Paige Price is no stranger to Aspen, nor to Theatre Aspen. The New York-based actress appeared on-stage last summer, in Theatre Aspen’s production of the anti-romance, “The Last Five Years.” Price returns this summer in a different role; last fall, she took the position as artistic director of the organization. Heading Theatre Aspen can seem like part comedy, part horror story ” Price is the fourth director in eight years ” so it might be appropriate that the latest era opens with “Little Shop of Horrors,” the mock-horror musical about an alien plant with designs on world domination.
“Little Shop,” which seems to get better each time it reappears on stage or film, features one familiar voice: longtime Aspen rock ‘n’ roll icon Bobby Mason is the man-devouring Audrey II. “Little Shop,” directed by Mark Martino, opens Thursday, June 26 at the Theatre Aspen Tent; the season also includes the comedy “Rounding Third,” the drama “Crimes of the Heart,” and the children’s musical, “Seussical.”
With each appearance, Christian McBride builds his status as a local legend. Last summer, the bassist, known for his incomparable prowess as a straight-ahead jazzman and for his forays into the groove/funk realm, stepped into the classical world, in a duo at Harris Hall with fellow bassist Edgar Meyer. The results? An unforgettable performance, and a new legion of fans from the Aspen Music Festival audience, as the two dug into jazz, classical, folk and more. McBride, the artistic director of Jazz Aspen Snowmass’ Summer Academy, shows yet another new face in his latest gig.
The Christian McBride Situation, which features two turntablists ” DJ Logic, who is likewise making a name for himself with various Aspen appearances, and Jahi Sundance ” makes its local debut on closing day of Jazz Aspen’s June Festival, Sunday, June 22, on a bill with Tex-Mex rockers, Los Lonely Boys.
Forget the movie theater, where the superheroes require radiation or a suit of iron to perform their super feats. David Finckel needs only his cello, and some music-making partners. Finckel does the super-human thing at the Aspen Music Festival next week, making four appearances in five days. On Tuesday, June 24, he and pianist Wu Han, his wife, lead a master class; the following night, the pair perform at Harris Hall, with a program that includes the world premiere of Pierre Jalbert’s Cello Sonata.
The next night, Finckel appears with his long-running ensemble the Emerson String Quartet (superheroes in their own right) with an attractive program including works by Shostakovich, Brahms and Bright Sheng. Friday is a day off of sorts, with Finckel likely to listen to his 14-year-old daughter Lilian, a first-year piano student at the Aspen Music School. The run ends Saturday, June 28, when the Emerson plays a recital of works by Brahms, Janacek and Nielsen.
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This summer in Aspen is likely to include indoor and outdoor concerts, maskless gatherings and no state or county-mandated restrictions on social distancing at restaurants or anywhere else.