OA: Rock Cesario Column December 12, 2008

Roper Ballroom boosts downtown scene

With the recent opening of the Roper Ballroom, added to Boomers, Avalon Theatre and Mesa Theatre and Club, downtown Grand Junction is the center of entertainment in the valley.

The Roper Ballroom is above Roper Music in what used to be the IOOF or “Odd Fellows” Hall at Fifth Street and Rood Avenue.

John Handley of Roper Music opened up the windows that were covered for that secretive organization. He also cleaned and added some paint, carpet and a hardwood floor to create a small room with excellent sound that seats about 200 people in comfortable, padded chairs. It is a beautiful, intimate room where no seat is more than 30 feet from the stage.

The ballroom also has a kitchen available for functions such as parties and receptions.

I am very excited about seeing a show there.

In fact, I’m excited about several upcoming shows coming to downtown.

On Jan. 16, local favorite Lyle Lovett and his Trio brings a one-of-a-kind show to Avalon Theatre.

Lovett’s unique musical style and dry wit have always been very popular here as evidenced by his CD and ticket sales. Tickets are moving very fast for Lyle’s fourth appearance here in the valley.

Two weeks after Lovett’s concert, another unique show comes to Grand Junction on Jan. 30 in the form of the Peking Acrobats, a full high precision acrobatic show performed in front of a live Chinese orchestra. It’s an audio visual extravaganza.

Here’s a quote from chineseacrobats.com: “They push the envelope of human possibility with astonishing juggling dexterity and incredible balancing feats, showcasing tremendous skill and ability, often accompanied by live musicians skillfully playing traditional Chinese instruments and high-tech special effects that coalesce with the music and awe-inspiring feats to create an exuberant entertainment event featuring all the excitement and festive pageantry of a Chinese Carnival!”

On March 20, Arlo Guthrie will be in our town with a performance at Avalon Theatre.

I have had the good fortune of seeing Guthrie twice in Grand Junction and those shows are still two of my favorites. I don’t remember ever laughing so hard at someone who isn’t really considered a comedian. You could have fooled me, twice.

Ticket for the Lovett, acrobats and Guthrie shows are available through ticketswest.com and 243–8497.

Finally, as far as confirmed shows go, Steve Forbert brings his incredible live show back to the valley on May 1 at the Roper Ballroom.

We at Triple Play are working to get both Guthrie and Forbert to do in-store appearances the day of their shows. We will keep you informed.

Running the rumor mill is talk of a few other notable performers coming to the valley.

Tom Russell is rumored to be here in early April at the Roper Ballroom followed by Bruce Cockburn later that same month at Avalon Theatre.

Dave Alvin and the Guilty Women are an excellent possibility for a Riverfront show later next summer.

Last, but certainly not least, would be a very intimate show with legendary singer/songwriter Greg Brown at the Mesa State College’s Recital Hall next August.

All in all, these concerts are what I am looking forward to musically in the coming year.

I hope you are, too.

Rock Cesario owns Triple Play Records, 530 Main St., and hosts “Acoustic Sunday” from 9 a.m. to noon Sunday on Drive 105.3 FM. E-mail him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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