PROPS & DISSES: Disco ain’t daft, punk
JACKSON HOLE, WYO –
Disco ain’t daft, punk PROP
Everything else has lost meaning. Time stands still. Whether hikers can no longer access the summit of High School Butte or if a bridge will ever be completed in this county or who the mystery graffiti artist of Jackson Hole is – none of it matters. All life’s distractions melt away with one listen to Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky.”
Go listen. Now. Spotify it, Pandora it, buy it. Give it a listen immediately. If you never come back to finish this column, I’ll understand.
It’s obvious that Americans never departed from the disco era on good terms. The death knell rang early that night in Comiskey Park (July 12, 1979) after yet another drubbing of the hometown White Sox (4-1). Platform shoes may have gone out of style but disco, that “diabolical thump-and-shriek” novelty so named by Time Magazine was not ready to go gently into that good Chicago night.
In the wake of disco’s premature death, new wave stepped in to fill the void. If Zeppelin fans thought disco was heartless techno music, well, next to Devo, Donna Summer looked like the London Philharmonic.
Dust off your mirrored ball, shake out your afro and get lucky. Disco’s back, baby, and a little Daft Punk just might wash the aftertaste of Psy and Macklemore out of your ears. P.S. Wanna fresh tip? Check out George Barnett’s cover on YouTube.
All the Hole’s a stage PROP
Jackson is a great place to see quality theater. This past few weeks featured two outstanding productions that could not have been more different.
The town is still buzzing about the high school’s production of “West Side Story.” Everyone I know went to see it, including most of my softball team, who were mostly dragged there begrudgingly by their better half.
Vicki Garnick directed the beloved 50-year-old play, and the kids knocked it out of the park, beginning with Garnick’s son, Golden. Garnick handled the male lead chores with aplomb. Growing up at the Jackson Hole Playhouse, Vicki’s youngest son takes to the boards like pomade to a pompadour.
Taralee Larsen also killed it as Maria, though she didn’t have the theatrical family background to draw from. Her dad says it was like pulling teeth to get her to sing in public. (Little joke there, Doc.) Taralee’s father is dentist Scott Larsen.
Across town, Off Square Theatre Company tackled the weighty work of Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky. “Crime and Punishment” doesn’t exactly spring to mind as entertaining subject matter for live performance but when the Marilyn Campbell and Curt Columbus adaptation of the literary masterpiece took to the stage in New York City in 2007, it elicited resoundingly positive reviews.
“Who would have thought that the novel no high school student has ever finished reading would make such engrossing theater?” wrote the New York Times.
John J. Hanlon, who is known for translating Maksym Kurochin’s Russian works, directed. He helped the actors with the finer points of the Russian language and culture. Brian Landis Folkins was fantastic in the lead role of the tortured Raskolnikov. Local Jamie Reilly also delivers, juggling three parts including the suspicious inspector Porfiry.
The show wrapped May 18 after a two-week run underwritten by the Russian Club of Jackson Hole.
Later this summer: Jackson Hole Playhouse intends to stage “Footloose” for the first time. And watch for the debut of “South Pass,” the musical, running July 5-26 at Center for the Arts. The production, written by River Crossing executive director Mike Atkins, highlights the life of Jedediah Smith, the legendary explorer of the Mountain West.
Hell hath no fury like Lummis PROP
Cynthia Lummis is never going to apologize for being a Republican. The Congresswoman is all up in Obama’s grill again. The bandwagon has sagging leaf springs these days with the current administration fending off a three-pronged attack that includes Benghazi, IRS targeting, and the McCarthyesque AP witch hunt.
Lummis knocked out a letter to her Wyoming constituents entitled, “The IRS: Taxing Your Patience and Patriotism Since 2011.” Beautiful. Lummis slammed the Internal Revenue Service for their selective audits on any filing organization that appeared to slant their politics to the right, calling the department a new playground bully.
While IRS higher-up Lois Lerner stammered denials, Inspector General Russell George uncovered an internal memo dubbed “Be on the Look-Out” (BOLO). It was a directive from somewhere or someone up above instructing IRS agents to target filers that used terms like “patriot” or “tea party” in their return. These flagged organizations were then forced to turn over names of their donors, the amount they gave, and even their political positions on important issues. Is this still America?
Lummis wants Lerner’s head, and she probably won’t stop there. God save Obama if she gets a whiff of improprieties tying the White House to the IRS scandal.