Editor's Note: Changes in the article have been made regarding TheatreWorks.
If you saw "Arts for free," you already know the ins and outs of the free arts and culture to-dos around town. But are you also willing to spend some cash?
For just a little bit of money, between $5 and $10, there's a ton of choices. For comedy, Improv Colorado and the RiP perform at least once a month with family-friendly shows running $5 to $10 per person. Loonees Comedy Corner hosts comedians every Thursday, Friday and Saturday with a cover ranging from $2 to $9 with a two-item minimum.
For music outside the club or bar setting, choices abound. While most free summer concerts have wrapped up by now, venues like Stargazers Theatre and Event Center and the Ute Pass Cultural Center keep a full docket in the cooler months. At UPCC, for example, you'll find Mountain Acoustic Music Association concerts, $5 affairs (free for those under 18) with groups like the Mitguards and Ceol Ceili.
The Rocket Room and Triple Nickel Tavern host great rock, punk, rockabilly and indie bands weekly, with a majority of shows actually free of charge; the rest rarely top $10. Even the Black Sheep offers a solid schedule of low-cost shows, and though bigger names mean heightened prices, few eclipse $25.
Most performance art events require a ticket, some with a heftier price tag than others. Theater prices run the gamut. On the low end, with free student tickets and $5 discounts, enjoy student productions at Theatre 'd Art; TheatreWorks, a professional company associated with UCCS, also offers $5 tickets (check online for restrictions), but normal admittance runs $15 to $30.
Also a bit cheaper are tickets to Pueblo's Impossible Players ($5 to $10) and Damon Runyon Repertory shows ($12-$25), the Butte Theater of Cripple Creek ($9 to $15), and Springs Ensemble Theatre ($8 to $12).
If dinner theater's your bag, there are several local troupes that offer dinner-show combos, like Dinner Detective Interactive Murder Mystery Dinner Shows and Metropolis Supper Club. Iron Springs Melodrama lacks great cuisine, and the building possesses a weirdly ancient ambiance, but you can give it a try for charmingly campy entertainment, complete with sing-alongs, cartoony gags and actors who can sing, dance and ham it up like it's no one's business. Dinner and a show costs $16.50 to $29.50; just the show, $9.50 to $15.50.
Into the next bracket, be prepared to shell out some more money to see the premier performing groups in the city. Ormao Dance Company concerts run $15 to $17. The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center Theatre Company commands $26 to $35 for non-member tickets (a few bucks per ticket less for members), with similar prices at TheatreWorks for nonstudents. The Colorado Springs Philharmonic charges between $15 and $52 a pop. But really, this is fair for a city of our caliber, and these are the professionals, the elites who don't have "off nights."
Lastly, memberships can help get you deals on tickets. If you have some money to spend up front, you're rewarded with freebies and discounts later. A membership gets you in gratis at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center and the Sangre de Cristo Arts Center, for example. Individual FAC memberships start at $45, while students and seniors can get theirs for $30. Families and households with students, seniors and teachers are a deal at $45 to $60. At the Sangre, options include basic one-person packages for $30, cheaper for students and seniors; two-person memberships start at $35, and family deals for $45.
For calendar information in week-sized doses, read the listings in every issue of the Indy, or visit csindy.com for a searchable calendar. KRCC-FM's online calendar and peakradar.com also keep track of cultural events.