When John Goss aboriginal opened the Glenwood Amphitheater Revue in the city’s celebrated Masonic Lodge in 2009, he did so “on a dime and a prayer.”
By that time, Goss had already spent a decade in the Roaring Fork Valley acting in venues like the Crystal Palace and Thunder River Theatre Co., and administering and choreographing shows for Aspen Community Theatre.
He and two accompany began talking about aperture their own amphitheater in Glenwood, which Goss knew was “a abundant little day-tripper town.”
“I had formed in 10 or 12 altered baby theaters like this in day-tripper towns area bodies were attractive for article fun to do, and they consistently did well,” he said.
His accompany ultimately absitively to go in a altered direction, but Goss captivated assimilate his dream.
“I aching up 30-grand — that’s aggregate I had — and I put it all into one summer and took a big risk,” he said. “It had its absolute highs and its absolute lows and some absolute arduous times, but it was a actual absorbing appearance and bodies were allurement for more.”
Goss grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico, accomplishing aerial academy amphitheater — “the alone affair I was acceptable at that I enjoyed doing,” he said — and again began assuming with the Albuquerque Civic Light Opera in the 2,000-seat amphitheater on the University of New Mexico campus.
“It was an amazing acquaintance to be in such big productions with 60 to 70 actors,” he said. “Every now and again I’d get a acceptable role or arch part. I was activity up through the ranks there and it was a abundant acquirements experience.”
He enrolled at UNM, but begin himself spending a lot of money on charge to apprentice theater, assuming and music. So he afflicted his career aisle and started auditioning for able amphitheater productions area he could get paid to apprentice theater.
“I anticipate amphitheater and music are things area it’s not all-important to accept a degree, unless you appetite to teach, absolute or go into assertive fields,” Goss said. “But if you appetite to perform, sometimes the best affair is to aloof perform, and do it as abundant as you can and get acquaintance and assignment with abounding bodies and be as able as you possibly can.”
With that realization, Goss spent the abutting 30 years on the “melodrama circuit,” bouncing about the West and alive in admirable places.
In 2013, Goss approached John Buxman, buyer of the Springs Amphitheater and asked if he was planning on continuing to appearance movies at the amphitheater with the industry trending against agenda as against to analog formats.
The two men formed out a deal, and Goss confused in six months after — transforming the amphitheater by removing the angled attic and installing two-tiered, banquet theater-style flooring, abacus a affected lighting system, alteration the theater’s acknowledgment and appointment areas into a new kitchen and bar, and architecture bathrobe apartment for the performers backstage.
He additionally bought and refurbished a rare, aboriginal 20th aeon Wurlitzer photoplayer piano — a amateur piano/sound furnishings apparatus originally acclimated in theaters as the audio for bashful movies.
“I did all the work, put the kitchen in and paid for everything,” Goss said. “And six years later, I’m boring advantageous it off.”
Familiar is funny
When Goss aboriginal opened the Amphitheater Revue, his affiliation performed classic, amusing bits, skits and songs — in the older, archetypal amphitheater amphitheater appearance — that he had aggregate through the years from added theaters area he had worked. But as the years accept passed, his shows accept morphed into added of a avant-garde amphitheater style, he said.
“We use the appellation ‘vaudeville’ about and we do aggregate from berth numbers to ambagious songs,” he said. “The best accepted song we accept in the accepted appearance is about that crazy ambagious Glenwood has now. The admirers aloof goes basics because anybody can chronicle to that ambagious and how crazy it is.”
“When you accomplish it article that they’re absolutely accustomed with, and you booty it over the top, of advance — we accomplish it out to be this appalling acquaintance of aggravating to drive through the ambagious — its amazing the acknowledgment we get from people.”
Another accepted song in the appearance is the “Taco Bell Canon” — a apology of the classical allotment “Pachelbel’s Canon” — area the casting dresses up in behemothic taco and burrito apparel and sings altered pieces in the tune of the Pachebel Canon.
“It became one of the best accepted things we anytime did,” Goss said.
Goss writes abundant of the actual for the shows, and said he usually takes an abstraction from article abroad or some one abroad and either Americanizes it, modernizes it, or changes it to assignment for the vaudeville.
But sometimes he’ll address article that is absolutely original.
“I’ll get an abstraction and say ‘I adulation this theme’ and sometimes the music is original,” he said. “We’re accomplishing a appearance appropriate now alleged the Aspen Bout Guide, and it is a accurate story. I acclimated to be an Aspen bout adviser — we alleged it the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous bout — and I acquired all kinds of antic questions from bodies and the asinine things that I would do.
“I’m absolutely appreciative of those back the abstraction is original, the music is original, the chat is original. But they are bags of assignment and activity to accomplish them absorbing and to acquisition out how they assignment calm and how the abstraction works.”
Goss directs three amphitheater shows anniversary year — a bounce show, a summer show, and a anniversary show, and three years ago he had the abstraction to do a Broadway musical.
“It was a minimalized adaptation of ‘Sweeney Todd’ — we had an orchestra, we had 14 casting members, and we had a additional date out in the audience,” he said.
Two years ago, the amphitheater was inhabited by “Little Shop of Horrors,” which including an 8-foot, man-eating plant, and aftermost year they did addition abounding assembly with “A Funny Affair Happened on the Way to the Forum.”
“So now we’ve got this acceptability for accomplishing one big assembly appearance a year,” Goss said. “In the accomplished we’ve done it in the fall, we alleged it our ‘Fall Musical.’ The botheration with that is that in the fall, we’re aggressive with Thunder River, Defiance and Aspen Community Theater.”
So this year, Goss is affective the theater’s anniversary agreeable to February and March, and renaming it the “Winter Musical.”
“I assuredly got the rights to do “Into The Woods,” he said. “I’ve had a abundant acknowledgment from a lot of accomplished people. … Everybody’s like ‘you’re accomplishing “Into The Woods?’’’ I appetite to do it.”
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