The hills are alive … with musicals at Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre |

The hills are alive … with musicals at Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre

"The Jersey Boys: The Story of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons" plays at the Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre this summer with castmembers (from left) Chris Cherin, Mitchell Lewis, Noah Royal Barnes, Andrew Greiche
RDG Photography/Courtesy Photo

When most people think of Grand County, they conjure images of Gold Medal trout streams, miles of mountain bike trails, lupine-studded peaks, and that big park with all the elk. But look a little deeper and you’ll also see something artful and just as special.

It’s a theater in a forest with a mineral-scented breeze blowing off Grand Lake. Golden moonlight pours over it as entertainers ready themselves inside. Soon the lights there dim except for one, focused on a person. It’s the star actor in one of Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre’s summer plays, and it’s well worth packing something a little nicer than your hiking clothes on your trip to Grand County.

RMRT opened in the summer of 1967 and has offered three musicals in Grand Lake every summer (excluding 2020, due to the Coronavirus pandemic) since. In the summer of 2011, with the generosity of its dedicated patrons, it completed a $5.2 million capital campaign that resulted in opening the doors of a new 300-seat theatre in June of 2011. The Denver Post once named it “Colorado’s Premier Summer Musical Company.”

But that’s not why you should visit. That you should do because the theater features Broadway musical productions featuring professional actors, musicians and top production designers from across the nation. Not too many mountain towns tucked up against national parks can claim that distinction.

So when you’ve hiked as far as you can hike, ridden your bike one — or 100 — miles, smelled the lupines and seen the elk, dust yourself off, put on an ironed shirt (or not), and head to RMRT for one of this summer’s three productions:

The theater opens on June 3 with “Jersey Boys: The Story of Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons,” which goes behind the music and inside the story of a singer and his back-ups. Winner of Best Musical at both the Tony Awards and Olivier Awards, Jersey Boys describes a 40-year friendship of a foursome as they work their way from the streets of New Jersey into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It contains adult language.

Opening June 17, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” features a modern twist of this magical fairy tale that tells the story of a young woman who dreams of — and achieves — a better life. The contemporary take on the classic tale features some of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s most beloved songs. Bring your little Cinderella, dressed in her glass slippers.

“Desperate Measures” opens July 2. When Johnny Blood’s life is on the line, he must put fate into the hands of a colorful cast of characters including a mysterious sheriff, an eccentric priest, a narcissistic governor, a saloon girl gone good and a nun out of the habit. Together, they face uncharted territory as laws are broken and hearts are won. What could go wrong?

And finally, “Beehive: The 60s Musical” opens September 2. It celebrates the powerful female voices of the 1960s with hits like “My Boyfriend’s Back,” “Where the Boys Are,” “Be My Baby,” and “Son of a Preacher Man.” Told from the perspective of six young women who came of age in this enigmatic decade, Beehive chronicles social change through the songs of the day — with particular focus on female empowerment.

For more information and to buy tickets, visit or call the box office at 970-627-3421

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