When Andrew Munz had the idea for the third installment of “I Can Ski Forever,” he wanted to make something hilarious. But he also wanted to shine a light on the harsh realities of living in Jackson. The topics that we talk about but, more often than not, just brush under the rug as part of living in the Hole.
From the town’s prominent alcohol culture to its housing crisis, the tension between the wealthy and the working class, the absurd worship of snowboarders and skiers, nothing is safe from Munz, his sharp wit and talented cast.
Munz makes it safe to laugh at the hunk without a home, the character who lands in jail from drinking, and the pro snowboarder who seems to do nothing but smile and wave at people. But Munz reminds us that these characters are not just composites. Community means you have to do more than see a problem, turn the other way and say, “Wow, just look at those mountain views.”
Seriousness aside, “I Can Ski Forever” is one of the funniest, most entertaining things you’ll see this spring, and your last chances are 7:30 p.m. today and Saturday at the Pink Garter Theatre.
Tickets cost $30 and are available at the door or at PinkGarterTheatre.com
The play is a musical, which is always a risk. Can the cast sing? Will the live band work OK? Are the songs good? In community theater it’s one of the biggest risks you can take. However, the cast appears as if they’ve been singing and dancing together for years. No one missed a note, and while there could’ve been a better balance between scenes and songs, each landed well. The live music was also a nice touch.
This time around Munz not only skewers Jackson culture, he also develops characters that could be anyone you know and allows the audience to follow them as they spend two years in Jackson. There’s the Southerner, Ben, who calls the Village “Jackson Hole Mountain Resort,” the ski instructor there just to get laid, the guy who is cheating on his bandmate with a girl from his other bluegrass band and — personal favorite — the twice-divorced couple who just can’t let go of each other.
As Munz said in the production’s program, “These ‘I Can Ski Forever’ shows are therapy for me, and I think for a lot of you. It’s refreshing to point out the weird-ass idiosyncrasies of your hometown. It’s all so goddamn bizarre.”
Yes, “I Can Ski Forever” is a little bit like therapy. Fun, music-filled therapy that Jacksonites should happily attend, over and over.