Theatre Aspen has announced the directors for its productions in the 2008 summer season.
Part-time Aspen resident Jay Sandrich is set to direct “Rounding Third,” a comedy about two mismatched men who team up to coach a Little League team. Sandrich, who also lives in Los Angeles, is an Emmy-winning television director whose credits include “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “Soap” and “The Cosby Show.”
Michael Unger will direct Beth Henley’s Pulitzer Prize-winning “Crimes of the Heart,” about three sisters who reunite at their grandmother’s Mississippi home. A longtime regular visitor to the valley, Unger was assistant director for several productions ” including “Crimes of the Heart” ” in the early ’80s at Snowmass Repertory Theatre.
Drew Scott Harris will direct “Little Shop of Horrors.” Originally a 1960 film by Roger Corman, the black comedy about an evil, alien plant was adapted into an off-Broadway hit in 1982. It returned to the big screen in a successful 1986 musical version starring Rick Moranis and directed by Frank Oz.
Marisa Post, Theatre Aspen’s director of education, will direct the family production of “Seussical,” based on the stories and drawings of Dr. Seuss.
Also, the Theatre Aspen Teen Company, with the organization’s Winter Conservatory students, will present two shows in February. “Cats,” Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical based on the poems of T.S. Eliot, is set for Feb. 3, 10 and 17. “The Odyssey,” based on Homer’s epic poem, will show Feb. 24 and March 2 and 9. All shows are at the Crystal Palace.
For further information on Theatre Aspen, go to http://www.theatreaspen.org.
The Aspen Writers’ Foundation’s Winter Words series opens Jan. 30 with a return visit by Ann Patchett, and continues with five additional events through mid-March.
Patchett, winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize for Literature for the 2002 novel “Bel Canto,” is the author, most recently, of last year’s “Run.” The novel, which takes place over 24 hours, examines issues of race, politics, family relations and more in a story of a nontraditional Boston family.
Sebastian Junger, author of the 1997 nonfiction adventure best-seller “The Perfect Storm,” is set for Feb. 7. His latest book is “A Death in Belmont,” an investigation into a 1960s murder that Junger suggests may have been committed by Albert DeSalvo, who was suspected of committing the Boston Strangler murders.
African writers Ishmael Beah and Binyavanga Wainaina will appear together in conversation Feb. 22. Beah is the best-selling author of the recent “A Long Way Gone,” a memoir of his time as a child soldier in Sierra Leone’s civil war. Wainaina, from Kenya, is a journalist and author who founded the literary journal, Kwani? The event will be followed by a benefit performance by rapper DMC, formerly of the group Run-DMC.
Amy Bloom, whose works include the nonfiction study “Normal: Transsexual CEOs, Cross-dressing Cops, and Hermaphrodites with Attitude,” and the recent novel “Away,” about an immigrant woman’s search for her daughter, is set for Feb. 26.
Richard Russo, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the novels “Empire Falls,” “Nobody’s Fool” and the recent “Bridge of Sighs,” set in a run-down town in upstate New York, is March 6.
The series concludes March 20 with poet Edward Hirsch, whose new collection, “Special Orders,” is due for release in March.
Ishmael Beah will appear at the Wheeler Opera House, and Edward Hirsch at the Gant. All other events in the series are at the Given Institute. Each event will be followed by an Author Salon reception for Aspen Writers’ Foundation members.
For further information on the Aspen Writers’ Foundation, go to http://www.aspenwriters.org.
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There is a lot of pent up energy among hikers and bikers to get into the high country, but snow fields, avalanche debris and high stream crossings are presenting challenges later than usual. Forest rangers with the Aspen-Sopris District provide trail condition reports that are updated each week so hikers and backpackers aren’t caught unaware.