Theatre Aspen’s ‘Dear Edwina’ to open Friday

Andrew Travers
The Aspen Times

If You Go …

What: ‘Dear Edwina,’ presented by Theatre Aspen

Where: Hurst Theatre, Rio Grande Park

When: Friday, July 15, 11 a.m. (preview) & 7 p.m. (opening); Saturday, July 16, 10 a.m.; through Aug. 13

How much: $25-$100

Tickets: Hurst Theatre box office;

Now it’s the kids’ turn at Theatre Aspen, as the company opens its third show of the 2016 summer season.

This year’s young people’s show, “Dear Edwina,” opens today and runs through Aug. 13. The musical comedy follows the adventures of a plucky 13-year-old problem solver – Edwina Spoonapple — who offers advice to her friends in a weekly “Advice-A-Palooza,” with song-and-dance advice columns on growing up.

“It’s a fast and furious 60 minutes,” said Theatre Aspen Executive Artistic Director Paige Price, who is directing the show.

Alie Walsh Dame stars as Edwina and also is choreographing the production. Walsh will be familiar to local audiences for her memorable, Henry Award-nominated turn two summers ago as Beth in “Little Women.” An alumna of the Theatre Aspen Apprentice program, she’s become a mentor to local theater students through directing and choreographing Theatre Aspen School shows like “Shrek” and “Xanadu, Jr.” This fall she’ll begin teaching drama at Aspen Country Day School.

Alongside Walsh, “Dear Edwina” features four Theatre Aspen apprentices and Marcus Shane (who also is playing Pepper in “Mama Mia!” this summer in the tent).

“The music is fantastic,” Price said. “And it’s a big dance show, it turns out. … The apprentices are great dancers, so we’re making the most of that.”

The musical was created by Marcy Heisler and Zina Goldrich — the same duo behind last year’s Theatre Aspen musical production “Junie B. Jones.”

The show is recommended for audiences ages 4 and older, although given the 13-year-old perspective, some of the humor skews a little older and reviews of national productions have praised its joys for grown-ups.