By on December 9, 2014

PROPSFistbumpBarn dance

‘Tis the season, and, while I’ve never been entirely comfortable with the term “Nutcracker” as a XY chromosomer, I thoroughly enjoyed the performance of the century-old Russian masterpiece at Center for the Arts last weekend. Dancers’ Workshop’s collaboration with the Eugene Ballet Company blossomed this holiday season into an invitation for the tiptoe troupe to perform in Jackson Hole.

The notion that sell-out audiences could enjoy a piece of culture so distant and different than anything we are exposed to in our neck of the woods is astounding. If not for the cultivation of the arts by Dancers’ Workshop and a class venue like Center for the Arts, The Nutcracker would have little chance of gracing the boards in Western Wyoming.

The performance brought together blue bloods and blue collars, rednecks and royalty to watch EBC pros mix it up with local kids for a four-show stay off-Broadway in downtown Jackson that was well received and much appreciated. DW’s Junior Repertory Company shared quality stage time with big name stars, though some parents grumbled about the younger kids getting their already short cameos reduced to less than the time it takes for autofocus to lock in.

Tchaikovsky’s genius put to pointe shoes in the last and best of the Old West. It would have been unthinkable to some of this valley’s pioneers.

DISSTongueGullible 101: Debunked deer hunt 

A wonderfully crafted piece of fauxtography is cyber-cycling and “internerds” are eating it up without the slightest trace of common sense. The picture features a Siberian tiger running down what might pass as a whitetail buck. The accompanying news piece claims Tom and Mellisa (sic?) Elbert were winter camping on the Idaho side of the Tetons when they saw and presumably captured the world’s most perfect action photo ever. That’s red flag No. 1.

Tom Mangelesen couldn’t have snapped the suspiciously perfect shot any better on his best day. The lighting is perfect. The freeze-frame f-stop setting is spot on. The angle is exactly right. Getting the picture? This scene was skillfully curated in a museum somewhere in Russia, perhaps, over a period of months no doubt.

The deer is not a mule deer and does not appear to be a whitetail either. We could find no Tom or Mellisa (sic?) Elbert in our region. And winter camping? Please, outside of the Inuit, who does that? The quoted Idaho Fish and Game officer is fictitious and the notion that anyone from the department would be quoted saying, “I have to admit this is an ingenious way to hunt,” is absurd. It is an illegal way to hunt in any state.

And, finally, the story seems to have originated from a website called that makes The Onion look like The New York Times. Still, these Snopes magnet items manage to catch legs more often than not on the knee-jerk impulse to share, like and repost.

DISSTongueBouldering for dollars

“It’s a low-revenue business,” Ian Eastman told the News&Guide of climbing gyms. That’s a perfect reason for local government to be eagerly involved in co-owning an indoor rock wall in Jackson.

Fresh off their roller coaster plummet on Snow King, town officials will be asked, along with county heads, for their take on an 8,000-square-foot climbing gym Eastman and Zahan Billimoria will pitch for $1.2 million. The idea is a public-private venture where Parks and Rec doesn’t have to go all in and taxpayers’ money will foot the bill.

Eastman and Billimoria promise to share the razor-thin profit margin with the town and county after they’ve been in business for 15 years. But it seems like a gamble; bigger, better, and more hugely popular businesses in Jackson have failed in less time – including Enclosure.


EBC’s performace of The Nutcracker.


About Jake Nichols

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