Offseason Culture: 20 reasons to stick around Aspen this autumn
The summer crowds are gone, the construction crews are back to work and we’ve got two-and-a-half months until the ski lifts start spinning again.
But the stages and screens of Aspen are staying busy this offseason, with theater, comedy, film, top-tier pop music from legends new and old and, yes, of course, some new ski movies on the bill.
The offseason entertainment lineup has plenty of reasons to stick around this fall. Here are 20:
THE GONZO GALLERY RETURNSThrough September
The itinerant gallery is back on Hyman Avenue for the month, with benefit shows for worthy causes featuring works by Brendan Missett (opening Sept. 13) and Ajax Axe (Sept. 26). In the shadow of the Aspen Art Museum, it joins pop-ups the R. Carter Gallery and Merrill Steiger Gallery for what promises to be a lively September.
Sunday, Sept. 15, Belly Up Aspen
Before he headlines Red Rocks, the music legend returns to Aspen for the first time in more than a decade with his Sky Trails band.
GARY CLARK JR.
Tuesday, Sept. 17, Belly Up Aspen
The can’t-miss Texas blues guitarist is, somehow, only getting better with each of his regular tour stops in Aspen.
Wednesday, Sept. 18-21, Hurst Theater
Four days, four new one-person shows, 11 performances and Beau Bridges onstage at the Hurst Theatre in Rio Grande Park in Theatre Aspen’s rebranded fall festival.
Thursday, Sept. 19, Wheeler Opera House
The self-proclaimed “overthinker” brings puns, graphs and, yes, laughs to the Wheeler as the historic theater continues its run of top-tier standup comedy bookings.
Sept. 19 – Oct. 31, Red Brick Center for the Arts
Photographers Neal Beidleman, Tamara Susa, Jeremy Swanson and Kristin Braga Wright team up for a nature-centric group show at the Red Brick.
‘PARASITE’ AT ASPEN FILMFEST
Tuesday, Sept. 23, Wheeler Opera House
Director Bon Joon-Ho’s latest won the Palme d’Or at Cannes and has critics using words like “masterpiece,” so it’s a can’t miss as Aspen Film ushers in prestige film season at the 40th annual Aspen Filmfest filled with the year’s most anticipated titles.
Friday, Sept. 27, Belly Up Aspen
Southern-accented folk from sisters Leah and Chloe Smith, local favorites who will fill Belly Up for this one.
Sunday, Oct. 6, Belly Up Aspen
The former Soul Coughing frontman is celebrating the 25th anniversary of “Ruby Vroom” by playing it in full.
Oct. 11 – Nov. 11, The Art Base (Basalt)
The locally based multimedia artist unveils the latest in his innovative paper collages.
SHINING MOUNTAINS FILM FESTIVAL
Sept. 13-14, Wheeler Opera House
The second annual festival showcasing new and eye-opening films by and about indigenous Americans, produced in partnership with the Aspen Ute Foundation.
Tuesday, Oct. 15, Hooch Craft Cocktail Bar
The Aspen Words writer-in-residence for October is here working on a follow-up to her debut “The Ensemble” and will read and discuss her work at this free event.
ST. PAUL AND THE BROKEN BONES
Wednesday, Oct. 16, Belly Up Aspen
This energetic throwback soul band, led by the indefatigable Paul Janeway, returns to sweat and strut at Belly Up.
Opening Oct. 18, Aspen Art Museum
An interactive installation, organized in partnership with the Contemporary Austin, aimed at bringing the community into the museum galleries to play.
Friday, Oct. 18, Wheeler Opera House
The ski porn flick from Teton Gravity Research on the big screen to spread the stoke as we count down the days to until the lifts open. (Look for more from the snowsports titles at The Meeting, Oct. 3-5, also at the Wheeler).
Thursday, Oct. 24, Wheeler Opera House
A one-woman band combining multiple instruments, loops, dance beats and beat-boxing at the Wheeler’s On the Rise series.
Oct. 31 & Nov. 1, Belly Up Aspen
The jam band set will descend on Aspen for this two-night Halloween run, sure to be ground zero of the town-wide Halloween party.
ASPEN COMMUNITY THEATRE’S ‘9 TO 5’
Nov 8-16, Aspen District Theatre
Dolly Parton’s Broadway musical, based on the 1980 film, with infectious songs and a message more relevant than ever for the “Lean In” and #MeToo era.
Friday, Nov. 8, Wheeler Opera House
Expect enchanting three-part harmonies, folk originals and gorgeous covers of folk classics like “Angel From Montgomery” and “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” from this California-based trio at the On the Rise Series.
Friday, Nov. 22, Belly Up Aspen
The electro-funk duo will soundtrack the last hurrah of offseason, just before Thanksgiving and the opening of ski season.
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Steve’s Guitars will present its 1,000th consecutive live music Friday at 7:30 p.m. on Grassroots TV, featuring a special lineup of performers for the show, including luthier Wally Bacon, who owned the “shop” as Wally’s Music before Standiford bought it from him in 1993.