Lights! Camera! Action!
The Arts Awaken In Leadville Today
It’s been a while since the neon glow of live entertainment and nightlife has burned bright on historic Harrison Avenue. Between a global pandemic that has restricted – or at the very least – discouraged large gatherings and many performance venues shuttering their doors or operating with limited capacity, the arts have suffered. But it’s time to flip the switch on that old Lead Vegas spotlight! It’s time for an entertainment update from Leadville Today. Who’s acting up? Where can you find a place to sing your own tune? What is happening on the stage? From open auditions to live music to an update on the opera house upgrades, it’s time to cheer: Bravo! Bravo! as the arts awaken in America’s highest city!
Open Auditions Underway
They’re Baaack! Well, they actually never really went away, but for a community who came to rely on the artistic direction of Leadville’s Scott Carroll to put some tapping in those toes and lively song in the holiday season, it’s good to see the stage spotlight burning with a new bulb and fresh energy. So if you’ve got a song in your heart or the acting bug has bitten, here’s how you can plug into the call for “action!”
The Lyric Theatre of Leadville and the Lake County Civic Center Association announce auditions for the 2021 – 2022 season. This will serve for shows, choirs, and events! Everyone is welcome! If you have a song, monologue, or anything prepared Lyric Theatre would love to hear it! If you don’t have anything prepared but love to sing and/or act, they can work with you at the audition. Auditions will be held now through Sunday, Sept. 12. For ease of scheduling, appointments will be made on an individual basis. Please reach out to Scott Carroll at email@example.com or by calling 541.350.6562 for more information and to schedule your time. We would love to hear you!
The Lyric Theatre of Leadville, its board, and staff believe that everyone deserves the chance to experience quality live musical theatre and all its varieties in their own community. It is their responsibility to provide audiences with events that not only entertain but also expand personal perspectives and enrich lives. Lyric Theatre believes that exposing the community to experiences either familiar or unfamiliar makes for a more well-rounded viewpoint and appreciation of the world.
“We at the Lyric Theatre of Leadville are committed to bringing the highest level of artistic experiences possible through the collaboration between our extraordinary community and guest professional talent,” states their website. The Lyric Theatre of Leadville is committed to creating sustainable programming and is proud to serve the community of Leadville, Lake County, and beyond.
2019 Performing Arts Choir Holiday Performance
Mountain Music: Encore!
Live music has been seeing a slow, but steady return to Leadville. But what has have been coming to the stage has been well worth the wait. This Saturday, Sept. 4 will be no different down at The Scarlet Tavern at 3rd & Harrison. Starting at 9 p.m. new-to-the-scene Leadville band Pop-A-Wheelie will be bringing some classic rock and mixing it up with some blues.
Making their first public performance at last month’s Pb Block Party this band of musicians are not new to the local beats, just freshly re-packaged, consisting of Jon, Ryan, Lucas and Vi. From Bob Dylan to Bruce Springsteen it’ll be a good rock scene down at The Scarlet. Hey, if these guys can get people dancing in the park, come see what they can do at the recently upgraded performance area at this live music venue.
It’s Pop-A-Wheelie! Look Ma, no hands!
The Return of “Silver” to The Dollar
If it seems there’s something being dug up, constructed, rebuilt, re-roofed or freshly painted on just about every block in Leadville Today, it’s because that’s been the reality of this Boomtown Summer. But once the scaffolding goes up or the jack-lift arrives, people take notice. And so it was for the Legendary Silver Dollar Saloon this week as Van Trump Construction set up in front of the downtown saloon and popped the top on some paint.
What’s Going On Over There?
A Main Street mainstay since 1879, the popular saloon has seen some color and theme changes over the years with the 20th-century Irish theme being slowly faded out under the current ownership. Using guidelines established by the local historic preservation commission, the color palette on the lettering and framework are undergoing a paint #upgrade. The familiar yellow lettering has been replaced by a silver color and the framing around the pictures of Silver Dollar with a deep maroon tone. The yellow window frames with Irish-themed shamrocks have been painted over with the same red-brown tone with silver accents. Some of the detailing was done by Leadville artist Justine Waggett whose Leadville mural work can be seen at Zaitz Park between 6th and 7th Streets.
Renovation Continues on Theater Treasure
The first phase of an estimated $10 million rehabilitation of the historic Tabor Opera House continues in downtown Leadville. This is the first full rehabilitation since 1902 for the elegant opera house, built-in 1879 in just 100 days by Colorado’s legendary mining magnate Horace Tabor.
The scaffolding went up in Summer 2020 and continues through this Fall with a majority of the work complete on the most damaged south and west exterior walls, including the repair of crumbling bricks and leaking windows.
The larger rehabilitation is expected to take years, after decades of deferred maintenance, but will restore the Tabor to its original glory while making it functional for modern times. Community and rental space in the grand ballroom, a modernized stage and theatre, and retail space in the two street-level storefronts are among the vision for the future Tabor Opera House. Fundraising continues for future phases, to make this vision a reality.
Leadville’s historic Tabor Opera House received national attention Aug. 6, 2021, in the New York Times for its historic stage scenery, which dates from 1879 to 1902. “A Hidden Trove Gives a Glimpse of Opera in the Wild West” features what is believed to be the finest collection of historic scenery in North America. The article tells the story of the era scenery’s surprise discovery by Wendy Waszut-Barrett, Ph.D., of Historic Stage Services. It also presents the Tabor’s colorful performance history.
Writer Elisabeth Vincentelli spent two days in Leadville thoroughly researching the piece and exploring the dark reaches of the Tabor’s attic, where the scenery was hidden for well over a century.
“The past year has been an exciting journey, as we have discovered this invaluable link to the past,” said Jenny Buddenborg, president of the Tabor Opera House Preservation Foundation. “Now, thanks to Ms. Vincentelli’s dedication and storytelling skills, arts enthusiasts nationwide are learning of this important and fascinating discovery. The Foundation is exploring the best way to preserve these priceless artifacts and share them with the public, just as we are preserving the history of the Tabor itself through a careful rehabilitation that celebrates the historic integrity of the 142-year-old building.”
Several pieces from the collection were on display at the Tabor where visitors could see them during a tour. This past summer, Spanish-language tours were available for the first time.
Leadville’s Opera House Continues Rehabilitation Work
A public-private partnership between the City of Leadville and Tabor Opera House Preservation Foundation raised nearly $1.5 million for this first phase of rehabilitation, which is expected to be complete in late summer 2021.
Funding was provided by the Colorado Department of Local Affairs Energy/Mineral Impact Assistance Fund, National Park Service Save America’s Treasure program, Colorado State Historical Fund, National Trust for Historic Preservation & American Express Partners in Preservation program, and City of Leadville. Partners in Preservation funds were earned by Tabor Opera House supporters far and wide whose online voting helped the Tabor win first place and $150,000 in a national campaign.
Heritage A&M, a joint venture of Heritage Window Restoration, LLC, of Commerce City and A&M Renovations, LLC, of Johnstown, Colo., were hired after a deliberative and competitive bid process by the City of Leadville to carry out this first phase of rehabilitation. They are joined by Agave Landscapes & Masonry, Inc. of Salida, with project oversight provided by Hoehn Architects, PC of Evergreen, Colo. Learn more and follow project progress at www.taboroperahouse.net and on Facebook.