Theatre Aspen has announced that Paige Price will be the nonprofit organization’s new artistic director. Price will succeed David McClendon, whose contract was not renewed after this past summer’s season. The position of artistic director has been restructured, from a year-round job to a seasonal one.The New York-based Price made her Theatre Aspen debut onstage last summer, appearing in the two-person romantic musical, “The Last Five Years,” and presenting her one-woman show, “The eX-Files.” The New Jersey native has appeared on Broadway, in “Beauty and the Beast,” as well as in films and on television, and has credits as a producer. She is a vice president of Actors Equity, and is co-chair of the alien committee, which deals with issues involving foreign performers.In addition, Shirley Tipton, who had been Theatre Aspen’s operations manager as well as a former director of the Red Brick Center for the Arts, has been appointed the group’s executive director, and Kate Webber has been added as the development and communications associate.Theatre Aspen was founded as Theatre Under the Jerome in 1983, and became Aspen Theatre in the Park, with productions under a tent in Rio Grande Park, its current home, in the late ’80s. Under the directorship of McClendon, which began in 2004, the organization’s name was changed to Theatre Aspen, the venue was renovated to increase seating capacity, and wintertime programming was added.For further information on Theatre Aspen, go to http://www.theatreaspen.org.
The Comedy Festival is set for Nov. 14-17 in Las Vegas. The festival, in its third year, is presented by HBO, which presented the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen from 1995-2007. HBO announced earlier this year that it would not be staging a festival in Aspen in 2008.The Comedy Festival takes place in three venues in the Caesars Palace hotel. Among the acts set to appear this year are Jerry Seinfeld, Eddie Izzard, Chris Rock, Chelsea Handler and Artie Lange. Additional events include Frank Caliendo: All Over the Place; “Ellen’s Really Big Show,” a Las Vegas variety show hosted by Ellen DeGeneres; “The Return of Beardo and Weirdo”; Russell Simmons’ Def Comedy Jam; and “The Vegas Va-Voom Variety Spectacular,” hosted by Steve Schirripa of “The Sopranos.”For tickets or further information, go to http://www.thecomedyfestival.com.
In their first co-promotion, the Wheeler Opera House and Belly Up Aspen are teaming to present singer-songwriter Aimee Mann, plus special guests, for a Christmas-themed performance. The concert is set for Dec. 7 at the Wheeler. It is the first in a planned series of co-promotions between the two venues.Mann, best known for the song “Voices Carry,” a 1985 hit for her band ‘Til Tuesday, released the Christmas CD “One More Drifter in the Snow” last year. The CD features the original tunes “Christmastime” and “Calling on Mary,” as well as takes on “You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and “Whatever Happened to Christmas.”Mann is also known for recording the soundtrack to the 1999 film “Magnolia,” for which her song, “Save Me,” earned an Oscar nomination, and for her appearance in the 1998 film “The Big Lebowski.” She appeared last year at Belly Up in the Aspen Writers’ Foundation’s Lyrically Speaking series.Tickets for the concert will be sold primarily at Belly Up and are now on sale. A limited number of tickets will also be sold at the Wheeler’s Aspen Show Tickets box office.
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