Longest-running show in Aspen turns 50 | AspenTimes.com

Longest-running show in Aspen turns 50

Joel Stonington

Few places in Aspen can claim a single decade of consistent belly laughs and fine dining; the Crystal Palace is celebrating five.With original songs including witty twists on current events and a popular menu, the Crystal has been the home of dinner theater in Aspen for 50 years. To celebrate, the Aspen Historical Society’s Wheeler/Stallard Museum will open a new exhibit Saturday called “Crystal Memories: Fifty Years of Palace Shenanigans.”The first floor of the museum feels quite a lot like the Crystal Palace. It includes walls of the same color, various stained-glass pieces that have graced the Palace, costumes, waitstaff outfits and some albums with original music. The event kicks off at noon, complete with refreshments, tours and members of the cast from the last 50 years. The cast members will be at the museum, likely performing a few numbers just for old times’ sake. It’s part of a three-day party that Mead Metcalf, founder and owner of the Crystal Palace, is putting on for everyone who has worked there.”We have people who helped him build the first kitchen in 1957, when he opened the Crystal in the Motherlode building,” said Nina Gabianelli, the Crystal Palace general manager and a cast member. “And we have current employees.”There are two shows on Saturday (both closed to the public) for past employees and their families, and on Sunday afternoon Metcalf is hosting all the entertainers at his house for a picnic. Metcalf said people are spread out all over the country, and few of them are still entertaining.”We went on Google to find a couple people,” he said. “A few have gotten married, but we’ve been able to find just about everybody.”Joel Stonington’s e-mail address is jstonington@aspentimes.com


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