Like a jerk, I once laughed uncontrollably at a summer play my little sister was in. One of her co-stars, an earnest Prince Charming at all of 10 years old, was singing about a princess — a capella. At the bridge, he inflected his voice so precociously I thought I might faint. No one else found the song nearly as hilarious, but really, I've never had a better time at a play. Prince Charming, to his credit, never faltered, and I bet the kids of Thoroughly Modern Millie Jr., playing at the Lon Chaney Theater (221 E. Kiowa St.) at 7:30 tonight and tomorrow, are similarly professional. They may not even give you a chance to be so inappropriate. Tickets are $13 ($11 in advance at alleycattheatrics.com). — EA
At 3 today, after more than 18 months' preparation, our own artisans and storytellers extraordinaire will hold the grand opening of the Simpich Showcase (2413 W. Colorado Ave., simpich.com). It'll house three attractions: The Simpich Character Doll Museum, which hosts a collection of intricate little people created by Jan and Bob Simpich; the Simpich Fine Art Gallery and its selection of oil paintings by Bob Simpich and other locals; and the Simpich Showcase Theatre, where The Hans Christian Andersen Storybook will play four days a week through July 19. Tickets range from $5 to $12, with combo packages available. — AM
Ryan Shupe & the Rubberband have described their music as "postHeeHawFunkadelicHipHopNewGrass." Though I'm not sure what that means, I do know their newest album features a tribute to corn dogs. Tonight you'll have a chance to hear it, and much more, at the 20th annual Bluegrass on the River Festival, which runs Friday night through Sunday. Also catch 20 Colorado acts like Pete Wernick & Flexigrass and Sons & Brothers on the banks of the Arkansas River at the Nature & Raptor Center of Pueblo (5200 Nature Center Road, 719/549-2414). Along with two stages of music, enjoy an arts and crafts fair, nature activities and food vendors. (Corn dogs, maybe?) Tickets range from $3 to $35, and camping is $35 for the weekend. — JT
To those not spending this afternoon at the Colorado Springs Philharmonic's season-finale performance: You can support local authors and the Pikes Peak Writers group at a special book-signing fundraiser at Barnes & Noble (1565 Briargate Blvd., 266-9960). From 2 to 4, Laura Reeve will be signing Peacekeeper, her new military science-fiction novel, and Barbara (Samuel) O'Neal will sign The Lost Recipe for Happiness, billed as a story about the impossibilities of love, food and restaurants. Pikes Peak Writers is hosting another signing at 2 on Saturday, May 30, also at Barnes & Noble, with Beth Groundwater lending a personal touch to copies of her new mystery, To Hell in a Handbasket, which is set in Colorado. — RR
When Sara Sanger started playing guitar, she claims, her goal was to get good enough to play "Puff, the Magic Dragon" for her kids. The cheap shot here would be to say she's still working at it, but the New Trust is actually quite good. Fronted by Sanger and husband Josh Staples, this California band is one of the few that hasn't yet disowned the indie rock label. Nor does it need to; its music boasts many of the genre's best elements, with traces of Pixies-eque male/female vocals and a brainy pop-punk aesthetic that never gets precious. Action Design and Four Through Six open this 7:30 p.m. all-ages show at the Black Sheep (2106 E. Platte Ave., ticketweb.com). Tickets are $10 ($8 in advance). — BF
Know-it-all Ivy Leaguer gets dumped by his girlfriend, stranded in California, and left in the care of a bearded, lazy middle-aged has-been. Enter random fishing and swimming escapades, car repair and a hookup with a hot small-town artist. Then enter soul-searching and life lessons. What you get is Sherman's Way, an indie film starring Michael Shulman and James Le Gros, which was lauded on the festival circuit — and ignored by Colorado Springs. But wait! Enter ... the Independent Film Society of Colorado and the Business of Art Center (515 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, thebac.org), showing the Starry Night Entertainment production as part of the BAC's film series. Tickets for today's 7 p.m. show run $5 to $6, available once you enter the door. — KW
Whatever you do, start big. The folks behind the eighth annual Gettin' Down Downtown Summer Concert Series know this. That's why they've booked the Springs Contemporary Jazz Big Band to kick off this summer's free, 6-to-8-p.m. Wednesday concert series in America the Beautiful Park (126 Cimino Drive, gettindowndowntown.com) today. It'll be followed weekly through Aug. 19 (with June 24 being an exception) with acts ranging from bluegrass and jazz to rock and blues. Look, there'll be something you can get into, unless you live for Norwegian death metal or trip hop. The Colorado Farm and Art Market begins peddling its potatoes and whatnot on June 10 alongside the shows, and unlike the bands, those vendors won't call it quits if it rains. — MS
This week's 7 Days contributors: Edie Adelstein, Bill Forman, Avalon Manly, Ralph Routon, Matthew Schniper, Jill Thomas and Kirk Woundy.