Musical next on centennial agenda

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— From a cattle drive down Lincoln Avenue over the Fourth of July weekend to the town pageant, "Signatures," scheduled to begin Aug. 17, this year's Steamboat Springs centennial is being honored in various ways.
"When Steamboat Springs was incorporated as a town, there was an ordinance written then requesting that the city council during the time of the centennial year have a centennial celebration," said Kim Symalla, a staff assistant for the centennial commission.
The ordinance, drafted in 1900, is being followed to the letter. Throughout the year, the city is offering an array of centennial events, such as a future "Centennial Gala" and a celebration that will be held for the opening of Centennial Hall. Both of those events don't have definite dates yet, Symalla said.
The next big event on the centennial agenda is the outdoor musical, "Signatures." More than 100 local people, ranging in age from 12 to 70, are involved in the musical pageant.
The first rehearsal for the show was Friday and the cast was able to react to the script written by the husband-and-wife team of Randy and Nina Cochran. The music of the show was written by their longtime colleague, Rob Schiffmann.
"We've been working on this since January and it was great to see their reactions to the script," Randy said. "It was a wonderful, wonderful night working and listening to all of the different people."
"Signatures" is meant to be a celebration of people past and present, Randy said. It will mostly focus on past 100 years of the people of Steamboat with the opening of the performance tying into the "founding fathers" establishing the town. But also it will touch on the significance of the Crawford family and other prominent families of the area before the 20th century. During the finale, older people who have been in the area for a long time also will enter onto the stage.
"We wrote the script very specific for this town and we're really dwelling on the history of Steamboat," Randy said. "It is a celebration of people today and in the past."
Because a show of this magnitude lends itself for an outdoor production, the performance will be held at the base of the Christy chairlift at the ski mountain, Randy said. People will be able to lay their blankets on the ground that some of their ancestors traveled and settled on, and the mountains will serve as a natural background for the musical celebration of Steamboat Springs.
"I love history and I love how history affects where we are today," Randy said.
Randy and Nina's performance was partly inspired by the history book, "Steamboat Springs Legends," by local author Deb Olsen. After researching through many books and talking to various people, their blood started flowing and the motivation for the script began to spark, Randy said. Even though the Cochrans now live in Florida and Schiffmann is from New York, the three have personal ties with Steamboat. Before moving to Florida, the Cochrans lived in Steamboat for some time, while working at Perry-Mansfield and conducting Steamboat's high school plays when Nina was the drama teacher. Schiffmann visited Steamboat for many years and also worked at Perry-Mansfield.

To reach Larissa Keever call 871-4208 or e-mail lkeever@amigo.net

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