December 19, 2005
The 2006 U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen will pay tribute to “The Larry Sanders Show.” The 12th annual USCAF is set for March 8-12, with presentations in various Aspen venues.Also on the program for the 2006 festival are a celebration of the 15th anniversary of Def Comedy Jam, a live presentation of the radio program “A Prairie Home Companion” and a special screening of the film “A Prairie Home Companion,” and a performance of Jim Henson’s “Puppet Improv.”Set to appear for the “Larry Sanders Show” event are series creator and star Garry Shandling and co-star Jeffrey Tambor. The parody of a late-night talk show ran on HBO from 1992-98, and earned a record 78 Emmy Award nominations.Creator Russell Simmons, and executive producers Stan Lathan and Sandy Wernick will appear for the celebration of Def Comedy Jam. The series, which also ran on HBO from 1992-98, introduced such comedians as Chris Tucker and Cedric “The Entertainer.””A Prairie Home Companion,” created by Garrison Keillor in 1974, currently boasts a weekly listenership of more than 4 million, and is carried by some 550 public radio stations. The feature film “A Prairie Home Companion,” directed by Robert Altman and with a screenplay by Keillor, is set for release in June. Starring Woody Harrelson and John C. Reilly, and featuring Kevin Kline, Meryl Streep, Virginia Madsen and others, is a fictional backstage look at the final broadcast of America’s most celebrated radio show.The adult puppet comedy Jim Henson’s “Puppet Improv” features characters from the Jim Henson Company.The USCAF, which serves as a launching pad for new talent, also features the Film Discovery Program, various award presentations, stand-up performances, comedic theater and more. Ticket packages for the 2006 USCAF are on sale now by calling 1-866-350-3369, or online at http://www.hbocomedyfestival.com.
The Wheeler Film Series has announced the schedule for January, with a late addition to the December calendar.The English fantasy film “Mirror Mask” will be screened Tuesday, Dec. 27 and Friday, Dec. 30. “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang,” a darkly comic murder mystery starring Robert Downey Jr. and Val Kilmer, is set for Jan. 2-4. “The Squid and the Whale,” a comedic drama about a troubled family in 1980s Brooklyn that is nominated for the Best Picture, Comedy or Musical, Golden Globe Award, shows Jan. 5-7.”The Passenger,” a re-release of the 1975 Michaelangelo Antonioni film starring Jack Nicholson as a reporter in North Africa, will be shown Jan. 11-12. Neil Jordan’s “Breakfast on Pluto,” starring Cillian Murphy as a transvestite cabaret singer in 1970s London, is set for Jan. 17-18.”Loggerheads,” a drama of three estranged families in North Carolina, will be screened Jan. 20. “A History of Violence,” David Cronenberg’s Golden Globe-nominated drama of murder and identity in a small Indiana town, is set for encore screenings Jan. 22-23. The schedule concludes Jan. 26-27 with the comedy performance document “Sarah Silverman: Jesus Is Magic.”All Wheeler Films start at 7:30 p.m.
Journalist Kristina Borjesson will be the featured guest on Aspen Media Review Friday, Dec. 30. The locally produced, half-hour program can be heard every Friday at 6:30 p.m. on KAJX-Aspen Public Radio.Borjesson will join Aspen Media Review co-hosts John C. Noonan and Brian O’Neill in discussing her collection of reporter interviews, “Feet to the Fire: The Media After 9/11.” Journalists whose views are included in the book include Ted Koppel, Helen Thomas, David Martin and Peter Arnett.KAJX can be heard at 91.5 FM in Aspen.