Beer lovers and chili cooks will share Fanny Hill with bluegrass fanatics at Snowmass Village’s Chili Pepper & Brew Fest. The fourth annual event, Friday through Sunday, June 8-10, opens Friday with an double bang of the Del McCoury Band and the David Grisman Quintet. The McCoury Band – featuring singer Del, and two of his sons, mandolinist Ronnie and banjoist Robbie – is the leading traditional bluegrass band today, and possibly the finest ever. The Grisman Quintet, led by mandolinist Grisman, turned acoustic music on its ear with its 1977 debut, which introduced the “Dawg” sound, a blend of jazz, bluegrass and South American styles. The ever-evolving Quintet recently replaced its longtime guitarist, Argentina-born Enrique Corea, with the Django Reinhardt-infuenced Frank Vignola. The sound shifts on Saturday, with reggae prince Ziggy Marley and Louisiana roots singer-guitarist Papa Mali, as well as the local debut of teenage Southern rocker Spencer Durham. The festival also includes chili and beer competitions and tastings, and Sunday is locals day with free admission.
The Red Brick Center for the Arts is a place of heightened activity these days. (And that doesn’t include the long-anticipated addition to the building’s west entrance, which is nearly done.) The exhibition inside, Five Fools and a Genius, is a knockout. Especially considering the Aspen-owned Red Brick is a public space, the show is notably provocative. Jon Rietfors’ collages comment, playfully and pointedly, on our over-commercialized society; Andrew Roberts-Gray’s paintings question whether technology has interfered with nature; and Annette Roberts-Gray’s photos of her ceramic installations are a moving tribute to U.S. soldiers who have died in Iraq. The lawn outside has also been turned into an exhibition space, featuring sculptures by eight local artists. An opening reception will be held for both shows Thursday, June 7. The addition will be dedicated (finally!) on June 30, coinciding with the Red Brick Council for the Arts’ Annual Art Auction.
“The Valet” is predictable, old-fashioned and light as a feather. For a comedy, it is also seriously lacking in belly laughs. Yet, given the right mood, it can be an enjoyable distraction. An old-school French farce from writer-director Francis Veber (“The Birdcage”), “The Valet” stars Gad Elmaleh as a sad sack in life and love who pretends to have a torrid affair with a supermodel (Alice Taglioni). All the standard elements are in place: a two-timing jerk billionaire (Daniel Auteuil) and his slithering lawyer; a cute, confused love interest (Virginie Ledoyen) and a baffled sidekick who cannot follow his friend’s sudden luck with the ladies. “The Valet” comes to a skidding halt after just 85 minutes – an appropriate recognition of the film’s modest aims. It shows Sunday through Tuesday, June 3-5, at the Wheeler Opera House.
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: The Colorado Department of Transportation gives Aspen’s roundabout a poor grade in terms of level of service so it’s thinking about making changes. But first, a study or two must be done.