Jim Hodges has become very familiar with the Aspen Art Museum. The New York artist was honored with the museum’s Aspen Award for Art in 2007, and in collaboration with the museum created this year’s Aspen Skiing Company lift tickets, inscribed with the message, “Give More Than You Take.” Hodges is using that familiarity in his next local project, “you will see these things.” The site-specific installation began with the Aspen Art Museum building itself, which he envisioned as a series of frames, doors and passageways. The exhibition will feature three of Hodges’ recent pieces ” “wooden box,” “generator” and “the golden straw” ” installed to interact dramatically with the architecture of the museum. “you will see these things” opens with a reception on Thursday, Feb. 12, and Hodges participates on Saturday, Feb. 14 in the Create Your Own Lift Ticket event in Snowmass Village. Also opening at the museum on Thursday: “2013,” a theatrical installation by Swiss artist Mai-Thu Perret.
Once in a while, the Academy remembers to notice the small, unheralded performances that took place months before awards season kicks in. This year, the voters did well to recognize “The Visitor” ” or at least Richard Jenkins, up for a Best Actor Oscar. In writer-director Thomas McCarthy’s film, Jenkins plays Walter, an aimless college professor who finds an immigrant couple living in his New York City apartment. He is initially irritated and confused, but opts to take the intrusion as an opportunity to reach out and reconnect with the world. The story is warm and timely, and Jenkins’ quiet, believable performance keeps it from getting too cute and cuddly. “The Visitor” shows Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 11-12, at the Wheeler Opera House. Also showing this week in the Wheeler’s Academy-focused month is “Doubt,” which is up for five Oscars, including all four of the acting categories.
The Second City isn’t just the theater that introduced John Belushi, Chris Farley, John Candy and several comedians who were not overweight and didn’t die early. It’s a comic empire. Second City, as any observer of comedy knows, is based in Chicago ” and Toronto, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, with outposts in less glamorous spots like Novi, Mich. The factory, which celebrates its 50th anniversary of brand-hood this year, also has a presence on Norwegian Cruise Lines, so that sailing vacationers who tear themselves away from the buffet for a few minutes can take in some on-ship laughs and improv workshops. And the mega-troop has multiple touring companies ” so if one squadron is booked, say, on the Notre Dame campus, fans in Lynchburg, Va., don’t have to be then deprived of their Second City fix that same night. One wing of the touring company visits the Wheeler Opera House on Friday, Feb. 13 ” which presumably leaves sufficient manpower to tend to other tasks like occupying Pakistan’s North-West Frontier Province and (please?) resurrecting “SCTV.”
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