When Brian Zink rolled out on stage in his barrel costume, I knew the evening would go downhill from there. With a fake beard, presumably no clothes underneath, and a washboard fixed to his front, Zink scratched his way through A Rural Love Story with Paul Gibson, Dave Imming and others.
At Media Night on Tuesday, this slightly itchy love song opened the skit section for this years Snowdown Follies. From there on, a lot of scratching and groaning, crawling and what passed for singing filled the stage of the Strater Hotel.
Dawn Staten and Jonathan Hunt as Morticia and Gomez from the Addams Family escorted the motley company through an evening dedicated to various and sundry monsters.
Singlehandedly, Zink did his deadpan share by helping Barrels and Jugs along.
Later, Zink returned for a lick and a scratch in a patriotic rendition of Do You Love Your Country?
Rarely has the American flag been put to such good use. Singer Jon Sherer wore a flag shirt proudly as he strummed and sang the solution to all conflict anywhere. If you know the song, you know the answer. In the spirit of Snowdown, Kathy Sherer, Margaret Leeder, and the almighty Zink showed, didnt tell, the answer. Yes, you had to be there.
Speaking of being there, Lisa Zwisler gave us all a pat down as a smarmy TSA airport guard. Sandra Shellnut, Linda Brockway and Baudi Shellnut got snookered in costumes that ought to win an award for somebody. The punch line turned out to be the oldest Snowdown joke. You had to be there.
Question: How did Dead Sexy get into the show? Too snazzy and slick for Snowdown standards, Id say. Randee Collins-Halls riffed on Michael Jackson with strobe lighting and a sharp chorus of dancers. They brought down the house for the B Cast section of the evening.
Rebecca Gilberts savvy Bride of Frankenstein and Immings Jersey Shore Frankenstein brought in the A Cast and set up the second half of the show.
At last we got into some trash talk about local politicians, celebrities, watering holes and one big watering hole Lake Nighthorse. Finally, the likes of J. Paul Brown, Ron Ritz, El Rancho Tavern and Wal-Mart got some hits.
I was about to despair when Gilbert and Imming delivered the 10 Top Monster Lookalike List. All Ill say here is that Chuck Norton, Michael Rendon and Kelly Hotter made the list. But except for one joke about yellow license plates, there were slim pickings compared with the days when the Herald, Bob Ledger and Jeff Dietch got repeated drubbings.
Roc Simmons and Don Doane delivered some timely SnoNews with the help of Nancy Gillham and Al Librande more scratching, Im afraid. Geoff Johnson, a mere chorus member in the flashy Funky Fresh and the White Guy, got carried away and had to be literally carried away. More rubbing and scratching. Yes, you had to be there.
But the real mystery in the second half echoed the spiffy Dead Sexy in the first.
Be a Vampire featured Durango Dance with the inimitable Suzi DiSanto, Erika Wilson Golightly, Jessica Perino and Jamie Pittman. Sardonic and slinky, the dancers showed what can be done in a small space with a few chairs and tambourines. Shades of Federico Fellini.
Can the Follies survive if you put one really good number in each half? It spoils the rhythm, not to mention the Zink factor.
Note to Terry Fiedler: Sorry, Terry. I know it bugs you that this review appears in the Art & Entertainment section of the newspaper. What can I say? I tried to get it moved to Sports or Business, Classifieds or Crime. Thats where it belongs crime.
Better luck next year JR.
Judith Reynolds is a Durango writer, artist and critic. Reach her at judithlreynolds @yahoo.com.