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Current Events

Courtesy Magnolia PicturesJoaquin Phoenix and Vinessa Shaw star in "Two Lovers," showing Wednesday through Sunday, April 8-11, at the Wheeler Opera House.
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With debate heating up over the Aspen Art Museum’s hoped-for relocation ” and with misinformation flying ” a visit to the museum at its current site might be just the thing to get the education ball rolling. In addition to the museum’s current exhibits ” the installations “you will see these things,” by Jim Hodges, and “2013,” by Mai-Thu Perret ” beginning Tuesday, April 7, there will be a model of the concept design for the new facility being proposed in the old Youth Center building. Shigeru Ban, the architect for the project, is set to be in Aspen April 15-17 for a series of presentations, with specifics still to be announced.

In his day job, as mandolinist and singer for the Del McCoury Band, Ronnie McCoury wears a suit and tie, and sticks pretty close to bluegrass traditions. You’d never know that one of McCoury’s closet ambitions is to produce an all-star, bluegrass album of Grateful Dead material, or that he once sold a pair of banjos to Jerry Garcia. So the new band the Travelin’ McCourys could be quite interesting. The group features the members of the McCoury Band ” banjoist Robbie McCoury, fiddler Jason Carter, bassist Alan Bartram, and Ronnie ” save for singer-guitarist-patriarch Del. Without Dad McCoury, who turned 70 earlier this year, it’s possible that the rest of the McCourys ” a spectacularly talented unit no matter the setting ” could loosen the ties and let a little tie-dye (or maybe some tattoos and body-piercings) show through. The Travelin’ McCourys make their Aspen debut Wednesday, April 8, opening for northern California bluegrass group, Hot Buttered Rum.

If Joaquin Phoenix truly is trading film for hip-hop, he seems to be leaving Hollywood on a high note. Praise is flowing for “Two Lovers,” a romance set in Brooklyn that stars Phoenix as a sad, single man torn between the family friend his parents favor (Vinessa Shaw) and a more exciting neighbor (Gwyneth Paltrow). The film again pairs Phoenix with James Gray, who directed the actor in the crime dramas “We Own the Night” and “The Yards.” If we can take Phoenix at his word ” and why would we, given his recent deranged appearance with David Letterman? ” he will be missed. His work, from a teenage loser in “To Die For” to his spot-on Johnny Cash in the biopic “Walk the Line,” has been consistently excellent.


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