Steamboat Springs’ Pirate Theatre takes show on the road
August 16, 2012
Steamboat Springs — It's not going to make much sense. Next week, 11 members of Steamboat Springs' Pirate Theatre troupe are going to pack skis, outerwear and sleeping bags into a van and drive down to Boulder.
Typically, skiers would be driving the exact opposite direction with all their gear. It also would be winter.
But this is no ordinary assembly of ski bums.
Celebrating 10 years of its satirical theater productions, Pirate Theatre is taking the show on the road for a run of performances at the Boulder International Fringe Festival next Thursday through Saturday.
Pirate Theatre founder Brian Harvey said the group long has talked about expanding to other towns.
"We are trying to get out of our mom's basement, if you will," said Harvey, who is reprising his popular sheriff role in the new show.
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As a send-off, the troupe will perform this year's production, called "Powder Haze: A Day in the Life at a Ski Town," on Saturday here in Steamboat. The show features a new plot as well as some old favorite Pirate Theatre songs and characters. There will be new tunes, too.
Coinciding with the fourth annual All Arts Festival, "Powder Haze" takes place at 8 p.m. Saturday on the Steamboat Stage at the base of Steamboat Ski Area.
Gondola Square will be filled with chairs, and general admission tickets cost $10 at the door. There are $20 and $30 tickets for reserved seating areas. Tickets are available at All That Jazz and at the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association.
The jokes stay true to Pirate Theatre's M.O. of poking fun at the Steamboat lifestyle: namely ski bum poverty, powder obsessions, the male-to-female ratio and, of course, rednecks.
"We live in a pretty sheltered community that's very homogenous," Harvey said. "We're like an inbred family. If you can't laugh at yourself, how can you laugh?
"My feeling is if you have an opinion, we're going to pick on it."
It only makes sense that the hour-long, PG-13 parody of Ski Town USA be situated right at the base of the mountain.
When the jokes are about epic powder days and ski town stereotypes, audience members will be able to simply turn their heads to the left to wistfully stare at the mountain and wish for snow.
But because this show is going beyond the Steamboat bubble, the actors and writers wasted no time in picking up that Boulder is pretty easy to make fun of, too.
"We wanted to show (Boulder) and us what is funny about living here," lead writer Todd Danielson said. "Then we did our best to bring the Pirate Theatre vibe to Boulder.
"Like I said, Boulder's an easy target."
When the ski bums in the show — including old favorites like Snowman, Rocky and Dude — are forced to make a pilgrimage to Boulder, the jokes play off stereotypes that most Coloradans will pick up on: intense Buddhist-yogis, slacklining "bros" and "brahs" and countless Boulder references creatively molded into a new Pirate Theatre song, a rap by local emcee Tony Counts.
The show's appeal is broadened by the lack of Steamboat-specific jokes like those aimed at our local City Council or hyper-local news events.
"Our theory is that the people of Boulder also like to laugh at themselves," Danielson said.
After this production, Pirate Theatre will jump right into writing and rehearsing its next show, which premieres in November at The Steamboat Grand.
"We try to make people laugh," said Eric Leach, who plays the recurring character Rocky who only speaks in classic rock lyrics. "And we try to make fun of everybody so no one gets upset."
And if anyone does, at least there are several lawyers in the cast.
To reach Nicole Inglis, call 970-871-4204 or email ninglis@ExploreSteamboat.com