Due to Crohn’s disease, a condition of the gastrointestinal tract, that she has suffered for a decade, Aspenite Heidi Curatolo spent time in Aspen Valley Hospital in December, January, February and March. But as April rolled around, Curatolo returned to relatively decent health. Supplying her motivation were the 30 students that make up the violin studio she has nurtured over the past five years, and the recital she arranges for her group each May. Curatolo’s fourth annual concert, set for Monday, May 28, at 2 p.m. at the Aspen Chapel, features students ages 5-12 performing such works as Dvorak’s “Humoresque,” and, in a duet of Curatolo and 12-year-old Dylan Maron, a Bach Double Violin Concerto. Curatolo’s older students will play in a quartet. Admission is free, though donations for Curatolo – and the continuation of her violin studio – will be accepted.
Mike White’s “Jack Black” era is on hiatus. Three of White’s recent screenplays were vehicles for the comic actor Black, including the memorable “School of Rock.” With “Year of the Dog,” which also marks his directorial debut, White steps away from Black-style comedy altogether. The film stars Molly Shannon as Peggy, a meek secretary whose beloved companion – her dog, Pencil – dies prematurely. The loss energizes Peggy, who dedicates her newfound assertiveness to an over-the-top crusade against animal cruelty. Rather than play for broad comedy, White uses “Year of the Dog” to explore sympathy for the underdog. A similar theme was at the center of two of his earlier screenplays, “Chuck and Buck” and “The Good Girl.” Co-starring John C. Reilly and Peter Sarsgaard, “Year of the Dog” shows this week at Movieland in El Jebel, and Friday through Sunday, June 1-3, at the Wheeler Opera House.
Joe Bonamassa turned 30 earlier this month, separating himself from other hotshot, 20-something blues boys such as Jonny Lang and Kenny Wayne Shepherd. But Bonamassa can look back on a hell of a childhood. The son of an upstate New York guitar store owner, Joe began playing at the age of 4. Before he hit his teens, he was being mentored by the late, great Danny Gatton, and toured as the opening act for B.B. King. After forming Bloodlines, a group that featured the offspring of Miles Davis, of Doors keyboardist Robbie Krieger, and of the late Allman Brothers bassist Berry Oakley, Bonamassa went out on his own, earning acclaim for the 2000 solo debut, “A New Day Yesterday.” He continues to charge ahead; his latest CD, last year’s “You & Me,” spotlighted his song-writing and features backing from an orchestra on a cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Tea For One.” His next project, due for release this year, is an acoustic recording. To ensure that other kids have opportunities to sing the blues, he is a member of the board of Blues in the Schools. Bonamassa performs Monday, May 28, at Belly Up Aspen.
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The Aspen Art Museum’s SO Cafe will begin serving free to-go meals three days per week in its new “Lunch for Locals” program, the museum announced Thursday.