Coming up this week in Aspen
Aspen Times Weekly
Aspen, CO Colorado
ASPEN – Theatre Aspen’s season got off to a flying start with “defying gravity,” a revue that featured a cast of all local performers.
The music doesn’t stop, as Theatre Aspen opens its production (and the regional premiere) of “The Marvelous Wonderettes” on Thursday, July 1 (with previews on Tuesday and Wednesday, June 29-30). Roger Bean’s musical focuses on four girlfriends – first at their high school prom, and then at their 10-year reunion – who bring the ’50s and ’60s to life through the songs of the era: “Son of a Preacher Man,” “Wedding Bell Blues,” “It’s My Party.”
Among the cast is part-time Snowmass Villager Beth Malone, who created the character of Suzy on Broadway, and who lit up the Theatre Aspen stage last year in the unforgettable production of “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.”
“The Marvelous Wonderettes” plays in the Theatre Aspen season through Aug. 21.
ASPEN – Enough offstage shenanigans, it’s time to get to the better part of the Aspen Music Festival. The 62nd festival opens this week with the sort of programming that seems designed to put the emphasis on the music.
Performing on opening day, Thursday, July 1, is the incomparable Emerson String Quartet, the 35-year-old combo that has made Aspen a home away from home. For their latest visit, the Emerson plays a concert featuring works by Dvorak, Shostakovich and Barber.
The following night, violinist Gil Shaham – another local hero, who essentially grew up in Aspen – joins the Aspen Chamber Symphony and conductor Hans Graf for Brahms’ Concerto in D minor. The evening also includes pieces by Beethoven, and Chris Rouse, a composer-in-residence here.
Beyond that is seven more weeks of chamber music, symphonic concerts, opera, lectures and more – enough to drown out the din of behind-the-scenes politics.
ASPEN – The headlining events at Jazz Aspen’s June Festival finish with Pink Martini’s show on Sunday, June 27. Which means, thanks to the format adopted last year, the real jazz is still ahead.
The second leg of the June Festival moves to Downstairs at the Nell, an appropriately dark and cozy venue at The Little Nell. The lineup includes student bands Stacey Carter and “Her Trio,” Slumgum, the Soul Travelers and H.5 Collective, all participants in the JAS Academy; and vocalist Allan Harris. A highlight should be Nicholas Payton, a high-profile New Orleans trumpeter who hasn’t played Aspen in years.
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A group of relay participants will walk from downtown Aspen to Buttermilk Ski Area on Tuesday evening to complete one leg of a month-long, 3,900-mile journey across nearly 10 states for a “Carry the Load” event honoring fallen military personnel and first responders.