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By George Rohrbacher
Special to The PREVIEW
In 2011, I retired from 40 years of cattle ranching; you know — pickup trucks and horse trailers, jay barns and manure — all that stuff.
In a completely unexpected stop down our retirement trail, my wife, Ann, and I have become deeply involved in the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts. The Center is the dream of our daughter, Laura and her husband, Tim. My part of helping them has been the most challenging and rewarding activity I’ve ever been involved in, both on an intellectual and emotional level.
I had never paid much attention to musical theatre until we came to Pagosa Springs two summers ago. Growing up as a kid, we had records (remember those?), of “South Pacific” and “Oklahoma” and Mary Martin doing “Peter Pan,” but that was followed by a many decade gap until our oldest son, Blake, at 11, was cast in “Sound of Music,” which turned out to be one of the most important experiences of his life. (Blake is now an attorney).
The next steps on my personal journey of appreciation of musical theatre came right here in Pagosa with the production of “Frog ’N Toad,” “The Last Five Years,” “Chicago,” and others, at the Thingamajig Theatre.
This summer’s musical season is the biggest and best yet, with the Tony Award-winning play “Monty Python’s Spamalot” and “The Full Monty” alternating every other week through August.
“Spamalot” is a huge production, with 18 actors drawn from all over the country.; professionals around the board — directors and an amazing choreographer. Costumes and props are from the original production on the London stage that, due to their vast number, uniqueness and fine detail, are valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars.
This play is a spoof on the Middle Ages and, at the same time, is a spoof on Broadway musicals in general. Nonstop singing, tap dancing and over 400 costume changes accomplish this spoof to such a fine degree that Pagosa audiences have leapt to their feet in ovation every time “Spamalot” has been performed so far.
Take it from this cowboy: You and your family will love “Spamalot,” too. Book your tickets before the word gets out. You will be delighted.