Leadville guns it out of mud season with the opening of an updated Tabor Opera House. Opening the season with several strong and nationally touring folk, rock and country acts, plus concert bands, flamenco music, comedy and theater, the 2018 season demonstrates the ability of the 2-mile-high city to attract a good time through the magic of its quirk, charm and history.

The Tabor has come a long way in a short time. Officially designated as an “Endangered Place” in 2016, the structure had languished through years of neglect. A successful “Save the Tabor” effort reached several milestones last year. Supported by many community members and historical and artistic organizations, this effort achieved a partnership with the city of Leadville to buy the building from private ownership as well as secure several restoration grants. 2017 saw the production of a full 16-event season. As a functional heating system is slated for later this year, the Opera House took a winter hiatus and returns May 26 with a wide variety of offerings.

Roots and folk music beginning with the Sundog Twins indigenous style mash-up and progressing through Steel Wheels’s folksy Americana, Marc Berger’s rootsy folk-rock, Michael Martin Murphey’s country-western cowboy sway with local favorite songwriter Carin Mari opening, folk-grass poetry from I Draw Slow, and EJ Cox’s old soul Memphis country crooning will reverberate through the wooden hall, enhanced by recent lighting and sound system improvements. Veteran technical and booking support have taken the resources of the rebounding house and made them sparkle.

The Denver Concert Band and 101 Army and Dixieland bands have been traditions in this hall, and both highlight the natural acoustics of the lovely old theater stage. The Army Band carefully selects an Independence Day program that rekindles the “united” in the name of the nation. The soul, rhythm and blues of polished acts Josh Hoyer and Soul Colossal and Hazel Miller Band are most likely to pull the whole crowd down the aisles to the dancing zone.

Comedy returns to Leadville with Josh Blue, a TV and comedy club staple since winning Last Comic Standing in 2006. Blue’s unique perspective on human beings was formed by a brilliant wit living inside a body differently-abled by cerebral palsy. Blue has sold out the SteamPlant in Salida for the past few years and represents one of the Ark Valley’s few chances to get attention from superstar talent this summer.

Of course, the opera house is made complete by the Central City Opera with their review “There’s a Song for That.” This opera company that honored us last year with the return of the opera “The Ballad of Baby Doe” to its home base has a way of making opera and showtunes accessible and relevant for modern audiences. Also making perfect use of the Tabor stage are The Porchlight Players bringing the Joe Di Pietro musical comedy “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change,” a hilarious set of vignettes about love and romance that ran 12 years straight off-Broadway.

A complete and diverse season is rounded out with well-known spoken word entertainer (read: great storyteller) Craig Childs, and the Flamenco Fantasy Dance Theater created by Rene Heredia, one of the foremost flamenco guitarists, who makes his home in Denver and has assembled friends and students into a festive evening of traditional song and dance. There is also the Annual Community Talent Show.

Visit TaborOperaHouse.net/events for tickets, schedule and opportunities to support one of the coolest venues in the country.