The opening night of the annual Snowdown Follies was crawling with hippies: Hippies with flowers in their hair, hippies in bellbottoms and Janis Joplin sunglasses, even a handful of Grateful Dead dancing bears (we counted seven). A couple of beatniks and Cheech and Chongs were thrown in for good measure.
And that was just in the audience.
On stage Jan. 26 at Durango Arts Center, some of our funniest local residents threw themselves head-first into this year’s Snowdown theme, “Peace, Love and Snowdown,” and as we’ve come to expect from the show, which is arguably the hottest ticket to get every year, we were not disappointed.
So without further ado – and without giving too much away because there are still shows this weekend – here are some of our highlights.
The emcees of any show are given the herculean task of not only moving things along, they must also keep up the show’s energy as well, and in the case of this year’s Follies’ emcees, both sets served their posts admirably. Act I’s Chad Hare and Shaheen Hangval and Act II’s Sean Hein, Christopher Calagias and Chris Wright were hilarious and not only kept the show going, they all managed to weave themselves into some of the acts, making for a more cohesive production.
The first half also featured riffs on hippie hygiene issues, the patriarchy, a wardrobe turf war (“Is Durango ready for two guys in tight pants?”), important advice from our new health department (you’re welcome, ladies), and this year’s edition of “Snow News.”
The second act takes the emcees on an epic quest and are helped along by Durango Roller Girls. Speaking of DRG, more than a few are in this year’s Follies, and are actually repeat cast members.
We also saw the return of a Durango joke that just won’t die, but we’ll leave it at that.
As with every year, there’s always one Follies act that finally breaks this reporter, who ends up laugh-crying. This year, that honor goes to Chris Lile, who with Amy Aweida and Sharina Ramsey-Adams, performed a stirring rendition of “Part of Your World.”
Every resident should see the Follies at least once: Not only is it an entertaining way to spend an evening, it’s also part of what makes living in a small town special – it’s fun to catch all the inside jokes about the day-to-day of living here. It’s also cool to see our friends, neighbors and co-workers muster up the courage to take the stage; some have been doing it for decades.
Until next year, Follies.