Theatre Aspen begins its 29th summer season with the Tony Award-winning musical comedy Avenue Q tonight, in the new Hurst Theatre, situated along the Rio Grande River. The theatre is unveiling a new lobby facility to complement the Hurst Theatre, which was erected last summer. Next up is the musical How I Became a Pirate, based on the beloved children's book by Melinda Long (July 10th – Aug 18th) and the film noir thriller The 39 Steps (July 25th – Aug 18th).
Artistic Director Paige Price said, "This year we really went for variety in our programming – from the saucy Avenue Q to the sweet How I Became a Pirate. The 39 Steps has been a hit everywhere it's played and I think it's a perfect show for our summer audience. It's both silly and smart and we have an expert cast to put it over."
Avenue Q, with music and lyrics by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx and a book by Jeff Whitty, stars Jeffrey Correia, Julie Kavanagh, Erin Maguire, Ben Liebert, Regina Fernandez, Bradley Beahen and Danielle K Thomas. Recent Carbonell Award winner Mark Martino is the director and choreographer.
On Sunday, July 1st, from 12:30 - 4 p.m., Theatre Aspen is opening its doors to the public for tours of the latest upgrades to the new Hurst Theatre, in conjunction with the Aspen Ideas Festival Block Party in Rio Grande Park and the City of Aspen's official dedication of the John Denver Sanctuary next to the theatre. Stop in for a tour while rehearsals for the new play by Dan Elish, The Gifted and Talented, are underway on the stage! Cocktails and desserts will be provided in the lobby.
TA will also offer the family musical How I Became a Pirate (book, music and lyrics by Janet Yates Vogt & Mark Friedman), directed by Marjorie Mae Treger, returning to TA for her third season on the heels of last year's successful production of Annie. The musical features Danielle Erickson, Tom Erickson, Rodney Lizcano, Tatum Shane, Peggy Wilkie, Thadd Krueger, Kyle Dean Steffen and Jeffrey B. Duncan as "Braid Beard."
The 39 Steps, adapted by Patrick Barlow, from the novel by John Buchan, stars David Hess (Annie Get Your Gun, Sweeney Todd) and Joan Hess (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Mamma Mia), with Patrick Richwood (Pretty Woman) and Bjorn Johnson as the clowns. David Hess will direct.
The 2012 design team includes Reuben Lucas and R. Thomas Ward (sets), Paul Black and Colin Riebel (lighting), Kevin Brainerd (costumes), David Thomas (sound). Production Stage Manager is Vernon Willet.
Theatre Aspen was awarded the "Outstanding Regional Theatre" Henry Award in Denver in 2009 and Alison Luff (Ghost) won a Best Supporting Actress Denver Post Ovation Award for her work as Olive in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Recent Ovation nominees included Joan Hess, Beth Malone, Aaron Rhyne, Julia Foran and Sandy Duncan.
Theatre Aspen School summer classes and theatre workshops are underway, and registration is open for July and August youth programming.
Tickets are available from aspenshowtix.com or by calling 970-925-9313. For further information contact Theatre Aspen at 970-925-9313 x200. www.theatreaspen.org