Thursday, September 11, 2003
What if all those people who wished the tourists would go away got their wish?
They will this weekend for two hours as Ski Town Productions' "Episode III: The Tourons Strike Back" explores what would happen if Ski Town USA became a bucolic small town and locals had the mountain to themselves.
"It all happens eight to 10 years in the future," said director Doug Lockwood. "For years, B.R.A.T. (Being Rude Around Tourists) has been trying to eliminate tourism from Steamboat Springs. They were finally successful."
It's not as fun as they imagined. Steamboat's economy is terrible. The members of B.R.A.T. don't have jobs, and the ski area may not open.
This affects everyone.
The audience need only listen to the words of the reggae song "Without You," a Realtor's lament, to understand that everyone suffers.
In a strange twist, B.R.A.T. became the owners of the ski area after the former owners of the mountain, A.S.S. (American Ski Syndicate), gave all their stock away and its value plummeted into the negative numbers, Lockwood said.
They don't have money to run the lifts, and an offer from Lafarce, which wants to mine the mountain for gravel, starts to look attractive.
The demand for gravel is high because grasshoppers have eaten most of the lawns in town, and Zen rock gardens are the latest rage.
"(Lafarce) will mine the whole mountain," Lockwood said. "Soon we'll have a view of Walden."
This is the third part in a trilogy that introduced theater-goers to characters such as Snowman, the ultimate ski bum, (Brian Harvey); Steve, who always refers to himself in third person (Matt Stoddard); and Cash, the bartender and Obi-Wan Kenobi character (Seth Bograd). Our hero, Dominic Underhill Demitri Entwhistle, D.U.D.E. (Kelly Anzalone) continues his two-dimensional ski town decline from ambitious Ivy League graduate to a man who only says, "Dude."
There are several visits by Nieltz (Michael David) of the Tourism Authority as he tries desperately to bring tourism back to Steamboat.
The cast of Ski Town Productions began writing the script in July. Toulon O'Connor wrote most of the script, with help from Bograd, David, Harvey and Anzalone.
Their goal was to resolve the story for the many characters they have created for their fictional ski town.
Sarah Louis Ursula Tucker is back. She moved to town with D.U.D.E. in "24 in 24: A Day in the Life of a Ski Town" but dumped him when she realized how much male attention was available to her. She has an amazing new super power.
This is the last piece in the Ski Town Production, an ongoing mud season trilogy, but the group has big, if vague, plans for their company.
"Ski Town Productions will do more stuff, but I'm not sure what's next," Lockwood said. The group originally got together with the intention of staging one musical comedy about life in a ski town.
They had so much fun creating "24 in 24" that they decided to develop the characters and do one more show. "6 to 1: The Goods are Odd" was a prequel to "24 in 24." Again, they had so much fun making "6 to1" that they decided to make a third musical comedy, based on the same characters.
"(Episode III) has been a real collaboration," Lockwood said. "We started it this summer and didn't finish the ending until last week."
There was a lot of debate about how the story should end, he said.
"You don't have to have seen the other two to appreciate this one," Lockwood said. "If you've ever been to a ski town or seen Star Wars, you'll get it.