Friday, June 29, 2018

Pikes Peak Center books Dr. Jordan Peterson for October appearance

Posted By on Fri, Jun 29, 2018 at 5:04 PM

  • Kaleb Kroetsch /

In one of this weeks’ stranger turn of events, music promoter Live Nation has joined forces with Dr. Jordan Peterson, the self-proclaimed “professor against political correctness,” for an unlikely tour of concert venues, including Denver’s Paramount Theater on Oct. 7 and Colorado Springs’ own Pikes Peak Center on Oct. 8.

Whether or not this constitutes another sign of the apocalypse has yet to be determined, but it does suggest that Peterson has completed his transition from obscure Canadian academic to motivational rock star.

For that, we can thank 12 Rules For Life: An Antidote to Chaos, the controversial self-help book that came out of left field — well, right field, actually — earlier this year and has since found its way to the top of best-seller lists.

Like a contrarian Joseph Campbell, Peterson will be taking to concert stages to explain how mythology and psychology can help improve your life — unless, of course, you’re a radical feminist, environmentalist, postmodernist, or left-wing activist, in which case there’s no point in trying.

Meanwhile, for those who’ve always wanted to spend 143 minutes listening to Jordan Peterson and Camille Paglia talk about why men need to take back the right to be respected as men, plus other matters of importance, this is your lucky day. Happy viewing.

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Thespiana returns to showcase local playwrights

Posted By on Fri, Jun 29, 2018 at 1:00 AM

Thespiana, June 30, 7 p.m., and July 1, 2:30 p.m., Cottonwood Center for the Arts, - COURTESY COTTONWOOD CENTER FOR THE ARTS
  • Courtesy Cottonwood Center for the Arts
  • Thespiana, June 30, 7 p.m., and July 1, 2:30 p.m., Cottonwood Center for the Arts,
With so many talented playwrights right here in the city of Colorado Springs, it’s only appropriate that they find plentiful opportunities to present their work, from local play festivals to staged readings. One such opportunity, Thespiana, returns to the stage this weekend for its third annual event, showcasing Colorado Springs playwrights with rehearsed, staged readings of their short plays. With styles ranging from comedy and drama to selections from a full-on musical, audiences can look forward to seven new works by eight writers who live right here in our own community. Mark and Lauren Arnest will present excerpts from their new musical Iron and Gold, Warren Epstein will star in his one-man play Borscht-Belted, and Judith McKay will tackle the process of playwriting itself in her Temptations of a Playwright, alongside works by Sue Bachman, Phil Ginsburg, Chuck Cabell and Jeff Schmoyer.
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Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Converge Lecture Series cancels Junot Díaz lecture following allegations of sexual assault and aggression

Posted By on Tue, Jun 26, 2018 at 4:37 PM

Junot Díaz was scheduled to speak at the Pinery on Aug. 5. - CHRISTOPHER PETERSON
  • Christopher Peterson
  • Junot Díaz was scheduled to speak at the Pinery on Aug. 5.

In May of 2018, the literary world felt a collective shockwave when author Zinzi Clemmons accused author Junot Díaz of forcibly kissing her, prompting three other female authors to come forward with allegations of Díaz’s aggression toward women. Díaz, the author of The Brief and Wondorous Life of Oscar Wao, among other prominent titles, has long been regarded as an icon of fine contemporary literature.

Díaz was scheduled to appear in Colorado Springs as part of the Converge Lecture Series on Aug. 5, but the organizers of Converge announced on Tuesday, June 26, that they have cancelled his engagement.

As reason, they cite Díaz’s silence in the weeks following these allegations, and say: “silence is an incomplete response to an important cultural moment.”

Bearing that in mind, Converge has organized a community conversation in place of Díaz’s planned lecture. On Aug. 12, Converge invites Colorado Springs to come together to discuss masculinity, patriarchy, consent and violence with a panel of experts (panelists to be determined).

The event will be free to attend for all interested in addressing these topics.

