After a successful test run at the end of July, Field Daze 2020—the new outdoor entertainment series at Reinheimer Ranch in Ketchum—is back for an official kickoff this Thursday and Friday.
The events star beloved local standup comic Mike Murphy, who will perform an original program of comedy and music.
“We are so appreciative of the overwhelming support for our theater and for attracting such a fantastic caliber of talent,” event co-founder Cathy Reinheimer said. “Mike Murphy is the absolute perfect way to officially kick off Field Daze 2020.”
Murphy has been performing in the valley since 1977 and will be back in action this week for the first time since March. An already sold-out Thursday show indicates just how sorely missed Ketchum’s “Funny Guy” has been.
“I was going on stage at Whiskey’s on March 13 and had a sold-out audience. Someone grabbed me as I was getting on stage and told me that Idaho had just gotten its first case [of COVID-19]. Then Blaine County got its first the next day,” Murphy recalled. “So, I was able to do one last show. This will be my first show since March 13. I’m really excited, but I have to get my guitar callouses back.”
Murphy is donating his proceeds to the Sun Valley Culinary Institute, which held a grand opening that week in March before having to postpone its programing. The Thursday, Aug. 13, show—exactly five months since Murphy’s last performance—has already sold out. By popular demand, extra tickets were added to the Friday program, but attendance is capped at about 75 to ensure everyone can maintain social distancing.
Reinheimer co-founded Field Daze with Lila Claghorn as a way to bring live entertainment back to a community whose summer calendar is normally full to bursting with concerts, theater, comedy and festivals. Using the large outdoor space at Reinheimer Ranch just south of Ketchum, they were able to set up a series that restored top-notch entertainment to the community calendar without compromising health and safety.
“What we need now is to bring theater, comedy, movies and song back into our valley—and to bring our community together while being safely apart. Laughter is the best medicine,” Claghorn said.
Murphy’s performances begin at 8:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday and will feature his signature blend of parody and music, but, he stressed, he shies away from politics and won’t be putting coronavirus in the show, favoring instead jokes about relationships, family, life in Idaho and other day-to-day topics.
“I think it’s really going to be fun,” he said. “We’re going to make it really homey. People bring wine and blankets and set up on the lawn like we used to do years ago when we did concerts out at Trail Creek Cabin. I’ve got a lot of funny songs I’m looking forward to doing, a new routine, and the whole thing’s a benefit. I never say no to doing a benefit.”
Next on the Field Daze agenda, on Tuesday and Wednesday, Aug. 18 and 19, is a musical cabaret called “(socially) Distant Divas + Some Dudes.” The program stars Claghorn alongside Broadway actor Nick Sacks, Madison Hansmeyer, Kagen Albright, Taylor Telford and more.
As evenings are getting cooler, the organizers recommend warm clothing. Masks are required but may be purchased at the gate.