The third annual Local Set series, which runs almost weekly through April 3, aims to bring a little intimacy to Red Rocks Amphitheatre by bringing audiences up close and behind the scenes of the world-famous venue.
“Many times, when people come to Red Rocks for a show during the summer, they spend very little time in the Visitor Center, depending on which entrance they came in,” said Ben Heinemann, program manager of Venue Marketing and Public Relations with Denver Arts & Venues. “This is also really the only time we open up backstage to visitors that add on that experience to their Local Set ticket. There’s really no other time during the year when we can open that up, so it’s very unique.
Each Local Set features a performance by Colorado musicians at the Visitor Center, themed menus featuring a full dinner buffet, drinks and the chance to take a backstage tour of the amphitheater for an added price.
This year’s 16-show musical lineup is the most diverse yet, said Devin McDowell, event coordinator with Aramark. Acts range from performances by 13-year-old Raquel Garcia to Isaac Sinclair of Tauk.
“When Local Set first began, we immediately discovered how much potential the series could gain. We started very small,” McDowell said. “Within six months, word of mouth spread news of the series through every nook and cranny of the diverse Colorado music scene.”
There are some extra special events being hosted this year — a New Year’s Eve Bash featuring live music and a champagne toast, a celebration of Beethoven’s 250th birthday with the Colorado Symphony on Sunday, Jan. 19, and a Red Rocks Season Kickoff mini-festival on Friday, April 3.
While most people associate Red Rocks with music, the culinary team works hard to ensure that the menu for every event is different and shows off how talented the kitchen staff is. Gluten-free and vegetarian meals will also be available at each set.
Local Set is not only a great opportunity for locals to get a new view on a place many can take for granted, but it’s also a chance for visitors to get a unique perspective on one of the state’s most well-known stops.
“It’s a great way for folks to discover great local music and dip their toes in that scene. The dinner and drinks before and during the event always get rave reviews, and, of course, the opportunity for a backstage tour at Red Rocks doesn’t happen very often,” said Heinemann. “Taken all together, it’s really just a fantastic way to spend an evening up at Red Rocks when you typically might not be up there.”
For tickets and details, visit www.redrocksonline.com/concerts-events.
Clarke’s Concert of the Week - Delta Sonics at Kline’s Beer Hall
Denver’s Delta Sonics prove the blues don’t always have to sound sad. The group has been a mainstay of the metro scene since 1992 and plays an average of 250 gigs a year all over the city.
They’ll be at Kline’s Beer Hall, 7519 Grandview Ave. in Arvada, for its Festivus Party from 5 p.m. to close on Saturday, Dec. 21.
If one of Denver’s best isn’t enticement enough, there are barrel-aged beers will be tapped, there will be the traditional airing of grievances, and an ugly sweater contest, with proceeds going to support Goodwill.
More information can be found under the events section of Kline’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/KlinesBeerHall.
‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ comes to life
Getting “A Charlie Brown Christmas” fix (either in audio or visual form) is one of the best things about this time of year. It captures all the hopeful beauty of this time a year, and never fails to have a powerful effect on the heart.
If you’re looking for a new way to experience the story, “A Charlie Brown Christmas” Live on Stage is coming to the Paramount Theatre, 1621 Glenarm Place in Denver, at 2:30 and 6 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 22.
The touring production allows actors to bring Charles Schultz’s immortal characters to the stage and even features a live three-piece band playing Vince Guaraldi’s timeless music.
Get tickets at www.altitudetickets.com.
Spend a tropical holiday in Margaritaville
Those looking for a little sun, sand and surf this holiday have the perfect getaway in Jimmy Buffett’s theatrical production, “Escape to Margaritaville.”
It runs at the Buell Theatre in the Denver Performing Arts Complex, 1400 Curtis St. in Denver, from Tuesday, Dec. 24 through Sunday, Jan. 5.
The show is a searing examination of the lengths to which people will go to escape being trapped in a place with 100 percent humidity. Just kidding — it’s a musical comedy featuring Buffett classics like “Cheeseburger in Paradise” and “A Pirate Looks at Forty.”
Get tickets at www.denvercenter.org.
Clarke Reader’s column on culture appears on a weekly basis. He can be reached at Clarke.Reader@hotmail.com.
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