Detective stories are one of the great renewable resources of pop culture. The genre is endlessly flexible and well-suited to mediums both familiar and new. And that’s just what the audio drama “Superstition” is — a detective story told in a way that is old-fashioned and modern.
“When people hear that you have a podcast, they think about a bunch of people sitting around a microphone, talking about sports or culture,” said Sarah Kolb, “Superstition” creator and writer. “What we do is more like a stage reading of a play or an audiobook.”
In production since 2018, the podcast (available on iTunes, Spotify and everywhere else podcasts are available) follows the investigations of Jacqueline St. James, a private eye with a hazy past, drinking habit and a knack for finding those who can’t be found. When she finds herself in the town of Superstition, Arizona, a town with the highest number of open missing person cases in the country, things start to get weird. Fast.
“I’ve always loved detective and horror fiction, but a lot of detective fiction suffers from baggage of the time,” Kolb explained. “I wanted to give a lot of the characteristics that we find brooding and mysterious in a male character and give them to a woman, without worrying about her likability.”
Kolb, who is the digital communications coordinator at the Arvada Center, came up with the idea for “Superstition” as an alternate way to approach a story she was working on for National Novel Writing Month. When she had a working story, she started reaching out to actors she knew from all over the country to play the characters and bring the podcast to life.
One of the best parts about working on the show, according to Kolb, is becoming part of a vibrant and varied audio drama community that can trace its roots back to radio broadcasts like Orson Welles’ infamous “The War of the Worlds” and continues to thrive on podcasts like “Welcome to Night Vale.” The science fiction and horror genres are particular favorites of the new audio drama medium, since creators don’t have to worry about expensive special effects and scenery.
Work is about to begin on the second season of “Superstition,” and Kolb already has plenty of plans for Jack and the denizens of the little Arizona town.
“As a writer, it’s so much fun to play with things you loved as a child,” she said. “It’s a place where you can tell a story without any barriers. And that’s a nice space to play around in creatively.”
For more information, head to www.superstitionpodcast.com.
Comedy legends to conquer Red Rocks
Two of the most influential comics of the early 2000s and beyond, Dave Chappelle and Jon Stewart will be performing at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre, 18300 W. Alameda Parkway in Morrison, at 8 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 9.
Attendees should be warned that cellphones, cameras and any other recording devices are not allowed. According to the park, all phones and smart watches will be secured in Yondr pouches. Attendees can hold onto their devices and access them at unlocking stations, but they will be unlocked at the end of the show. Anyone caught with a cellphone in the venue will be immediately ejected.
For information and tickets, visit www.redrocksonline.com.
Build yourself at good time at Brick Fest
Legos aren’t really just for kids anymore — there are sets that are made specially for adults and collectors of all ages look forward to new set drops.
Which means there will be something for everyone at Brick Fest Live, a fan experience at the Denver Mart, 451 E. 58th Ave., from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 10 and Sunday, Aug. 11.
The event will feature more than a million Lego bricks on display and ready for play, including a Brick Fest Speedway, Guinness World Records-setting LEGO Mosaic, Inspiration Stations, mini golf and more. There will also be plenty of shopping for collectors in search of new, vintage, rare, and custom sets and merchandise.
Learn more and get tickets at www.BrickFestLive.com.
Clarke’s Concert of the Week — Mumford & Sons at Fiddler’s Green
For a band that plays pretty middle-of-the-road folk rock, England’s Mumford & Sons sure have generated a lot of dislike from the critical establishment, as well as a fair amount of the general population.
But as evidenced by their three-night run at Fiddler’s Green, 6350 Greenwood Plaza Blvd. in Greenwood Village, they keep excellent company. The group is performing at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday through Saturday, Aug. 15 through 17, joined by a different opener each evening.
The first is Lord Huron, followed by Denver’s own Tennis and closing the run is The Milk Carton Kids. All three openers share a devotion to the folk genre in different ways, and make a great match for Mumford’s more bombastic take.
Get tickets at www.fiddlersgreenamp.com.
Clarke Reader’s column on culture appears on a weekly basis. He can be reached at Clarke.Reader@hotmail.com.
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