See below for a letter by Converge founder Samuel Stephenson regarding the decision:

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Thursday, June 21, 2018

Suz Stovall breaks style with Finding Peace at G44 Gallery

Posted By on Thu, Jun 21, 2018 at 1:00 AM

Finding Peace, Opening reception, June 22, 5:30-8 p.m., on display through Aug. 4, G44 Gallery, - SUZ STOVALL
  • Suz Stovall
  • Finding Peace, Opening reception, June 22, 5:30-8 p.m., on display through Aug. 4, G44 Gallery,
G44 Gallery is one of those delightful contemporary galleries that consistently displays eclectic work from artists of all stripes. One such artist, Suz Stovall, expresses her artistic talent in a multitude of ways, having won awards for her ceramics before eventually returning to her first love, painting. A selection of Stovall’s paintings will be on display at G44 this month and next, but these aren’t typical of her style. As a departure from her usually vibrantly colorful work, Stovall has produced Finding Peace, a show mostly in monochrome with only occasional splashes of color. In her artist statement, Stovall says: “Painting is my passion, to trust the process. Finding peace is understanding the joy of discovery — beautiful little gifts. Being open to that. Finding peace in your art journey. And it is just that, a journey.”
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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Pikes Peak Watercolor Society's Midsummer Night's Dream comes true downtown

Posted By on Wed, Jun 20, 2018 at 1:00 AM

A Midsummer Night’s Dream with the Pikes Peak Watercolor Society, June 20, 5:30-8 p.m., Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum lawn, - LAUREL BAHE
  • Laurel Bahe
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream with the Pikes Peak Watercolor Society, June 20, 5:30-8 p.m., Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum lawn,

Pikes Peak Watercolor Society president Nancy Neale says the organization chose the title “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” as a nod to “what an evening of artists painting live downtown, plein air would feel like... truly a midsummer night’s dream in downtown Colorado Springs.” Plein air painting, a term for painting outdoors, allows artists to break their leashes, unconstrained by the four walls of a studio and its implied rules. Including such well-known names as Eric Fetsch, Mary Gorman and Rick Forsyth, 25 artists have been selected from the society’s 160 members to do plein air painting demonstrations, and more artists will be on hand to discuss the art of watercolor with onlookers. While you’re watching a piece of art come together, learning about the technique behind it, and enjoying the summer evening air, take advantage of the several food trucks they’ll have on-site and settle down on the Pioneers Museum lawn.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Colorado Springs Conservatory produces a revised Jack: A Moral Musical Tale

Posted By on Tue, Jun 19, 2018 at 1:55 PM

  • Screencap from trailer; credit Colorado Springs Conservatory
In June of 2017, the Colorado Springs Conservatory, a local performance art school, debuted Jack: A Moral Musical Tale. Meant to convey an anti-bullying message, the musical followed a young bully into a dream sequence in which he met Jacks from different fairytales and folklore who taught him that nothing good comes from remorselessly bullying others. By invitation, we went to see the show, and came away with some issues in the way the musical portrayed minority characters (the very people most at-risk for bullying) and the way its messages fell flat, or even contradicted themselves.

At the time, Conservatory CEO Linda Weise said: “It would be amazing to have a piece that was created and shaped by feedback here in our community that could have national and international relevance.”

Now, the Conservatory has indeed used audience feedback to revamp the story and musical score, with help from Conservatory alumni Josh Franklin, a Broadway performer who typically makes his home in New York City. “I like to give back,” Franklin says, “so I come back and teach and direct and write. It’s good for them; it’s good for me. This show in particular has been so much work, but so much fun, and it’s just a beautiful story.”

Since joining the Conservatory creative team on this project in November, Franklin, who has also directed this production, says he made some significant changes to the script. For one, he gave Jack more understandable motivation, hoping to illustrate that issues with bullying largely start at home with the family.

He also altered the tone of many of Jack’s dream sequences. “It was a great concept and a fun story,” he says, “but a lot of the dream sequences seemed to be just other Jacks from the history of literature picking on Jack, and I wanted to examine less of a nightmare and more of a dream in which people teach him positive lessons.”

Among these characters, Franklin introduced “Jack of All Trades,” to show Jack a different kind of future than the one he’s building for himself by bullying others. Jack of All Trades is portrayed by Brian Sears, one of three Broadway performers who Franklin invited to take part in this production. The other two are Moya Angela and Abbie Mueller. All three are currently active on Broadway, and have performed with Franklin in the past.

The Conservatory has also invited four dancers from the Colorado Ballet Society, plus Thomas Wilson of the Chamber Orchestra of the Springs, to collaborate on the performance.

While Franklin has made many changes to the original script, he says it is still recognizable as Jack: “It’s a different angle. Definitely the same story, but a different way of telling it.”

The end of the show, which caused us particular concern in its original inception, has been “completely reconstructed,” according to Franklin. He says that the show has grown to encompass not just anti-bullying messages, but also messages of suicide prevention, and messages for adults who need to intervene when they encounter troubled children.

