Leftover Salmon, Marc Maron, Wynonna Judd coming to Wheeler Opera House this winter

Vaud and the Villains photographed at the WHeeler Opera House in 2016. The band will return for a New Year's Eve concert this winter.
Aspen Times file

The Wheeler Opera House unveiled its full winter lineup Thursday night, adding more than 30 events to its calendar of ski season programming.

The newly announced shows, covering the first three months of 2019 at the historic theater, include concerts by Leftover Salmon and Wynonna Judd, stand-up from comedian Marc Maron, the return of magician Jason Bishop and an evening with the Washington-based political satire troupe The Capitol Steps. On New Year’s Eve, the Wheeler will host the 20-piece cabaret-style jazz orchestra Vaud and the Villains, who previously headlined the theater in fall 2016.

“This will be one of our busiest seasons ever with more than 90 events,” Wheeler executive director Gena Buhler told an assembled crowd of the theater’s Wheeler Wins members at Thursday night’s announcement party. “Because we can sleep in the offseason, right?”

The announcement party concluded with a surprise performance by Aspen icon and pianist Mead Metcalf, who ran the Crystal Palace dinner theater for more than 50 years downtown. He’ll reunite with the Crystal Palace players for two performances at the Wheeler on Feb. 1. Metcalf offered a brief preview Thursday, playing his hit “Peanut Butter on the Chin” and a new Donald Trump-inspired spoof of “I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General.”

Tickets for the winter season events will go on-sale to the general public Nov. 26. Sales opened for members of the Wheeler Wins program Thursday night.

Among the newly announced musical performances are vocalist Liz Vice (Jan. 12), guitar legend Jerry Douglas (Jan. 13), Classic Albums Live performing Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” (Jan. 17), a “Living Room” show by the beloved Boulder-based jam band Leftover Salmon (Feb. 14), the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s John McEuen (Feb. 16), the tribute band Abba Mania (March 1), singer-songwriter Nikki Lane (March 9), the McCartney Years (March 15), the SteelDrivers (March 16) and country music great Wynonna Judd with the Big Noise (March 26).

Theatrical performances include stagings of “Friends! The Musical Parody” (Jan. 15), the Crystal Palace Revue (Feb. 1), the iconic political satire group The Capitol Steps (Feb. 8), magician Jason Bishop (Feb. 17), “Improvised Shakespeare” (March 2) and the shadow-dancing group Catapult (March 4).

Kid-friendly productions on the calendar are a theatrical performance of “Diary of a Worm, a Spider and a Fly” (Jan. 31) and the return of the family-focused Popovich Comedy Pet Theatre (Jan. 11), which Buhler called “the most popular show in our 130-year history.”

The Wheeler season also will again host Aspen Film’s Academy Screenings (Dec. 26 to 30), the Aspen Center for Physics’ “Physics Cafe & Lecture” series (Jan. 9 to March 27), 5 Point Film’s annual adventure film screenings (Jan. 18 to 19), broadcasts of the Metropolitan Opera’s “Met in HD” series (Jan. 24 to March 21) and the Aspen Historical Society’s “Aspen History 101” and “Time Travel Tuesdays” (Jan. 10 to March 5).

Stand-up comedian and “WTF” podcast host Marc Maron will headline the theater March 23, continuing a recent run of the Wheeler booking some of the most high-profile comics in the country. The newly announced Maron show comes in addition to a stacked Aspen Laugh Fest lineup of comedians headlined by Jim Gaffigan, Kathleen Madigan, Tig Notaro and Jo Koy (Feb. 15 to 23). Buhler also announced Thursday that Laugh Fest is adding shows at the Limelight Lodge — a third venue — which will host spots from Alex Edelman and Gary Gulman.

The Wheeler previously announced a December lineup of shows including The Ten Tenors (Dec. 6), Challenge America’s “John Denver Christmas Concert” (Dec. 20), a theatrical production of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” (Dec. 21), magician Mike Super (Dec. 22), comedian Melissa Villasenor (Dec. 23), The Fab Four Beatles tribute (Dec. 25), Robert Randolph and the Family Band (Dec. 28) and Acrobats of Cirque-tacular (Dec. 29).

Tickets for those previously announced shows are already on-sale at the Wheeler box office and