Donald Wilson: Nothin’ like the Crud, then ‘Aspen 2.0’

Joy reigned supreme last Saturday afternoon at the Aspen Historical Society’s annual Ice Cream Social.

Joy, that is, and Aspen Crud. What in the world is Aspen Crud? It’s a concoction marrying vanilla ice cream with bourbon that will knock your socks off.

Enjoying one, two or even three of these divine treats seems an ideal way to get ready for the Ice Cream Social’s other blissful concoction: Its hour-long chronicle, in sketch-comedy form, of Aspen’s century-and-a-half history.

Titled “Aspen 2.0,” the show is the product of the society’s resident “historical reenactors,” Nina Gabianelli, Mike Monroney and Travis McDiffett. These genial masters, polished professionals all, present Aspen’s history in a way that is crisp, snappy and never dull.

The show is also spot-on accurate in detailing Aspen’s often complex story, such as the tortured conflicts regarding mining rights and rail access in the town’s early years. Here, I’m always reminded of Anna Russell’s sublime travesty of Wagner’s “Ring,” which is wild and hilarious — and accurate in every detail of the vast Nibelungen saga.

Over the years, I must have seen “Aspen 2.0” a dozen times; yet, I always look forward to it, for these nimble comedians are constantly updating the material, keeping it as fresh as this morning’s newspaper.

If you attended Saturday’s revels, you know exactly what I am talking about. If you missed it, then you have an entire year to rethink your Saturday schedule and take steps to rectify the omission.

Donald Wilson

St. Louis