Aspen Film has announced a partial program for its Academy Screenings series. The 17th annual series, featuring films considered contenders for Academy Awards, is set for Dec. 21-Jan. 2 at Harris Hall.Among the films to be screened are Paul Thomas Anderson’s “There Will Be Blood,” adapted from the Upton Sinclair novel “Oil” and starring Daniel Day Lewis; “Youth Without Youth,” the first film by Francis Ford Coppola since 1997’s “The Rainmaker”; “The Savages,” a family comedy-drama starring Philip Seymour Hoffman and Laura Linney; and Woody Allen’s crime drama “Cassandra’s Dream,” starring Colin Farrell and Ewan MacGregor.Also showing in the series are “Juno,” Jason Reitman’s black comedy about a pregnant teenager; Julian Schnabel’s real-life drama “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly,” a multi-award winner at the Cannes Film Festival; the French animated feature “Persepolis”; and “Jimmy Carter, Man From Plains,” Jonathan Demme’s documentary of the former president.The full program for Academy Screenings will be announced in late November. Tickets will go on sale to the public Dec. 12 at the Wheeler Opera House’s Aspen Show Tickets. For further information on Aspen Film, go to http://www.aspenfilm.org.
Performances by Richie Havens and Robert Earl Keen have been added to the Wheeler Opera House’s winter schedule.Havens, a folk singer and guitarist whose career dates back to the coffeehouse scene of 1960s Greenwich Village, is set for a solo gig Dec. 16. Keen, a Texas singer-songwriter, will appear with his band Jan. 12. Both shows are co-presented by MGP Inc. and the Wheeler Opera House.MGP and the Wheeler are also teaming to present Suzanne Vega on Nov. 20. The singer-songwriter, best known for the ’80s songs “Luka” and “Tom’s Diner,” released the CD “Beauty & Crime” in July.The Wheeler will partner with Belly Up to present singer Aimee Mann in her second annual Christmas Tour, Dec. 7.Among the acts in the previously announced Wheeler performance series include folk singer Jonathan Edwards, best known for the 1971 top-five hit “Sunshine,” Nov. 23; songwriter-singer Burt Bacharach, backed by a band, Dec. 27; vocalist Linda Eder, who starred in the Broadway production of “Jekyll & Hyde,” Dec. 28; and Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood, stars of the improv comedy TV show “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” making their Aspen debut Dec. 29.Also, the offbeat folk-rock band Gandalf Murphy & the Slambovian Circus of Dreams on Jan. 11; the Western music-comedy quartet Riders in the Sky on Jan. 19; singer-composer Duncan Sheik, whose Broadway rock musical “Spring Awakenings” earned a 2007 Tony Award for best musical, on Feb. 9; and Celtic band Leahy on Feb. 16.And pop-jazz vocalist Steve Tyrell on Feb. 21; Roger McGuinn, founding member of folk-rock band the Byrds, on Feb. 23; the Western Slope debut of the Bellydance Superstars on March 16; and singer Art Garfunkel, half of the folk-rock duo Simon & Garfunkel, March 27.For further information on tickets and events, go to http://www.aspenshowtickets.com.
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Local fire officials in Pitkin, Eagle and Garfield counties are heightening their fire concerns, and starting this week Stage 1 fire restrictions will be enacted. Stage 1 means no campfires in undeveloped sites, no fireworks and no smoking outside unless it’s in an area cleared of all combustible materials.