Most Anticipated Summer Arts Events, 2017 |

Most Anticipated Summer Arts Events, 2017

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet performing Fernando Melo's "Re:Play" last year. The Brazilian choreographer is debuting a new piece with the company in July.
Rosalie O’Connor/Courtesy photo |

Most anticipated: ART

What: Wade Guyton, Peter Fischli and David Weiss

Where: Aspen Art Museum

When: June 22 – Nov. 26

‘Hairspray’ has been on stages around the world, been adapted into a feature film and last winter became a must-see live TV event. But it’s never been shrink-wrapped into a cozy theater like the Hurst, where the John Waters cult hit-turned Broadway smash will run all summer.”

Since its new downtown building opened three years ago, the Aspen Art Museum has landed some monumental shows — from the Yves Klein and David Hammons show that opened it to Judith Scott’s retrospective and Julian Schnabel’s plate-painting collection. But nothing’s been as (literally) big as this one. Works by these three acclaimed and influential artists will fill every gallery in the museum along with outdoor spaces and some new territory. Guyton’s work will complement pieces from the vaunted three-decade-long collaboration between Fischli and the late Weiss. The museum is hosting a day of interactive happenings with the show on July 28, including a site-specific children’s dance performance, virtual reality experience, printmaking and rooftop star-gazing.

AND DON’T FORGET: “America at Heart: ‘It’s the West, Honey’” at Ann Korologos Gallery in Basalt (June 15-July 3) … Tom Sachs’ “Bronze” at the Baldwin Gallery (June 23-July 23) … Jeff Koons at the Aspen Ideas Festival (June 25-July 1) … Jesse Fleming and Emma Grey interactive exhibition at Bluebird Art + Sound, Snowmass Village (June 30-July 2) …“On the Horizon” at the Red Brick Center (opening July 6) … Dianne Light and Sally Cole exhibition at the Art Base in Basalt (July 14-Aug. 5) … National Artist Award honoree Wangechi Mutu at Anderson Ranch Arts Center (July 20) … Mr. Brainwash at Cha Cha Gallery on July 20 … Aspen Award for Art Honoree Lawrence Weiner speaking at the Aspen Art Museum (Aug. 1) … “Sisters on Top: Islam, Immigration and Ingenuity” with Diana Al-Hadid and Huma Bhabha at Anderson Ranch (Aug. 3) … Photographer John Houck’s “Tenth Mountain” at Boesky West (July 29-Sept. 3) … Aspen PleinAir Festival, Aspen (Aug. 6-13) … Paul Manes exhibition at R2 Gallery, Carbondale (Aug. 10-Sept. 1).

Most anticipated: BOOKS

Who: Hannah Tinti

Where: Aspen Summer Words

When: June 19 – 23

During Tinti’s residency here in August 2014, she told locals in Woody Creek about her burgeoning second novel she was working on, based, in part, on the 12 labors of Hercules. The novel, “The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley,” the story of a bullet-scarred and flawed dad and the daughter he raises, arrived to great acclaim this spring. Tinti is returning to tell us about it and teach at Summer Words. She’ll be on a panel titled “We All Start Somewhere,” with memoirist Dani Shapiro, on Monday, June 19 and on another panel Thursday, July 22.

AND DON’T FORGET: Novelists Ben Fountain, Chinelo Okparanta and Said Sayrafiezadeh discussing “Literature with Impact” at Aspen Summer Words (June 19) … Writers Jess Walter, Dani Shapiro and Jericho Brown on “Living the Creative Life” at Aspen Summer Words (June 20) … “Hidden Figures” author Margot Lee Shetterly at Aspen Words Summer Benefit, Hotel Jerome (June 21) … Garrison Keillor’s “Love and Comedy” variety show at the Benedict Music Tent (Aug. 14) … “The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane” author Lisa See at Explore Booksellers (Aug. 16).

Most anticipated: CLASSICAL MUSIC

What: Inon Barnatan performing a world premiere piano concerto by Alan Fletcher, with the Aspen Festival Orchestra

Where: Benedict Music Tent

When: July 30

On the most high-profile Sunday concert of the season, the fearless Israeli concert pianist will perform a new composition by Aspen Music Festival and School President and CEO Alan Fletcher, who penned the experimental piece for Barnatan. The concerto’s world premiere shares the summer’s hottest Aspen Festival Orchestra program with legendary soprano Renee Fleming, performing songs by Bjork (Bjork!). If you can only make it to one Sunday concert, make it this one. Fletcher’s new piece is among the bounty of concertos and concerto-related events scheduled for the season, which organizers have dubbed “The Year of the Concerto.”

AND DON’T FORGET: The Music Fest’s opening Sunday concert with the Aspen Festival Orchestra performing Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 at the Benedict Music Tent (July 2) … Pianist Robert Levin with the Aspen Chamber Symphony at the Benedict Music Tent (July 7) … Pianist Conrad Tao at Harris Concert Hall (July 8) … Verdi’s “La Traviata” at the Wheeler Opera House, July (15-18) … Violinist Daniel Hope at Harris Concert Hall (July 22) … Rising vocal star Andre Schuen at Harris Concert Hall (July 29) … The American debut of Luke Bedford’s climate change opera “Seven Angels” on (Aug. 5) … Aspen Percussion Ensemble at Harris Concert Hall (Aug. 7) … Bassist Edgar Meyer at Harris Concert Hall (Aug. 17) … The festival grand finale performance of Beriloz’s “The Damnation of Faust” performed by the Aspen Festival Orchestra with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra Chorus at the Benedict Music Tent (Aug. 20).

