It’s a song-and-dork routine at the 2013 Follies

STEVE LEWIS/Durango Herald

Eric Sirois channels Napoleon Dynamite in “Student Council” during the 2013 Snowdown Follies.

By Judith Reynolds
Special to the Herald

When nerdy guys strap on laptops and dance, can a tribute to Internet porn be far behind?

That burning question was answered at Tuesday’s media night for this year’s Snowdown Follies. One never knows what to expect when the Zink brothers, Tim and Brian, plus Paul Gibson and Dan Imming stumble on stage. Last year, they were known as The Danglers and performed in very different costumes. I’ll leave that to your imagination. The year before, Brian Zink came on stage dressed only in a barrel held up by suspenders. Soon he was joined by his colleagues in showbiz crime to sing “A Rural Love Song.” I’ll leave that to your imagination, too.

But here’s the question: Is it any wonder The Danglers have a following?

For 2013, the guys outdid themselves again with a song, dance and Power Point lecture on the joys of surfing the Internet. Timed perfectly with lyrics and screwball dancing, the images floated on a screen just like a college or business meeting presentation. The images included cast members, other Follies sketches, what appeared to be family pets and the odd celebrity. It was a multimedia extravaganza that ended with a very sudden finale – a quick drop of the pants. Did I say well-rehearsed?

Well, despite rumors that the show has been heading uptown since organizers have mixed live performance with lip-syncing, Snowdown happily continues to be rude, crude, and silly.

Two sets of hosts paired off by gender heightened this year’s theme: Get Your Geek On. Lisa Zwisler and Sandra Shellnut played opposites: a nerdy Durango geekette and a sex-obsessed newcomer who may or may not fit in. Durango, of course, is seen as the geekiest town west of the Mississippi.

The B Cast fielded Jonathan Hunt and Dave Imming as two innocents with a lot of misinformation. Hunt’s credentials with Durango DOT Comedy and Immings’ 11 years with Snowdown parlayed into witty banter and a little improv along the way.

As for the so-called acts, while takes on geeks at parties, driving swagger wagons, indulging in three-ways and delivering the news from Albuquerque dominated the evening, a few players strayed into non-geekdom.

John Staten’s rock ’n’ roll guy strutted around the stage oozing confidence, the opposite of Eric Sirois’ hilarious “Student Council” geek – Napoleon Dynamite – dancing for votes.

Suzy DiSanto and Jessica Perino’s polished “Digadigado” jazz dance was way too slick for an evening at the Follies. Warning: sophistication and polish are trending in the Follies. The same could be said for Erin White Sinberg and Mike Testa’s live performance of their tuneful duet about our tattoo culture.

Three solos stood on their own. Songstress Ellen Lancaster delivered a deadpan “These Are My Own,” accompanied by guitarist Jason Thies.

The inimitable Dan Brown spoofed a famous feminist play by delivering “The Virgin Monologues.” Brown sat on a stool and used various props, including a Harpo Marx googlehorn which he honked whenever he said a “naughty” word or euphemism. At the end, he passed out from overexcitement.

Despite a broken foot, Kristen Palmer imitated Lily Tomlin’s quirky phone operator Ernestine. She took on City Manager Ron LeBlanc for unpaid phone bills.

LeBlanc was one of the few local luminaries needled by Snowdown entertainers. Throughout the evening, El Rancho Bar got the most jabs, along with assorted bars and restaurants.

But, apparently, the days of poking fun at various individuals and institutions has gone by the wayside. There was a time when jokes about The Durango Herald, LPEA, the BLM, BP and Fort Lewis College, not to mention former City Manager Bob Ledger or the legendary Jeff Deitch, attorney at law, brought the house down. Surely, we have not run out of local material for satire – not yet.

Here’s looking forward to 2014. May The Danglers return. Judith Reynolds is a Durango writer, artist and critic.

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