‘A 70’s Flashback’ offers a homespun look at the resort town 50 years ago

Two present-day tourists eat some gummies and walk into a 1970s Breckenridge bar …

No, it’s not the setup to a joke, it’s the premise of A 70’s Flashback, the new show at the Breckenridge Backstage Theater. Watch some ‘70s classics be performed karaoke style in this musical written and directed by Lenore Giardina.

Travel back in time to 1970s Breckenridge, a groovy, magical land of long hair, long johns and lots of drinking. There’s overt sexual advances, Tab instead of Coke Zero, and an Elevation 9,600’ sign reminding you that, despite everything that’s changed, at least the mountains have stayed the same.

The best part of A 70’s Flashback is undoubtedly the music. And a good thing too, since that’s all the show is. Featuring a stellar band, a rockin’ cover of “Proud Mary” and a particularly soulful rendition of “Landslide” sung by Rebecca Summer, this show is easy on the ears. Who knew that Summit County’s own Dr. Nations could bang on ivory keys like that?

With real Budweiser, Coke in real glass bottles, a real dartboard, real fake cigarettes, and a really twangy upright piano, A 70’s Flashback makes you feel less like an audience member and more like a real barfly. During intermission, people even walked up on stage to refill their little plastic cups with Budweiser and check out the bar decor. This lowkey vibe is one of the best things about the show: There’s an overall improvisational feel, and opening night jitters were shrugged off with a smile. While the actors silently chatted and laughed, the band really chatted, really laughed, and really blurred the line between living and acting.

I’m not a huge fan of breaking the fourth wall, and I’ll admit that when the show started and an actor addressed the audience with a hackneyed “Oh! I didn’t see you there,” I groaned. But the show’s so fun and so damn endearing that by the time “We Will Rock You” rolled around, even a grinch like me was stomping and clapping along.

A 70’s Flashback is silly, lively, and entertaining. I would have liked to see a plot point or two in place of a couple songs, but the audience seemed to really enjoy themselves — especially during the second act when all those little plastic cups started working.