Playbill: Summer Stock Is in Season in the Colorado High Country

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True Coloradans — and swarms of tourists — head for the hills to recreate each summer, but how do you keep the folks entertained after the sun goes down? Lots of mountain towns celebrate the flipside of playing in the sun with regional theater and fun, family-friendly repertory rosters. Maybe it’s not quite Broadway, but some of the companies have stellar reputations, and it’s a folksy and entertaining way to while away those high country evenings. Here are four shows opening over the busy Fourth of July weekend.

Thingamajig Theatre Company, The Secret Garden
Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts 
2313 Eagle Drive in Pagosa Springs
July 3 through August 16
Tickets: $13 tp $30 ($10 more on opening night)

Down in southern Colorado, Thingmajig keeps visitors to Pagosa Springs this summer with a repertory schedule of four musicals — Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Tarzan the Musical, The Secret Garden and Damn Yankees. The Secret Garden, based on the classic children’s novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett, opens this weekend.

La Cage Aux Folles
Lake Dillon Theatre Company
176 Lake Dillon Drive, Dillon
July 3 through August 9
Tickets: $13 to $36

The Lake Dillon Theatre Company has been entertaining summer crowds for twenty years or so, while revitalizing the resort town on the edge of Dillon Reservoir in Summit County. The hilarious and gay old Jerry Herman/Harvey Fierstein confection La Cage Aux Folles, which opens on Friday, July 3, should be right in vogue this summer in light of the SCOTUS ruling on gay marriage — just think, Georges and Albin would no longer have to hide their loving union! Throughout the summer, LDTC also hosts a Sunset at the Summit Concert series (catch a Neil Diamond tribute, Forever In Blue Jeans, on July 4), as well as a series of themed Summer Sunday Cabarets.

Thin Air Theatre Company, Into the Woods
Butte Theater
139 East Bennett Avenue, Cripple Creek 
July 3 to Aug. 29
Tickets: $12 to $18

Up in Cripple Creek, take a gamble with the Lapine/Sondheim musical Into the Woods (recently popularized by the all-star movie of the same name), a twisted retelling of intertwined fairy tales with a Tony Award-winning score. It opens on Friday, July 3, and runs in repertory through the summer with the classic melodrama Foul Play: or the Scuttling of the Sapphire. Bonus: You can hit the casino town’s slots before or after the show.

All Shook Up
Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre
800 Grand Avenue, Grand Lake
July 3 through August 22
Tickets: $15 to $45

Grand Lake’s rustic and time-honored Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre greets Independence Day weekend with the rousing rocker All Shook Up, an Elvis Presley revue sure to have the whole family dancing in the aisles. It runs in rep through the summer with 42nd Street, Addams Family and, later on, Forever Plaid.

Where else is high-country theater thriving this summer? Visit the websites for Carbondale’s Thunder River Theatre, Creede Repertory Theatre,  Backstage Theatre in Breckenridge, the The Westcliffe Center at the Jones Theater or Theatre Aspen for more information.

Find a stage near you: Check out Westword's online listings for more theater events for this week.  

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