Comedy series blends local and national talent | Culture & Leisure

After a successful summer of laughs, The Collective Snowmass presents another live-action comedy series this season. Over nine nights of shows, the series features a mix of national, regional and local comedians with different styles and stories, bringing an accessible and versatile comedy experience to the valley.

The Snowmass Live Comedy Series will take place select Wednesday nights through March 23, consisting of three local comedy showcases and six national headliners hailing from Denver and other major cities, according to programmer Gena Buhler.

“As we were looking to schedule the show, we focused on this idea that there were a lot of amazing local comedians, not just in the Roaring Fork Valley but in Colorado in general,” Buhler said. “So I wanted to explore the best programming that supported local comedians first and foremost, and then also give those local comedians the opportunity to engage with national talent — that was the idea of ​​the mix.”

The winter lineup kicked off last Wednesday with the first local comedy showcase led by comedian TJ Kaiser and friends — which was a successful opening event, said The Collective Snowmass manager Sarah Sanders.

Sanders, who is a comedian herself and will be leading one of the local showcases on March 16, said she was excited to host, host and headline her own show in collaboration with Buhler and comedians. community.

The other local showcase will be led by Michael Robinson on February 23, and while headliner performances are $10, these local showcases are free with reservations.

“Local shows work really well because we don’t have a lot of opportunities to perform in public spaces, so all the friends and networks of local artists come, which creates a different vibe than our paid shows” , Sanders said. “They’re both awesome in different ways, and it’s cool to see it all come to life.”

The first paid show is tonight with Denver-based comedian, teacher and published author Chris Voth. Voth has appeared on the “Late Late Show”, “Last Comic Standing” and “Comics Unleashed” and was also chosen for the prestigious Great American Comedy Festival.

Consensual Improv, the Valley-based improv comedy troupe, performs January 26, followed by award-winning comic Nancy Norton on February 2. the first woman to win the Boston Comedy Festival in 2018.

Winner of the 36th Seattle International Comedy Competition, Vancouver comedian Dino Archie takes the stage on February 9.

Josh Adam Meyers, creator and host of “The Goddamn Comedy Jam,” is coming to the Valley from Washington DC for the March 9 show.

Last but not least is Los Angeles-based writer and comedian Sarah Tiana on March 23.

Finding the best comics to travel to the Valley for the series, Buhler was keen to bring in performers who wouldn’t insist on having their own supporting acts. The reason for this, she explained, is to provide opportunities for local comedians to engage on stage each show night, whether opening, hosting or collaborating with these renowned names in the field of comedy.

“The comedians we bring in are so open and supportive of our community and our artists, and as local comedians to be exposed to this level of talent is so exciting,” Sanders said. “It’s just a really unique experience, and I don’t think it would have happened without Gena’s mastermind behind the show.”

Buhler, who was the former executive director of Wheeler Opera House, said she has programmed varying levels of talent over the past 15 years. From touring shows as an agent in New York to years working between the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Vail and the Wheeler Opera House in Aspen, Buhler said she’s focused on finding what suits the better to a community.

“I come from this artistic background looking healingly at communities and really trying to learn about the community — what works and what doesn’t — so that the programming I put out fits,” Buhler said. “And by that I mean he’s doing well financially and also helping to grow audiences, as well as growing what the community expects from arts, culture and entertainment itself.”

By hosting this comedy series at The Collective, Buhler said a gap was being filled in terms of engaging locals and visitors in affordable, high-quality comedy shows, as well as providing local comedians with a platform. performance form and exposure.

Buhler also pointed out that each local comedian has a different style. While some will make “really fun and quirky observations” about their experiences living in Aspen or something they do in the valley, others, like Sanders, take a more all-encompassing approach. These varied styles, Buhler said, make the shows fun and fantastic not only for local spectators, but also for visitors in the crowd.

“Sarah’s style really focuses on telling a story and looking at life in general. It’s not the ‘I live in Aspen and this is my Aspen story,’” Buhler said. “I love her comedy because it has a story that continues – a story that the audience can follow and then get to know Sarah in some way.”

Sanders, who worked under Buhler at Wheeler before taking on her management role at The Collective, said she fell in love with comedy while working alongside Buhler in event programming. such as Aspen Laugh Festival.

“When I came here for The Collective, it was just a natural next step to continue doing comedy in our community,” Sanders said. “I’m thrilled that we have a space where we can make people laugh.”

Sanders said she plans to continue the Snowmass Live Comedy series as an annual recurring event in the summer and winter, and she’s proud of her “small but mighty” team at The Collective for making it all possible.

“We’re not out of the COVID weed yet and I think people really need that break in their weeks to have a laugh, and being able to afford that on a consistent basis is really important to our customers and our local community,” Sanders said. “They say laughter is the best medicine, and I really couldn’t agree more. It’s the highlight of the events I’ve put together in a week for sure.

All comedy shows begin at 7:30 p.m. at Collective Hall in Snowmass Village. With a capacity of 70 people per show, advance reservations are required. Reservations and tickets are available on The Collective Snowmass website.

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About Madeline J. Carter

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