday night was about as much fun as anyone could have with clothes on – and what clothes. Costumes, including fabulous deconstructed wedding gowns, were created by the extravagantly talented Sue Hobby.

Editor's note: Tracy Shaffer continues her insider's look at our sister city, Denver. This post is an obituary, sorta, but a hopeful one.

Denver theatre closes a door…

by Tracy Shaffer

I have a feeling except for my inner circle, most of the people who know me will learn of my death on Facebook. That's how I hear of demise these days.

This week the Denver Center Theatre rang the death knell for the National Theatre Conservatory, announcing its closing after the class of 2012 graduates. The Denver community is stunned and angry, begs for answers, yet the optimist in me believes a rebirth is at hand. Perhaps, I tell myself, this "death" is like the death of the legendary Phoenix: a new and improved NTC will rise from the ashes.

Created in 1984, the NTC was the baby of former Denver Center artistic Director Donovan Marley, whose vision for sustaining the future of the theatre involved impeccable training of its actors. The three-year, tuition-free MFA program brought much to the nascent theatre company, raising its national profile and prestige. The bright young students got to work within the Acting Company during their third year to accrue union credits toward equity cards. Mentored by senior company members, they kept us all young and connected to the reasons we began our own journeys in to the acting profession. The impact of the talented alumni on the Denver theatre community and far beyond is quite impressive: NTC students grace the Broadway stages and national touring productions and star in TV shows. More than a few have started thriving theatre companies of their own.

Nav_ialc_logo The Inn at Lost Creek in the Mountain Village takes the hassle out of packing for a ski trip. In March, guests of the hotel get a free Premium Ski Rental package for every night of accommodation booked.
The package provided by Christy's Sports, located on the ground level of the hotel, is designed for beginner to intermediate skiers. The deal includes boots, skis, and poles or snowboard and boots, and guests get to choose from brands such as the 2010 Volkl AC Unlimited, K2 Sweet Love, or Ride Control. 

Telluride continues to increase incredible inbounds terrain access

GH stairway-sm Reflecting a European skiing experience found in Chamonix, France, the Telluride Ski Resort airlifted a new bridge and staircase to the left shoulder of Palmyra Peak. Heliqwest, a helicopter company based out of Canada, did the heavy lifting, bringing steel staircases and bridge over the ski resort to its final resting place, the span between Gold Hill Chutes 8 and 9.

“The addition is a continuation of our efforts to provide ski experience which is ‘Unmatched in North America,’” said Dave Riley, CEO of the resort. “This project was extremely technical, and our in-house staff did a phenomenal job in both planning and execution. The Telluride Ski Resort is thrilled to once again expand easy access into epic inbounds terrain.”

[click "Play" to hear Scott Grossman speak about his direction of the TAB Fashion Show]

Scott Grossman

It's the pitch perfect tribute, Robert Presley to a "T": "Out of Your Comfort Zone/Step Out of the Box," director Scott Grossman's theme for the 2010 Telluride AIDS Benefit no-holds-barred fashion show. The annual event takes place at the Telluride Conference Center in the Mountain Village, Thursday, February 25 for the Sneak Peak and Saturday, February 27, for the super nova explosion. Doors, 7 p.m. Show time, 8 p.m.

Outrageous. In your face. Fearless. Talented, Funny. Smart. Generous. Those are just a few of the words Presley's friends used to describe the man who inspired the AIDS awareness event and major bash that manages to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for HIV/AIDS interventions and prevention education around the globe.

At 15 weeks, Drake's training continues. Ted Hoff, Cottonwood Ranch and Kennel, has engaged Cabela and Mae to help with Drake's socialization, and to model longer periods of Sit/Stay. Notice how Drake, the young yellow Labrador, pays attention to what the more mature...

[click "Play" to hear Jake Spaulding's conversation with Susan]

Jake Spaulding

Dateline: Shanghai. It's there and all over China, where it began. About 120 million of them on the road and counting.

Dateline: Telluride. It's coming.

We are talking about a great alternative to a car. We are talking electric bikes, increasingly the vehicle of choice from bike messengers in New York to postal workers in Germany and commuters all over the world. While sales were relatively modest in the American market last year (only 200,000 were sold) interest is picking up.

[click "Play" to hear Terryl Dahl on what to wear to the TAB Fashion Show]

DSC00177 DSC00186 It all boils down to cause and effect. The cause: a persistent virus that morphed into a pandemic after being announced worldwide in 1983. The effect: locally, the Telluride AIDS Benefit, a full frontal assault aimed at helping those living with HIV/AIDS and preventing the spread of the disease through outreach and education. The week of activities culminates with a fanTABulous fashion show Saturday night, February 27, at the Telluride Conference Center, a fundraiser for TAB's six beneficiaries.  

February 25 to March 4, 2010
Visible Planets: Morning: Mercury and Saturn  Evening: Venus and Mars

The Pisces/Virgo Full Moon and the Collective Chaos of our Co-Creating Cosmos

“When the gods are crazy, when the world seems to have gone insane, when there seems to be nowhere to turn, we have to look inside our own hearts to find what is true, what matters, and what can never be taken away.” – Stephanie Austin, The Mountain Astrologer, Issue #149 Feb/Mar 2010.

Turqsea Returning from Mexico and jumping in to the process of “re-entry” here in los Estados Unidos – the United States – I am impressed by the whirling, swirling creative chaos of our current cultural condition and conditioning. Living without a television or an internet connection, in a land of swaying palms and breaching whales, I seem to have lost touch with the fast-paced paradigm of American life.

Don’t get me wrong, I'm loving my DSL, satellite TV and gourmet kitchen. Our humble home feels like a mansion after two months in either a camper or a casita with my XL husband and three big dogs.

The girl can't help. For 16 years, Baerbel Hacke, director of the Telluride Gallery of Fine Art, has put together a silent art auction for the Telluride AIDS Benefit. This year's event takes place Friday, February 26, noon – 9 p.m. at the historic Sheridan Opera House.

Ever notice that the word "pain" is embedded in "painting?" The Telluride AIDS Benefit's auction, however, is a wonderful way to transform pain into gain for the nonprofit's six beneficiaries.