Aspen Times Weekly: Current Events
Visual Arts: The current Roaring Fork Open represents the last time work by local artists will be exhibited at the Aspen Art Museum’s present building, the iconic red brick building that has housed the museum since its founding in 1979. There are issues floating about the museum’s mission, about the upcoming relocation to its new downtown space, about its shifting relationship with the local community of artists over the past 34 years, and there is probably no better place to consider these matters than standing amidst the art now on display. If nothing else, the 120 or so works — some of them captivating, all of them worth your time — confirm the commitment the Roaring Fork Valley shows to the visual arts. As does the presence of the Aspen Art Museum itself. The Roaring Fork Open runs through Sunday, Oct. 27; the final Local Taste of Art event, with a sampling of cuisine inspired by the art, is on Saturday, Oct. 26.
Written Word: Quietly but significantly in recent months, the Aspen Writers’ Foundation has elevated its writers in residence program. The quiet way the Writers’ Foundation has handled bumping up the program is appropriate: mostly, what the residency offers the writers is silence — a cabin in a secluded part of the upper valley in which to do their work. And the events surrounding the residencies have been held at the slightly out-of-the-way Woody Creek Community Center. But the program has made a noticeable impact on writers and audiences. August’s resident, Matt Batt, says he got two to three years worth of writing done in a month; Adam Haslett gave a memorable reading of his novel-in-progress in September. Emily Miller, the current resident, will read from her debut novel, “Brand New Human Being,” on Tuesday, Oct. 29 in Woody Creek. Next up, in December, is Rowan Ricardo Phillips, who recently was given the PEN Award for poetry.
Flim/Theater: The film version of Mel Brooks’ musical “The Producers” couldn’t possibly live up to the expectations created by the Broadway production. The stage version, which opened in 2001, set records for the most Tony Awards won and for ticket sales. The film, released in 2005, received so-so reviews and did poorly at the box office. Expectations aside, however, the film hit its primary mark — it is hilarious, an old-fashioned shot of show-biz shtick filled with clever dialogue and lyrics. Lovers of Broadway are advised to give the movie — starring the duo of Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick from the Broadway production — a chance. But the good news for local audiences is that a stage version is just ahead. Aspen Community Theatre’s “The Producers,” starring Bob Moore and Corey Simpson and directed by Wendy Moore, runs Nov. 8-17 at the Aspen District Theatre.
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April has been decreed, for the first time, as “Sonoma County Wine Month” by the vintners and it is a righteous idea, one that should have legs long into the future.