Something old, something new, something blues
April 14, 2009
Katy Perry was not yet in junior high school when Jill Sobule wrote the folk ballad "I Kissed a Girl." The 1995 song owes more to the wry sensibility of Melissa Etheridge than the sassy pop number that catapulted Perry’s ballad to the top of the charts. The songs are alike only in name.
And that’s just fine with Teri Orr, executive director of the Park City Performing Arts Foundation (PCPAF). Sobule will share the stage with singer/songwriters John Doe and Robert Earl Keen Sept. 7, Labor Day, at Deer Valley’s Snow Park Amphitheatre as the last act of the season for the St. Regis Big Stars, Bright Nights concert series.
Tickets for all five concerts will go on sale to the general public today. The sixth season of outdoor concerts features a mix of legendary musicians, hip singers and guilty pleasures. Blood, Sweat & Tears kicks off the series July 3. Simone with Ryan Shaw plays Aug. 2. Madeleine Peyroux and Lucy Wainwright Roche play Aug. 16. Chuck Berry plays Aug. 29 and Keen headlines the final show Sept. 7.
Orr expects to book one more act in July, but declined to say whom.
Keen takes a humorous approach to songwriting. The Texas-bred musician has penned hits for Lyle Lovett and Nanci Griffith albums, according to a PCPAF release. John Doe, who will share the stage with Keen, is one of the founding member of the Los Angeles punk band X. A country-rock style has made Doe, who is also a bass player, actor and poet, popular with audiences.
Sobule, on the other hand, launched to the top of the charts in the 1990s with the tongue-in-cheek "I Kissed a Girl," the release said.
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Orr wants music lovers to get into the act. Anyone can sponsor the Labor Day performance for as little as $100. "The point is to make it the people’s show," she said.
The series offers fewer concerts than last year’s seven. The reduction is partly economic and partly procedural.
Although music will remain at the core of PCPAF, Orr’s organization plans to expand its reach into the culinary and visual arts, science and community service with "The Big Idea." The first two high-concept soirees, held in August and March, brought together oceanographers, businessmen, architects, bar tenders and baby boomers for brief presentations.
The next Big Idea evening will be held in August. The nights are meant to encompass interdisciplinary ways of learning and seeing the world, Orr said.
So, too, are the pairings for Big Stars, Bright Nights. Retro-soul singer Ryan Shaw shares the stage with singer/songwriter Simone on Sunday, Aug. 2. Simone, daughter of Nina Simone, has made her mark on Broadway with starring roles in "Rent" and "Aida," the release said. As a performer and writer, her work spans pop, soul, jazz, rock and funk.
Another performer of musical pedigree, Lucy Wainwright Roche, takes the stage two weeks later. Roche and French-American singer Madeleine Peyroux perform back-to-back sets on Sunday, Aug. 16.
Peyroux has released four albums featuring a blend of jazz, roots music and blues. Chuck Berry brings classic rock to the stage on Aug. 29. Berry’s hits "Maybellene," Johnny B. Goode" and "Memphis" are widely hailed for bridging racial divides.
The St. Regis Big Stars, Bright Nights Series, presented by Park City Performing Arts Foundation, runs from July through August at Deer Valley Resort’s Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater. Tickets are $31 for general admission lawn seating and $56 for reserved seating (discounts are available for seniors and children 12 and under). Tickets go on sale Wednesday, Apr. 15 at the Box Office at The George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Center for the Performing Arts, 1750 Kearns Blvd., and Deer Valley Signatures or Etc. stores located on Main Street and at Deer Valley Resort. Presale for PCPAF sponsors and members began Apr. 1. For more information on becoming a member or sponsor of PCPAF, call 435-655-3114 (box office).
Tickets will be available for sale online at http://www.ParkCityTickets.com beginning Friday, April 17.
Gates open 90 minutes before show time. Coolers are permitted a nine-inch chair height restriction (i.e. you shouldn’t be able to roll a basketball under the seat) is enforced. Cameras or recordings of any kind are strictly prohibited. Concerts will be held rain or shine unless inclement weather threatens public safety (tickets are non-refundable).
Blood, Sweat & Tears
Simone with Ryan Shaw
Madeleine Peyroux & Lucy Wainwright Roche
Robert Earl Keen, Jill Sobule & John Doe