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.
"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.