In spite of all this, Franklin insists that the show is mostly comedic, and the serious messages “sneak up on you,” which is a good sign for a family production. While we have yet to see the revised show, we find encouragement in Franklin’s enthusiasm for its changes.

In a press release, CEO Linda Weise said: “I am thrilled with what Josh [Franklin] has done to the original piece. His incredible songwriting abilities have really elevated the score and flow of the story… not to mention that I am simply humbled to work alongside him in bringing this story to life yet again, even better and with more great characters.”

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Monday, June 18, 2018

The PBR Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour isn't what we thought it was

Posted By on Mon, Jun 18, 2018 at 8:38 AM

Back before the birth of artisanal beards and ironic sweaters, there was Pabst Blue Ribbon, the pre-craft bar beer of choice for those of us who spent far too many late nights and early mornings at bleary-eyed Triple Nickel shows.

So you can imagine our delight when we got wind of the “PBR Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour” that’ll be taking place at the Broadmoor World Arena on October 26 and 27. And you can also imagine our disappointment when we realized that PBR, in this instance, stands for Professional Bull Riders, and that this is some kind of preliminary bull-riding event in anticipation of something called the "2018 PBR 25th Unleash the Beast World Finals."

That said, if you happen to find yourself in the mood for world-renowned bull riders “battling the sport’s fiercest bovine athletes,” the kind who willingly engage in “thrilling 8-second rides and heart-stopping wrecks,” then this one’s for you. You can find more information at
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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Colorado Ballet Society’s Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is a family affair

Posted By on Wed, Jun 13, 2018 at 1:00 AM

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, June 14-16, 7 p.m., and June 16, 2 p.m., Colorado Springs School, 21 Broadmoor Ave.,
  • Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, June 14-16, 7 p.m., and June 16, 2 p.m., Colorado Springs School, 21 Broadmoor Ave.,
This beloved family musical about a wacky inventor and a flying car comes to new life thanks to the Colorado Ballet Society’s theater program, which debuted with a production of The Music Man last year. With a cast of 50 actors from seasoned professionals to talented kids, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang also offers families the chance to act together. Chad E. Davis in the role of inventor Caractacus Potts, will work alongside his daughter Grace Davis, playing Potts’ daughter Jemima, while Grace’s mother and Chad’s wife, a professional dog trainer, has trained the family dog Pickles for his role onstage as Edison. This group is one of a few family units taking the stage this week in what is sure to be a delightful and warm family show. Director Ford Tackett says: “I’m looking forward to seeing this talent being shared with audiences, who no doubt will be touched by the comedy, quirkiness and affection that this play brings to life.”
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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

TheatreWorks, Fine Arts Center clean up in 2018 Henry Award nominations

Posted By on Tue, Jun 12, 2018 at 3:19 PM

The FAC's recent production of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels earned 11 nominations. - COURTESY COLORADO SPRINGS FINE ARTS CENTER AT COLORADO COLLEGE
  • Courtesy Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College
  • The FAC's recent production of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels earned 11 nominations.

On Tuesday, June 12, the Colorado Theatre Guild announced the nominees for its annual Henry Awards, the most anticipated theater awards in the state, with two Colorado Springs companies represented: the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College and TheatreWorks. Last year, the FAC earned 12 nominations and won five awards for its production of Man of La Mancha, and Springs Ensemble Theater received three nominations.

Now, the FAC has racked up a whopping 24 nominations, putting them just behind Arvada Center, which received 29. TheatreWorks received two. Fun Home and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, both FAC productions, tied with the most nominations for a single production — 11 each.

The FAC was understandably proud to share the news on Twitter:

The Henry Awards ceremony will be held July 23 at the Lone Tree Arts Center. We’ll be sure to let you know how many awards our local companies take home. In the meantime, here’s a list of their nominations:

  • Outstanding Actor in a Play (Mark Robbins for Amadeus)
  • Outstanding Costume Design, larger budget (Stephanie Bradley for Amadeus)

Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College:
  • Outstanding Season for a Theatre Company
  • Outstanding Production of a Musical (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and Fun Home)
  • Outstanding Direction of a Musical (Nathan Halvorson for Fun Home and Scott Levy for Dirty Rotten Scoundrels)
  • Outstanding Musical Direction (Sharon Skidgel for Dirty Rotten Scoundrels)
  • Outstanding Actress in a play (Lauren Hooper for Intimate Apparel)
  • Outstanding Actor in a Musical (Larry Cahn for Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Patrick Oliver Jones for Fun Home, and Kyle Dean Steffen for Dirty Rotten Scoundrels)
  • Outstanding Actress in a Musical (Jessica Kahkoska for Fun Home, Allison Mickelson for Fun Home)
  • Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical (Mackenzie Beyer for Fun Home, Judeth Shay Comstock for Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and Megan Van De Hey for Fun Home)
  • Outstanding Ensemble Performance (Fun Home)
  • Outstanding Choreography (Nathan Halvorson for Dirty Rotten Scoundrels)
  • Outstanding Costume Design, larger budget (Sydney Gallas for Dirty Rotten Scoundrels)
  • Outstanding Lighting Design, larger budget (Holly Rawls for Fun Home and Jonathan Spencer for Dirty Rotten Scoundrels)
  • Outstanding Scenic Design, larger budget (Lex Liang for Fun Home, Christopher L. Sheley for Dirty Rotten Scoundrels)
  • Outstanding Sound Design, larger budget (Tori Higgins for Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and Fun Home)
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Monday, June 11, 2018

Little Pink House takes aim at eminent domain abuse

Posted By on Mon, Jun 11, 2018 at 1:00 AM

Little Pink House, June 11, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Cinemark Tinseltown USA and XD, 1545 E. Cheyenne Mountain Blvd., - COURTNEY MOOREHEAD BALAKER
  • Courtney Moorehead Balaker
  • Little Pink House, June 11, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Cinemark Tinseltown USA and XD, 1545 E. Cheyenne Mountain Blvd.,
‘The official term is ‘eminent domain abuse,’ but it’s really just a type of legalized bullying,” says filmmaker Courtney Moorehead Balaker (from Denver) about the subject of her film, Little Pink House. Based on a true story, the film follows the journey of Susette Kelo, who became an unwilling leader in her neighborhood’s fight to keep their homes when the governor of Connecticut decided to bulldoze them to make room for Pfizer Pharmaceutical (the Viagra folks). Kelo, against her introverted nature, stood up to defend the home she’d worked so hard to establish, and found support for her cause throughout the nation as her case climbed the legal ladder to the U.S. Supreme Court. The film explores her personal life, as well as a legal battle that pitted her little pink house, and the rights of property owners, against the economic draw of big business. Balaker, who wrote and directed the film, says: “There is a lot to think about, and I hope audiences come away with a clear understanding of both sides of the argument. But in the end, it was pretty clear our cast stood with Susette and her neighbors. ... Eminent domain abuse happens far more often than most people realize, and it rarely brings the kind of economic development its supporters promise. It should come as no surprise that poor and minority communities are especially likely to be targeted.”Little Pink House is part of an impact campaign, aiming to end eminent domain abuse.
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Thursday, June 7, 2018

Art on the Streets installs a giant, scrap-metal mermaid right off the Colorado Avenue bridge

Posted By on Thu, Jun 7, 2018 at 3:48 PM

  • Courtesy Trace O'Connor and The Downtown Partnership
  • Trace O'Connor with "Iscariot"

Like a great beast rising from the depths of the ocean, "Iscariot" will soon rise to the top of the Traffic Management Center on Colorado Avenue, where she’ll stay for the duration of Art on the Streets’ 20th Anniversary exhibit. As of this writing, this giant octopus mermaid by Fort Collins artist Trace O’Connor is currently being welded together and lifted by crane (and manpower) onto the roof. 
According to Claire Swinford, urban engagement manager of the Downtown Partnership, O'Connor, his team and a group of volunteers will assemble "Iscariot" in two pieces, which will be lifted separately and then welded together. By 4 p.m. on June 7, "Iscariot" should be fully visible as folks travel westward on the Colorado Avenue bridge.

We stopped by the installation to watch the process for a while, and passively took photos in the shade as volunteers lifted immensely heavy metal tentacles. Check out their hard work below:

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MaisOui to host a showcase of glamorous and glitzy burlesque performances

Posted By on Thu, Jun 7, 2018 at 2:00 AM

Classically Burlesque Presents: Vintage Glamour, Edition Noir, June 8-9, pre-party at 8 p.m., show at 9 p.m., Millibo Art Theatre, - BROKEN GLASS PHOTOGRAPHY
  • Broken Glass Photography
  • Classically Burlesque Presents: Vintage Glamour, Edition Noir, June 8-9, pre-party at 8 p.m., show at 9 p.m., Millibo Art Theatre,
When we spoke to burlesque dancer Penelope MaisOui last year, she said that burlesque was just another method of storytelling, but perhaps one of the most intimate and personal methods there is. “There is no director,” she said. “You are your own costume designer, your own writer. You choose your own name. You’re writing your own story and you’re owning it and putting it on display with the most amount of sparkles you can fit on your body.” Now, MaisOui will be hosting a showcase of glamorous and glitzy burlesque performances at the Millibo Art Theatre, with a lineup of professional performers presenting their best femme fatale routines. The audience is encouraged to get in the mood with their own vintage costumes to fit the noir theme.
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Science Riot takes “binary introverts” and gives them a crash course in comedy

