If youve been too busy, too hot, too indifferent or otherwise just putting it off, this is a great week to get out and catch some local entertainment.
Granted, institutions like the Bar D Chuckwagon and the Durango Melodrama and the more recent production of Greater Tuna at the Durango Arts Center couldnt exist without tourists, and were created to cater to them. But that doesnt mean locals arent allowed to attend, and it can be a fun and different way to spend time on a summer night.
This week, each is offering something different. Tonight and Wednesday, Western music legends Riders in the Sky will make their regular visit to the Bar D as guest performers. For the uninitiated, an evening at the Bar D includes a full-on chuckwagon dinner served outdoors with the Wranglers music and comedy show. The addition of Riders in the Sky is always a value-added bonus to the nightly show.
Tonights Melodrama performance of After Dark at the Henry Strater Theatre is special as well. On stage, itll be business as usual. After Dark is classic melodrama, with a hero, heroine, boo-inducing villain and a visual treat a moving train in the climactic scene. But tonights show is a benefit for Mountain Middle School, the public and state-chartered school that opens this month for sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students focused on integrating technology into project-based learning.
The dysfunctional gang in Tuna, Texas, also is giving something back to Durango this week. Fridays performance of the summer production of the satire on all things small-town is a benefit for the La Plata County Humane Society. Its a perfect philanthropic selection, because the only character in the play with a shred of decency is Tunas Humane Society officer, Petey Fisk (portrayed by Miles Batchelder). Among his duties, Petey must thwart the efforts of Pearl Buras (played by Geoff Johnson), who has a penchant for poisoning dogs she believes might be pilfering her eggs.
Humane Society volunteers will take donations during intermission, and an anonymous donor has pledged to match the total collected during Fridays performance.
Maybe special guests or supporting a great local cause is motivation enough to take in one or all of our summer traditions or maybe not. Just dont say theres nothing to do.