There’s a long history of Jewish comedy that’s hard to get away from. So when the theater comedy troupe Nice Jewish Girls Gone Bad makes its Aspen debut, Thursday, March 4 at the Wheeler, there will be takes on the classics: getting drunk at a bar-mitzvah; the eternal mystery of gefilte fish. But there should be plenty of material to remind theatergoers they’re not in the Borscht Belt. These not-so-nice shana punims rip on the anti-Semitism of Mel Gibson and give Def Poetry Jam a Yiddish accent. They are led by the bawdy “Goddess Perlman,” who claims she “put the whore in hora.” Also on the bill are the music-comedy duo, Good for the Jews.
The Wheeler has taken on the feel of an Austin nightclub of late, and the Texas-in-Aspen theme peaks on Sunday, Feb. 28 with the Acoustic Brotherhood Tour. The tour features three distinct tastes of the Lone Star State: Young fiddler-singer Carrie Rodriguez, a former violin student at the Aspen Music Festival, opens. Alejandro Escovedo, whose last album, “Real Animal,” was a potent shot of modern rock ‘n’ roll, follows. The show closes with the Tex-Mex rockers Los Lonely Boys, featuring three brothers from the Garza family of San Angelo. All will be in acoustic mode, more or less.
No interest in early 20th century Russian politics and philosophy? Even less interest in plowing through “War and Peace?” No matter; “The Last Station” is still for you. The British film centers around novelist Leo Tolstoy, and brings to life his anti-materialist philosophy. But the emphasis is on Tolstoy’s relationships – with his followers, and his dynamic and complex marriage to the Countess Sofya. The story is warm, funny and sexy, putting the historical angles in a vivid setting. And the acting is sensational; both Christopher Plummer, as Tolstoy, and Helen Mirren, as Sofya, have received well-deserving Academy Award nominations. The film, directed by Michael Hoffman and featuring Paul Giamatti and James McAvoy as part of Tolstoy’s inner circle, is showing in Aspen.
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