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By Laura Moore
Special to The PREVIEW
If you’re looking for summer excitement, look no further than the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts. With a calendar packed full of events, there’s something for every art lover at PSCA.
Earlier this week, Tim Sullivan and his band kicked off the premiere 2014 Free Summer Concert Series to a capacity house and Thingamajig Theatre Company’s (in residence at PSCA) “Beauty and the Beast” continued its reign as the crown jewel of family entertainment in southwest Colorado. Tonight and Friday, Thingamajig entertains audiences with the “funniest 90 minutes in Pagosa” with the smash-hit “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” a contemporary musical featuring a dash of audience participation and improv. The weekend rounds itself out with the audience favorite “Les Misérables in Concert” before returning to “Beauty” again Sunday.
“We’ve experienced an unprecedented increase in ticket sales this summer, primarily from out-of-town visitors who’ve seen our previous work and are continuing to build the theatre company into their short list of things ‘things to do’ while in town” remarks Tim Moore, producing artistic director for Thingamajig. “It’s the busiest time of year for us, but I’m grateful for the response and support.”
But it’s not just the plethora of tourists making waves in Pagosa that makes PSCA so vibrant.
“Our company of professional actors and designers are second to none in terms of talent and it certainly doesn’t go unrecognized in the community,” adds Moore. “When they first arrived in June, I told them that it wouldn’t be long before a simple stop at the coffee shop would turn into an ‘actor sighting.’ For three years now our patrons have treated our performers so well when they are spotted around town. Our actors live in Pagosa from May through late August over the summer and really integrate themselves into the community; from participating in the Fourth of July parade and teaching the summer children’s theatre camp to relaxing in the hot springs and enjoying meals at restaurants.”
If you’re looking for even more things to do, we’ve got just the ticket. Opening July 17, Thingamajig Theatre presents Broadway’s hit musical “A Chorus Line,” with direction and choreography by Ryan Hazelbaker. Having recently choreographed Creede Repertory Theatre’s “Annie Get Your Gun,” and now in his second year and seventh production with Thingamajig, Hazelbaker rounds out the repertory season in Pagosa featuring the best dancers in the Four Corners area.
“Audiences are really going to see our stage in a new light. We’ve expanded it to accommodate for the number of dancers in the show and they use every inch of it,” says Moore.
The Tony Award winning “A Chorus Line” was famous for highlighting an actor’s struggle to ‘make it’ in show business, showing the vulnerabilities behind the performer and the daily mountain they climb to reach their dreams.”
When speaking of Hazelbaker, Moore adds, “Ryan is the perfect leader for this project. More than any other professional I’ve worked with, he brings ‘Broadway’ to each rehearsal and expects it back from every performer each day.”
So, if you’re making plans for the weekend or week ahead, come by and give a look. Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts has got your entertainment needs covered in a big way.
“The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” July 10, 11 and 16.
“Beauty and the Beast,” July 13.
“Les Misérables in Concert,” July 12.
“A Chorus Line,” July 17.
Thingamajig Theatre Company presents a summer of Broadway spectaculars in Pagosa Springs Wednesdays through Saturdays at 7 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m. For tickets and show information, please visit www.pagosacenter.org or call 731-SHOW (7469).