Posted By on Thu, Jun 7, 2018 at 1:00 AM

Science Riot Comedy Encore, June 8, space-themed activities and cash bar from 6:30-8 p.m., show from 8-10 p.m., Space Foundation, - COURTESY SCIENCE RIOT
  • Courtesy Science riot
  • Science Riot Comedy Encore, June 8, space-themed activities and cash bar from 6:30-8 p.m., show from 8-10 p.m., Space Foundation,
It’s always nice to be part of an exclusive group. In this case, we’re one of only four cities in which Science Riot hosts their comedy workshops and stand-up routines — a unique brand of comedic education that takes scientists out of their labs and classrooms and puts them onstage. The key, and the point, of Science Riot is to take “binary introverts” who also happen to be experts in their field of study (be it biology, physics or even the humanities), and give them a crash course in comedy writing. The result? A 5- to 10-minute routine that ends up both educational and hilarious. “A TED talk, but funny,” the Science Riot website says. Tonight, attendees won’t just be seeing fresh-from-the-workshop performers, but those who have already cut their teeth onstage and earned themselves an encore. If you need more incentive to go, the event will be at the Space Foundation Discovery Center, where you can check out its rad exhibits, get some food at the Rocky Mountain BBQ Food Truck, and get a drink pre-show. Keep in mind, the event is 18-plus. Just because it’s educational doesn’t mean it’s for kids.
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Friday, June 1, 2018

Humming Line Gallery offers classroom space to east side art teachers

Posted By on Fri, Jun 1, 2018 at 8:59 AM

  • Courtesy Humming Line Gallery

Though options for creative engagement abound Downtown, it’s tougher to find classes (and classroom space) on the Northeast end of the city, where oftentimes corporate shopping centers overwhelm creative businesses.

Humming Line Gallery, 4851 Barnes Road, has nestled itself right off Austin Bluffs, providing a neat gallery space to an area in which many local artists live, even if they work and display their art closer to the city’s core or the west side. In addition to hosting the works of local artists (including the whimsical glass and wire creations of owner/founder Maxine Grossman), Humming Line has also been offering classes all year.

Grossman herself teaches crochet classes (with yarn and beads), as well as wire and beading jewelry classes— offering private and group sessions. One class option offers attendees the opportunity to decorate Grossman’s signature glass goddess forms.

And now Humming Line will open its doors to art teachers, as well as art students. The gallery has announced that it will offer its space for interested educators to host classes of their own.

Their space allows for up to 12 students, with limited storage available on-site if teachers should require it. It’s a solid location for artists in the Northeast to bring classes a little closer to home, rather than relying on the busy downtown corridor. And options aren’t limited to mess-less works. Humming Line’s Tom Grossman has taught airbrushing classes in the past, so all forms of art are welcome.

Those interested in renting the space can call the gallery, or email

Location Details Humming Line Gallery
4851 Barnes Road
Colorado Springs, CO
Art Gallery and Retail Store
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Sophia Hanna's first solo show illustrates freeing oneself

Posted By on Fri, Jun 1, 2018 at 1:00 AM

Ataraxia: A State of Freedom from Emotional Disturbance and Anxiety, Opening reception, June 2, 4-7 p.m., on display through July 2, Colorado Coffee Merchants, - SOPHIA HANNA
  • Sophia Hanna
  • Ataraxia: A State of Freedom from Emotional Disturbance and Anxiety, Opening reception, June 2, 4-7 p.m., on display through July 2, Colorado Coffee Merchants,
Artist Sophia Hanna created each unique oil painting in Ataraxia over the course of about four months — the last four months of her high school career, as she prepared for finals and graduation, only six months after learning how to work in the medium. At 18 years old, Hanna’s love of artwork has manifested in a surprising and promising amount of success for someone so young, with some of her works appearing at local galleries such as The Modbo and Cottonwood Center for the Arts. Now, she presents her first solo show, an exhibition that attempts to illustrate the human experience in regard to freeing oneself from anxiety and embarking on a journey of personal growth, a relevant theme for Hanna. In her artist statement she says: “This show is about pushing myself so far out of my comfort zone I couldn’t possibly go back.”
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