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Crystal Palace Review Brings Take-No-Prisoners Musical Satire Back To Aspen

Courtesy Wheeler Opera House

Restaurateur and performer Mead Metcalfe started singing and playing the piano at his fine-dining restaurant, the Crystal Palace, in 1960. From there, the Crystal Palace Review grew, with more performers and an eye for take-no-prisoners satire until its end in 2008.

The Review returns for two performances this weekend, with both fresh material and old favorites from its 60-year history.


Nina Gabienelli joined the cast in 2003.

Nina Gabienelli performs with the Crystal Palace Review in 2017.

"We used to say, think Saturday Night live and set it to music," she said. 

Gabienelli joins Crystal Palace alumni Gary and Meredith Daniel, Travis Lane McDiffett, Kathy Pelowski, David Ledingham, Julie Maniscalchi, Mike Monroney and David Dyer at this weekend’s shows at the Wheeler Opera House; the original Crystal Palace building in Aspen now being redeveloped. 

The cast has been rehearsing three times a week since the beginning of the year. Gabienelli says it’s a joy to bring the performance back, even in a new venue. 

"We still feel the audience and the energy," she said, "and that itself is almost worth all of the work." 

In a nod to the show's roots, founder Mead Metcalfe will also take the stage this weekend for a special performance.


The Crystal Palace Review returns to the Wheeler at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday evenings.






Contributor Christin Kay is passionate about the rich variety of arts, cultural experiences and stories in the Roaring Fork Valley. She has been a devotee of public radio her whole life. Christin is a veteran of Aspen Public Radio, serving as producer, reporter and interim news director.