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Great events

Mary Eshbaugh Hayes
Left to right are Merrill Ford, Julia Hansen and Virginia Pearce. Merrill gave a cocktail party for the young playwrights who came to Aspen from their universities to see their works performed in the Theater Masters performances called Take Ten. Julia Hansen is the founder of Theater Masters and has now launched a competition for the playwrights. (MEH)
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The beginning of the year saw the beginning of a new event in Aspen: “Take Ten,” performances of plays written by young playwrights attending several of the top drama graduate schools from across the country. The award-winning plays were presented in a festival in Aspen given by Theater Masters, the theater program founded by Julia Hansen that holds a playwright competition every year for high school students in the Roaring Fork Valley. The plays are presented in the Black Box Theatre in Aspen High School. During the festival, Merrill Ford gave a cocktail party and Charlotte Tripplehorn gave a dinner for the visiting graduate students and Aspenites who are theater buffs.During the week that started the new year, Mary and Jack Cronin gave their annual holiday party that welcomes people who have homes in Denver and Aspen. The talk this year, of course, was about the terrible snowstorms that hit Denver, closing the airport for several days and making the drive on I-70 quite harrowing.

Here is another “Save the Date.” Aspen Community Theatre and Symphony in the Valley are combining forces to present “The Best of ACT,” the best from musical theater performances given over the years by ACT. The show will be held Saturday, Feb. 24, and Sunday, Feb. 25, in the Aspen School District Theatre. Tickets are $15 and are being sold at the Wheeler Box Office.Basalt artist Michael Raaum has an exhibit of his paintings hanging through March 31 at the 44T Artspace at 4400 Tennyson in Denver.

Guest artists are visiting jewelry designer Christopher Walling in his Aspen boutique Feb. 12-15. Author Erica Lennard and her French architect husband Denis Colomb will have a trunk show of the Kashmir scarves and blankets that Denis designs. Erica has written architectural books such as “Gardens by the Sea” (which includes Christopher’s house on Block Island), “Artists’ Houses” and “Cities of Water.”A delegation of medical professionals from the Aspen Sister City of Bariloche, Argentina, will visit Aspen during the week of Feb. 18-25 as part of the Bariloche, Argentina Physicians Exchange Program. Amy Bloom was supposed to teach the advanced fiction workshop this summer for the Aspen Writers’ Foundation but has to cancel because her television show has been picked up and coupled with a new book coming out; she has a full plate for the summer. Luckily, award-winning author and Aspen Summer Words teacher emeritus Pam Houston will step in and teach the workshop. She is the author of “Cowboys Are My Weakness” and “Waltzing the Cat” and is the director of creative writing at the University of California, Davis. To sign up for Pam’s class, call education coordinator Jordan Dann at (970) 925-3122.The February-March issue of Colorado Expression magazine includes a two-page article about Montagna at Aspen’s Little Nell. There is a photo of executive chef Ryan Hardy as well as a photo overview of the restaurant. The article describes how Hardy procures Montagna’s produce, beef, pork, lamb, poultry, eggs and fruits from Colorado ranchers and farmers and how he changes the menu every six weeks to showcase what is in season. He has a “Farmhouse Menu,” honoring the thousands of small farms that have disappeared from the American landscape in the past 50 years. The article was written by Kim McHugh.Undercurrent … The willows are golden and remind us that spring isn’t too far away!


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