Most anticipated: DANCE

What: World premiere from choreographer Fernando Melo by Aspen Santa Fe Ballet

Where: Aspen District Theatre

When: July 8 and 20, Aug. 8

Melo’s mind-blowing Aspen Santa Fe debut “Re:Play” was a revelation when it premiered in February of last year. The piece innovatively combined stop-motion lighting and dancer movement with an eerie beauty that fit perfectly with the locally based company. It became a hit on tour. Melo returns with another technologically daring new work for Aspen Santa Fe this summer. It will be featured on a program with Cherice Barton’s “Eudaemonia,” which premiered during the winter season.

AND DON’T FORGET: Soulskin Dance at Aspen Fringe Fest, Aspen District Theatre (June 9) … Compagnie Hervé Koubi’s “What the Day Owes to the Night” at the Aspen District Theatre (July 26) … Compagnie Marie Chouinard performing “Rite of Spring” and “24 Preludes By Chopin” at the Aspen District Theatre (Aug. 4) … “Stars of American Ballet” at the Aspen District Theatre (Aug. 12).

Most anticipated: POP MUSIC

What: Daryl Hall and John Oates at the Jazz Aspen Snowmass Labor Day Experience

Where: Snowmass Town Park

When: Sept. 1

You may have seen John Oates — the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and longtime Woody Creeker — rocking on-stage at the Wheeler or Belly Up or the District Theatre or Steve’s Guitars or just about anywhere in the valley in recent decades. But you’ve never seen him with his lifelong musical partner Daryl Hall. The legendary pair has never played a public show together here before. “It only took 20 years to get that gig!” Oates quipped of finally landing a Labor Day slot with Hall. This’ll be one for the ages.

AND DON’T FORGET: Cut Copy at Belly Up (June 21) … Gary Clark, Jr. at Belly Up (June 22-23) … John Popper at American Renewable Energy Day, Fanny Hill (June 22) … Jon Batiste & Stay Human at the JAS June Experience, Benedict Music Tent (June 23) … Lisa Fischer and Tower of Power at the JAS June Experience, Benedict Music Tent (June 25) … Miike Snow at Belly Up (June 27) … Drive-By Truckers at Bluebird Art + Sound, Snowmass Village (June 30) … “Ella at 100” at the JAS June Experience, Benedict Music Tent (July 1) … Thievery Corporation at Belly Up (July 3-4) … Bush at Belly Up (July 7) … Dr. Lonnie Smith at the JAS Café, Aspen Cooking School (July 7-8) … The Struts at Belly Up (July 16) … New Orleans Suspects at Snowmass Summer Concert Series, Fanny Hill (July 20) … Lyle Lovett and His Large Band at Belly Up (July 22) … Rufus Wainwright at Harris Concert Hall (July 24) … Sarah Jarosz at Belly Up (July 24) … Freddy Jones Band at Snowmass Summer Concert Series, Fanny Hill (July 27) … Chris Isaak at Belly Up (July 27) … Steve Earle and the Dukes at Belly Up (Aug. 3) … Spoon at Belly Up (Aug 8) … Dweezil Zappa at Belly Up (Aug. 9) … Cyrille Aimee at the JAS Café, Aspen Art Museum (Aug. 10) … Jacob Collier at the JAS Café, Aspen Art Museum (Aug. 20) … The Roots at the JAS Labor Day Experience, Snowmass Town Park (Sept. 3).

Most anticipated: THEATER

What: “Hairspray,” presented by Theatre Aspen

Where: The Hurst Theatre in Rio Grande Park

When: June 27-Aug. 19

This modern Broadway classic and endearingly upbeat tale of ’60s nostalgia and integration has been on stages around the world, been adapted into a feature film and last winter became a must-see live TV event. But it’s never been shrink-wrapped into a cozy theater like the Hurst, where the John Waters cult hit-turned Broadway smash will run all summer with Taylor Hartsfield as the plump and plucky Tracy Turnblad and Kevin Carolan as her mom, Edna.

AND DON’T FORGET: “The Trump Card” and “Angry Alan” at Aspen Fringe Festival, Aspen Black Box Theatre (June 10-11) … “Linda” at Aspen Fringe Festival, Aspen Black Box Theatre (June 12) … “The Memory of Water” at Thunder River Theatre, Carbondale (June 15-July 1) … “Building the Wall” at Aspen Ideas Festival (June 27) … “Sex with Strangers” at Theatre Aspen, (July 6-Aug. 12) … “The World According to Snoopy” at Theatre Aspen (July 13-Aug. 15) … “The Mad Show!” at Aspen Theatre Festival (Sept. 8-16).

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