- FEATURE: The Path to Ruins, Burgeoning author Andrew Munz hunts down Jess Walter
- WELL, THAT HAPPENED: Dear writers: Dream big
- GALLOPIN’ GRANDMA: Fur and loathing in the airport
- GET OUT: King keeps it simple and light
- CULTURE FRONT: New life in the lab
- MUSIC BOX: Go to Therapy with The New Mastersounds
- THIS WEEK: JANUARY 21-27
- PROPS & DISSES
- COSMIC CAFE: Q: Am I an old soul or a new soul?
- Hooters rumor a bust
CULTURE MATTERS: Munz’s new show takes poke at Jackson ski scene
Let’s just get it out there: Andy Munz hasn’t been skiing this year. In fact, he hasn’t skied in two years. He sold his gear before moving to Chicago and hasn’t been able to afford to buy it back since he returned to Jackson.
He’s been doing other things. Yes, there are other things one can do in Jackson in the winter to entertain themselves other than ski. For example, one might write a sketch comedy show about a culture where people regularly ask him about skiing and then stare at him baffled when he says he has occupied his winter in other ways.
A few years ago, before Munz shockingly sold all his ski gear without replacing it, he and Emma Pope wrote and performed the show “Still Single.” Munz described his show at the time as his “love letter and hate mail” to Jackson. “I Can Ski Forever,” is written in that same vein.
The show playfully mocks certain truths about Jackson, exaggerates some of the stereotypes (there are a few bro-brah scenes), but it is also a celebration of the town.
“All the things [we address], we don’t say there’s anything wrong with it, but it’s something we all perceive and something that definitely defines an aspect of Jackson,” Munz said.
There’s the person who comes to Jackson to ski a winter, then takes a river job in the summer and stays for years. There’s a scene that touches on the “ski movie epidemic.” There are sketches that tackle the bar scene and the dating scene and even Pearl Street Bagels. There’s a skit called “Flannel,” and one about Starbucks and another about the first two guys to arrive at Disco Night at the Stage Coach Bar. There are even a few shout-outs to Teton Valley. And there are three cougars, played by Caryn Flanagan, Cady Cox and Amanda Flosbach, that “stalk their prey” throughout the show, weaving in and out of scenes.
The seven-person cast also includes Kjera Strom-Henrie and Josh Griffith, both of Laff Staff, and Kari Hall. Shark Week is the house band and provides the music. While Munz wrote most of the show, the cast contributed material and some of it came from improvising.
After performing “Still Single,” people kept asking Munz and Pope when they were going to do another show, but both moved away. When Munz moved back he saw Jackson, which has been his home since the age of seven, with fresh eyes and realized some things never change.
“All of our jokes were still relevant,” he said.
He also was motivated to explore the many sides of Jackson they didn’t tackle in “Still Single” as it was focused on the dating scene.
“I Can Ski Forever,” is a variety show about Jackson and the people who live in town. There is no plot, just the overarching theme of the “Jackson lifestyle,” which inspires the scenes and music.
“There is some audience participation, singing and modern ballet,” Munz said. Kate Kosharek of Dancers’ Workshop helped choreograph the show.
“So you get professional ballet performed by non-professional dancers,” Munz said.
Jennifer Lawrence might even make an appearance, Munz said.
“Still Single” sold out both shows in advance, so Munz encourages people to get tickets early. They are $15. The show is recommended for those 18 years and older due to language.
“I Can Ski Forever,” a sketch comedy show. Doors open at 7:30 p.m., show starts at 8 p.m., Thursday through Saturday, Black Box Theater. Tickets are $15 online or at Center Theater Box Office. Attendees should be 18 years and older.