Best Bets

Best Bets

July 2007

A Visionary's Touch
Vail's annual dance extravaganza gets a face-lift and reinvigoration this year, courtesy of its new artistic director, Damien Woetzel. To enliven the stale notion of tutus and tights, Woetzel's not only made the festival a live-music affair for the first time, but also brought aboard one of the world's hottest young choreographers, Christopher Wheeldon, for the worldwide debut of his new multidisciplinary dance company, Morphoses. The contemporary vision throughout will showcase a sweeping variety of styles and talents, such as masterworks by Twyla Tharp and George Balanchine, DanceBrazil's fusion of martial arts, modern dance, and Brazilian music, and a sizzling ballroom finale. Vail International Dance Festival: July 29-Aug. 11, Vail

Hitting the High Note
Miracles and murder play off each other for an emotional plot in the final production of Central City Opera's 75th anniversary season, Gian Carlo Menotti's The Saint of Bleecker Street. Set in New York City's rigidly Catholic Little Italy in the 1950s, the storyline follows a young woman who hears voices and sees visions of angels. Her brother, an atheist, thinks she's in need of hospitalization, but the neighborhood thinks she's a blessed saint—a conflict of beliefs that evokes bitterness and ends in tragedy. The three-act opera, originally written for Broadway, is rarely performed today. The Saint of Bleecker Street: July 21-Aug. 18, Central City Opera House

Along the River
Eagle River Valley's daylong pedal fest follows a route that caters to all abilities, which is a refreshing change for cyclists who can't handle quad-busting vertical grades for six straight hours. The choice of a 100-mile, 100K, or 42-mile loop ride from Beaver Creek, hitting both the Colorado and Eagle rivers, is a nice touch for the recreational cyclist, as is the post-ride dinner and concert. Led by former World Cup Mountain Bike champ and three-time Eco-Challenge winner Mike Kloser, the ride benefits the Snowboard Outreach Society, which provides outdoor recreation opportunities for at-risk youth. Beaver Creek Colorado-Eagle River Ride: July 29, Eagle County

Almost Famous
Jeff Finlin just may be the best singer-songwriter you've never heard of. Bruce Springsteen is a fan. Director Cameron Crowe loved him so much he included him on the soundtrack to Elizabethtown. So why isn't this Fort Collins troubadour playing big-time venues? Maybe he's just too literate, too soulful, too good. Proof: check out his latest album, Angels in Disguise, released this spring—the man sings from the gut. For more on Finlin's story, see this month's "Ballad for a Plain Man" (page 138), by Pulitzer Prize-winning writer J.R. Moehringer. Finlin appears in Denver July 11th and 18th at Lannie's Clocktower Cabaret. For ticket info, call 303-293-0075 or visit www.Lannies.com