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Pining for the past 

First: Thanks to everyone in the theater community who so vociferously responded to my last column on the hiring of Sandy Bray as the new director of performing arts at the Fine Arts Center. (If you missed the column, it's online at www.csindy.com/csindy/2002-08-22/vulture.html. If you missed the voluminous response, go to .../csindy/2002-08-29/letters.html.) Whatever side of the fence you may fall on, no one can accuse Colorado Springs thespians of apathy.

Let's move on. Another season of our beloved Uncle Wilber has come and gone. I don't care what anyone says about him, anyone who can get it up every hour has my vote.

But seriously, is Colorado Springs becoming the capital of blockbuster nostalgia acts, or what? Let's look quickly at the lineup over the past year or so: Bob Dylan and Paul Simon, Sting, Willie Nelson, The Scorpions, Dio, Poison and Morrissey. And up ahead on Sept. 14, there's James Brown at the Air Force Academy and over at the Sky Sox Stadium there's the Patriot Jamm. (With the likes of WAR, The Manhattans, Peaches & Herb, Rose Royce and others, it's a show that features more disco and funk crust than James Brown's toenails.) And The Eagles, a band that was a nostalgia act when they started, are coming to the World Arena on Sept. 22.

And Bill Reed at The Gazette called Snoop Dogg a nostalgia act when he rolled through last year!

I asked Nobody In Particular Presents Marketing Director Nathan Bertke to what we owe all this pining for the past.

"I don't think the Springs is any different than most markets when it comes to 'nostalgia' artists," he said. "People are going to these types of shows everywhere.

"There are not that many new bands out there today that are creating the passion between the music and the fans that some of the older acts have established.

Plus, he pointed out, with ticket prices being so high, people are saving their money for the "safe bet."

Even much of the "new" commercial music these days sounds old and retro. Rock bands like The Strokes, The White Stripes and The Vines are all milking what seems to be an overall desire to return to a pre9/11 cultural innocence. As the anniversary of Sept. 11 approaches fast, who can blame anyone for wanting to swoon to the tunes of "better" times?

In Business of Art Center news, former BAC Director Dan Wecks has rejoined the BAC as the new director. Wecks, husband of BAC board member Deborah Thornton, recently resigned from his position as city manager of Manitou Springs. His BAC hire preempts another national search for a position that's seen frequent turnover in the recent past.

Wecks' last tenure heading up the BAC was 3 and 1/2 years. He replaces former director Daniel Breckenridge, and says that he's in the process of orienting himself to the many changes that have taken place at the BAC over the past several years.

After a year of dormancy, The Manitou Center for Photography will again begin hosting monthly shows. With an opening on Sept. 13, Kevin Thayer will bring much-needed new work to the gorgeous little space on Ruxton Avenue.

If you think you've got what it takes to be the next Osbournes, ABC reality TV producer Jason Miller is looking for talent for his new show My Life is a Sitcom.

"Our hope is to find ten real families in various cities across the nation that are funny enough to have a sitcom made about their life. Once we have the families, we are planning on sending television crews into their homes and taping them in their normal routines."

Oh no, that's not all folks. Instead of just getting to be yourself in your home, the producers are going to build a replica of your house on a soundstage in L.A., hire sitcom writers to write an episode about your life, and then fly you out to play yourselves!!!!

Why they wouldn't just save a few million and film you in your house playing the sitcom of yourselves that they don't even have to write is beyond me. But go to abcfamily.go.com/sitcom.html if you think you're the last family on Earth who has not already lived the ridicule of a reality show, Sally Jesse Raphael, or America's Funniest Home Videos. As-yet undetermined prizes are involved.

-- nblack@csindy.com

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