Glam-rock, cabaret and more coming to Aspen’s Wheeler
October 8, 2009
ASPEN – Expect magic from the Wheeler Opera House this winter. And comedy. And the sounds of Broadway, Ireland and Africa, a hatful of Texas troubadours, the latest things in strings, and a night of theatrical classic rock. The Wheeler has announced its series of winter performances, and the range of acts reaches from Irish tenor Ronan Tynan to 24-year-old American magician Curtis Adams, both making their Aspen debuts.The series opens Dec. 26 with Adams and his show, “Magic That Rocks.” A Californian who was picked at the age of 16 by illusionist Lance Burton to appear on the Fox network’s “The Young Magicians Showcase,” Adams has become a Las Vegas headliner who incorporates music, motorcycles and comedy into his act.Linda Eder, whose star turn in the Broadway hit “Jekyll & Hyde” launched her career as a New York cabaret singer, returns on Dec. 28, following her 2007 local debut. On Dec. 30, the Wheeler brings back a slice of its Rooftop Comedy Festival, as Best of the Fest 2009 rounds up three stand-up comedians – Josh Sneed, Marina Franklin and Pete Lee – who appeared at the Wheeler in June.Ronan Tynan, a former member of the Three Irish Tenors who has sung for presidents and the families of 9/11 victims, is set for New Year’s Eve. A most familiar voice, that of Robert Earl Keen, appears on Jan. 9, marking the fifth recent January performance by the Texas singer-songwriter. Keen comes armed with songs from his new CD, “The Rose Hotel.”The Punch Brothers, a modern string quintet led by former Nickel Creek mandolinist Chris Thile that mixes classical and bluegrass, performs Jan. 16. The group made its Aspen debut this summer at the Aspen Music Festival. The concert kicks off just after the Winterskl fireworks.The Chicago improv-comedy troupe and frequent Aspen visitors, the Second City National Touring Company, returns on Feb. 4. Anglique Kidjo, a singer from the West African country of Benin whose last local appearance was in a Jazz Aspen June Festival slot opening for Steve Winwood, performs Feb. 13.Mid-February features back-to-back shots of Texas. On Feb. 19, Guy Clark, who has a new album, “Somedays the Song Writes You,” appears on a bill that also features Radney Foster. Jerry Jeff Walker takes the Wheeler stage the following night.One Night of Queen, celebrating the glam-rock of the British band Queen and its late leader Freddie Mercury, is scheduled for March 9. The series closes March 26 with the local debut of Barrage, a group that does with the fiddle what STOMP does with dance and percussion.Not enough? Of course not. Those are only the Wheeler’s own presentations. There’s more going on at the 120-year-old Opera House, including a January show called Banjo Magic; a February date by Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Marc Cohn, and a March visit from enduring folk legend Richie Havens.Still not enough? Heck no. The above only covers the winter. Leading up to the winter season are shows by WPA (Oct. 16), a folk-rock group featuring Glen Phillips of Toad the Wet Sprocket and Sean Watkins of Nickel Creek; the Irish-American band Solas (Nov. 7); and Cuban-born trumpet superstar Arturo Sandoval.Satisfied? You better not be. Expect more acts to be announced as winter approaches, with a slate of movies to fill in the dates not occupied with live firstname.lastname@example.org
Tickets for all shows produced by the Wheeler Opera House go on sale Oct. 26. For details on tickets to other shows at the Wheeler, check wheeleroperahouse.com.