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Coming up this week in Aspen

Stewart Oksenhorn
Aspen Times Weekly
Aspen, CO Colorado
Scultpture, Models and Drawings
ALL |

ASPEN – James Surls is a masculine figure – a Texas native with a thick voice who often works on a big scale with heavy, solid materials. His techniques can make him seem as much a construction worker as an artist. So it may be for the sake of balance that Surls was blessed with seven daughters, and an artist wife, Charmaine Locke, who plays a definite role in his work.

Surls, who lives in Missouri Heights, has a show of new sculptures and drawings at the David Floria Gallery in Aspen, and the titles – “She Is Again,” “Her world,” “All I Ever Really Wanted Was to Go Home with You” – indicate how much the feminine side is on his mind. The show opens with a reception on Friday, July 16.

Theatre Aspen had to cancel its scheduled production of the comedy, “Family Business,” thanks to the proverbial “artistic differences.” Disappointing? Perhaps – especially since the show was to have its world premiere in Aspen. But for director Jay Sandrich, there is a silver lining in the cancellation.

For several years Sandrich, a part-time Aspenite who was a towering figure in TV sitcoms, had wanted to direct “Same Time, Next Year,” Bernard Slade’s 1975 play about a couple conducting an adulterous relationship over several decades. When Theatre Aspen began searching for a replacement, they found that “Same Time, Next Year,” unavailable in previous years, had become available. The show, opening Friday, July 16, reunites Sandrich with actors James Ludwig and Joan Hess, his cast from last year’s “Chapter Two.”

The myths of the Doors – particularly Jim Morrison’s personality, on-stage antics and death in a Paris bathtub at the age of 27 – were played up big and psychedelic in Oliver Stone’s 1991 drama, “The Doors.” “When You’re Strange,” despite its title, takes the opposite approach.

Directed by indie icon Tom DiCillo (“Living in Oblivion,” “Delirious”), the documentary deals with the Doors as people who made music, not myths. No outsiders are heard from, so the film relies on the recollections and reflections of the band members themselves, and vintage clips. And because the Doors were so interested in visuals – Morrison and keyboardist Ray Manzarek met at UCLA’s film school – the video footage is extensive and compelling.

“When You’re Strange” has a free screening Monday, July 12, at Belly Up Aspen.


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