Su Lum: Slumming |

Su Lum: Slumming

Su Lum
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO, Colorado

These days it takes a lot to get me away from my big-home oxygen tanks and out of my expensive back-friendly adjustable chair for an evening out on the town.

I can always watch city council meetings on GrassRoots TV, can always wait for the latest movies to come out on DVD and, with a few exceptions, I like my own cooking better than anything I can get in a restaurant.

Last Thursday was an exception to my general rule that there’s no place like home. The old Crystal Palace troupe was doing a one-night stand at the Wheeler Opera House, and I had been wanting to try out the fare at Justice Snow’s, the new restaurant that replaced Bentley’s. Two for one in the same building – that’s my kind of outing.

Justice Snow’s was packed when my friend Hilary and I arrived, and we feared we might not be able to get some food in time to get to the show at 7:30, but we were seated almost immediately by Kiley, the lovely, dreadlocked owner/manager/maitre d’/janitor who maintained her usual good cheer despite a schedule (they’re open from lunch to 2 a.m.) that would render lesser mortals certifiably insane.

We ordered locally farmed deviled eggs and twice-cooked wings to share, a small chili for me and a beet-and-kale salad for Hilary. I was afraid to order the tempura fried pickles, but their chili (five stars) was way better than any I’ve ever made and ditto the deviled eggs, which were great. As the kids say today, it was “all good.”

The waiters were funny and not subservient – I hate it when waiters hold their hands behind their backs and bow at you – the service was swift, and we were out of there just in time to haul my two portable oxygen tanks up to the theater, getting settled just as the lights went down.

And what a romp it was! The place was packed, and the show was fabulous. With all the empty spaces in town (including the old Crystal Palace), why haven’t we found a venue for these uber-talented people?

The show was fast-paced and action-packed, with multiple costume changes and hardly a chance to catch your breath from laughing before the next satire began.

The only thing I missed was the spoofs on current events – they could have done a helluva job on the Republican candidates and vaginal probes – but they made up for it with old favorites, with the emphasis on old.

Bald men, botox, menopause and old farts on wheels (roller skating around the Wheeler stage) got lots of laughs from an audience that, if not over the hill, had at least one foot on the precipice.

Meredith Daniel (I loved her playing Hillary Clinton, singing, “Who the HELL is Barack Obama?”) was in full swing with her husband, Gary, (Daddy Warbucks of “Annie”) – she’s now working at Whitcomb Terrace, a ray of sunshine up there.

Nina Gabianelli, of course, tore up the place and brought it down, David Dyer twinkled the ivories, and Mike Moroney treated us to his tongue-twisting spoonerism skit (oonerspisms, my father used to call them).

Then they brought out the grand master himself, Mead Metcalf on the cusp of 80 years, who gave us four or five numbers including “Peanut Butter on his Chin” without missing a beat or a word. Two standing ovations for Mead (fore and aft) and again for the troupe at its finale. It’s a wonder that, in our enthusiasm, we didn’t bring the house down for real.

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