July 17, 2009
After a distinguished career as a director of TV sitcoms, part-time Aspenite Jay Sandrich, at the age of 76, made his debut as a stage director. It was a successful transition; Theatre Aspen’s production of the two-man Little League comedy, “Rounding Third,” was well-executed and likable. And perhaps this late-blooming theater career is on the rise: Theatre Aspen has opened the Sandrich-directed “Chapter Two” by Neil Simon. Sandrich knows Simon’s work, having directed “The Odd Couple” and “London Suite” on TV, and, in his only big-screen project, 1980’s “Seems Like Old Times.” Simon’s semi-autobiographical story of a widower tentatively entering the dating world, “Chapter Two” plays Monday and Tuesday, July 20-21, and Saturday, July 25, with additional dates through mid-August.
From the Aspen Music Festival to Anderson Ranch, Aspen and Snowmass Village have arts, entertainment and culture that any small town would envy. But for one summer weekend, at least, those upper-valley towns look enviously on Carbondale. The Carbondale Mountain Fair is the most community-spirited event in the valley, a town-wide effort that throws a party for everyone. The Fair features music and pie-baking, food and limbo contests, hula-hooping and dance, art and crafts. And more. And it’s free. The 35th annual Mountain Fair is in Sopris Park Friday through Sunday, July 24-26.
This past winter, the greatest thing in traditional bluegrass, the Del McCoury Band, appeared at Belly Up – but under the name the Travelin’ McCourys, and without their namesake singer-guitarist. The absence didn’t seem momentous; at a Wheeler Opera House show in early 2008 with the full quintet, Del forgot lyrics and seemed all of his 69 years. And it is the younger band members – including Del’s sons, mandolinist Ronnie and banjoist Robbie – that provide the instrumental firepower. Strange thing, then, that the Travelin’ McCoury’s show was slightly flat. So it’s good news that the silver-haired patriarch returns with the full Del McCoury Band on Saturday, July 25, at Belly Up. The group has released a new box set – “Celebrating 50 Years,” a collection of new recordings of Del’s repertoire.