‘Parallel Lives’ looked very pretty in competitionAspen Stage’s production of “Parallel Lives” earned 11 awards, including Best Production, at the Colorado Theatre Festival. The festival, presented by the Colorado Community Theatre Coalition, was held in Idaho Springs last month.Peggy Mundinger and Wendy Perkins were co-winners of the Best Actress award. Mundinger and Perkins also earned All-State awards, as did director Brad Moore and set designer Tom Ward. The technical team, including sound man Gordon Wilder and lighting designer Loren Wilder, earned honors with the Technical Excellence award. Mundinger and Perkins earned an additional award for costume design. Aspen Stage was awarded the People’s Choice award. “Parallel Lives,” a two-person sketch comedy written by Kathy Najimy and Mo Gaffney, premiered in Aspen last August at Aspen High School’s Black Box Theatre, and had encore performances in February. Aspen Stage expects to have a tour of Colorado in September, and to represent Colorado next June in the American Association of Community Theatre Festival, in Charlotte, N.C.For further information on Aspen Stage, including updated information on “Parallel Lives” performances, go to http://www.aspenstage.com.Jazz Aspen benefit swings, New Orleans-styleJazz Aspen Snowmass’ annual summer benefit is set for July 22 at Aspen Highlands. This year’s event, Crescent City Swing, features a New Orleans theme.Musical headliner for the event is Allen Toussaint. The New Orleans pianist-singer appeared last month in Jazz Aspen’s June Festival as a special guest with Elvis Costello; Toussaint and Costello collaborated on the CD “The River in Reverse,” released last month. Also performing will be the Soul Rebels, a contemporary New Orleans brass band, as well as student bands from the JAS Academy Summer Sessions.The evening, set in and around Iguana’s Bar & Grill, also includes cocktails, gourmet food stations and a silent auction. Also available is the Patron Dinner at the Ritz-Carlton Club’s Willow Creek Bistro, featuring dinner, music and a live auction.Proceeds from Crescent City Swing benefit Jazz Aspen’s educational programs, including the JAS Academy, the Local Education Initiative, the In-Schools Summer Camp and more.For further information on Jazz Aspen and its educational programs, go to http://www.jazzaspen.org.Theatre Aspen sets Sunday SeriesTheatre Aspen has announced the schedule for its Sunday Series. The series brings a variety of entertainment to the Theatre Aspen tent on occasional Sunday evenings through the summer season.The series opens Aug. 6 with a reading of Aspenite Barry Smith’s one-person work-in-progress, “Culture Shock Therapy: From Mississippi to California.” Smith, who writes The Aspen Times column Irrelativity, returns Aug. 20 with another work-in-progress, “Squatter: Portrait of a Personal Rebellion,” about his experience as a squatter in a string of London flats. Both pieces were presented in workshop form last spring at Steve’s Guitars in Carbondale.Local writer and radio personality Michael Conniff will read “Bombed,” set in a Southampton bomb shelter during the Cuban Missile Crisis, Aug. 13. The series closes with a reading of “Boxes in the Attic,” a drama by Aspen Times’ columnist Paul Anderson.Additional performances may be scheduled in the Sunday Series. For updates, and full information on the Theatre Aspen season, go to http://www.theatreaspen.org.
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Planning efforts to bring the controversial gray wolf back to parts of Colorado’s Western Slope are officially getting underway.