Wheeler Opera House announces 2016-17 lineup | AspenTimes.com

Wheeler Opera House announces 2016-17 lineup

The Wheeler Opera House unveiled a 37-event winter lineup Monday night to a crowd of locals at the historic theater.

Highlights includes concerts by Broadway and film star Matthew Morrison (Feb. 14), Nederland-based folk outfit Elephant Revival, Punch Brothers banjo player Noam Pikelny (March 10), an acoustic evening with Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo (March 22), country great Clint Black (March 25) and "Girl Crush" singer Lori McKenna (April 16).

Theatrical offerings range from the martial arts spectacle Shaolin Warriors (Feb. 28), to the all-improvised "Broadway's Next H!T Musical" (March 2) and the Motown-inspired Masters of Soul (April 4).

Family shows include the a cappella experience Vocalosity (Feb. 17), a return of the Popovich Comedy Pet Theater (Feb. 19), the two-person classical showdown Piano Battle (March 31) and Casa Mañana's touring production of the children's book classic "A Year with Frog and Toad" (April 1).

"In addition to what we unveiled tonight, we'll be adding a few more shows here and there just to keep things exciting," Executive Director Gena Buhler told the crowd.

The audience at the announcement was made up largely of members of the "Wheeler Wins" program, which launched this time last year and is nearing 1,000 members. The program, available to valley residents for $10 annually, provides access to early and discounted tickets.

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Along with the Wheeler-produced events, the nonprofit Wheeler Associates will present three concerts this winter: a multimedia experience featuring the John McEuen Band (Jan. 19), an evening with Rodney Crowell Trio (March 14) and the national tour of the Beatles tribute "Let It Be" (March 28). The theater also teamed with Belly Up Aspen to co-present the Clint Black and Pat Benatar shows, and with Theatre Aspen to bring Matthew Morrison to town.

The Wheeler also is partnering with the Aspen Music Festival and School to present "The Met: Live in HD" simulcast. The five operas to be shown on the big screen are Wagner's "Tristan and Isolde" (Jan. 5), Mozart's "Don Giovanni" (Feb. 7), Verdi's "Nabucco" (Feb. 16) Gounod's "Romeo et Juliette" (March 23) and Verdi's "La Traviata" (March 30).

The Aspen Historical Society's free weekly tours of the Wheeler also are returning on Wednesdays through the season. The historical society also will stage an "Aspen History 101" event Jan. 12, followed by a free screening of "Aspen Extreme."

The theater had previously announced its December lineup and the comedy performers at its annual Aspen Laugh Festival (the stand-up comedy festival formerly known as "Laff Fest").

December shows include singer Crystal Bowersox (Dec. 3), the Blind Boys of Alabama (Dec. 16), filmmaker and raconteur Kevin Smith (Dec. 17), the Beach Boys (Dec. 28) and a New Year's Eve celebration with The Doo Wop Project (Dec. 31).

The Laugh Festival headliners are Whitney Cummings (Feb. 22), Margaret Cho (Feb. 23), Adam Devine (Feb. 24) and Kevin Nealon (Feb. 25).

Buhler said the details of a "mystery event," penciled in for Feb. 11, will be announced at a later date.

atravers@aspentimes.com

Newly Announced Wheeler Events

Monday Night Docs: ‘The Great Alone’

Monday, Jan. 9

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Tommy Johnigan featuring local opener Glenn Smith

Friday, Jan. 13

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John McEuen and Friends present ‘Will the Circle Be Unbroken’

Thursday, Jan. 19

*

Monday Night Docs: ‘Do Not Resist’

Monday, Feb. 6

*

Matthew Morrison

Tuesday, Feb. 14

*

Vocalosity

Friday, Feb. 17

*

ABBA Mania

Saturday, Feb. 18

*

Popovich Comedy Pet Theater

Sunday, Feb. 19

*

Shaolin Warriors

Tuesday, Feb. 28

*

Broadway’s Next H!T Musical

Thursday, March 2

*

Elephant Revival

Saturday, March 4

*

Monday Night Docs: BUGS

Monday, March 6

*

Noam Pikelny

Friday, March 10

*

Rodney Crowell Trio

Tuesday, March 14

*

Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo

Wednesday, March 22

*

Rhythmic Circus: Feet Don’t Fail Me Now!

Friday, March 24

*

Clint Black

Saturday, March 25

*

Let It Be

Tuesday, March 28

*

Piano Battle

Friday, March 31

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Casa Mañana’s A Year with Frog and Toad

Saturday, April 1

*

Monday Night Docs: People of Impact

Monday, April 3

*

Masters of Soul

Tuesday, April 4

*

Lori McKenna

Saturday, April 15

Tickets for the entire season go on sale Monday, Nov. 28 at noon at the Wheeler box office (970.920.5770/ aspenshowtix.com).