Theater

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Stage, silent film, solid metaphors and more recommended events this week

Posted By on Wed, Feb 14, 2018 at 1:00 AM

15 Thursday

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The Totalitarians
Politics are scary these days, no doubt about it, but sometimes it’s easiest to take the power out of something by laughing at it. This dark comedy by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb follows a candidate for Nebraska state office, her charismatic speech-writer, and the rippling effects of her dirty campaign. Washingtonian.com says this is “the kind of hilarious but unsettling show in which a character gurgling on his own blood while he’s trying to make a speech gets huge laughs from the audience.” Thursdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m., and Sundays, 4 p.m., through March 4, Springs Ensemble Theatre, 1903 Cache La Poudre St., $10-$15, springsensembletheatre.org.

16 Friday

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Silent Film Soirée: Roaring ’20s Costume Party & Kids Night Out
Enjoy a screening of the 1928 classic The Cameraman, starring Buster Keaton and Springs-born Marceline Day, with live musical accompaniment by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra. Far from just a screening: The night includes drinks, dessert, a ‘20s-themed costume party, photobooth and more. While parents enjoy the party, kids can attend a screening of their own with crafts, activities and access to the Pioneers Museum’s children’s exhibit. Feb. 16, 6:45-9:30 p.m., Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum, 215 S. Tejon St., $10-$35, cspm.org.

16 Friday

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Solid Metaphor
Rick Berry, an expressionistic figure artist, got his start in Colorado Springs, working on comic books. He carries sci-fi and fantasy influences into his fine art, and continues to excel in the comic scene. Colorado-based Michael Dowling is a contemporary realist painter whose work includes beautiful and unsettling portraits. Exhibiting together, these artists join in contemplation of “the future of evolution or humanity and idea,” meaning an examination of the future of human experience. Big ideas, solid metaphors. Feb. 16, 5-8 p.m., on display through March 24, G44 Gallery, 1785 S. Eighth St., Suite A, galleryg44.com.

20 Tuesday

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Ailey II
The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater began with dancer Alvin Ailey and a group of young black modern dancers in 1958. Ailey II, founded in 1974, is now a world-renowned company in its own right, and presents young dance talent with work by emerging choreographers. The mission of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s education, outreach and performances is to build a cultural community that honors all ages, races and backgrounds. Feb. 20, 7:30 p.m., Ent Center for the Arts, 5225 N. Nevada Ave., $22-$75, uccspresents.org.


Find even more weekly listings in each Wednesday issue of the Indy, and submit your own events here.
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Friday, January 12, 2018

Ent Center for the Arts, UCCS' multi-venue, multi-purpose cultural center in pictures

Posted By on Fri, Jan 12, 2018 at 3:31 PM

GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell

On Tuesday, Jan. 16, the much-anticipated UCCS Ent Center for the Arts will officially open its doors to the public. The University of Colorado Colorado Springs has focused on every detail of this state-of-the-art, multi-purpose venue, from the ergonomics of new theater seats to the perfect Steinway piano to grace the recital hall.

We took a tour of the new space, exploring all the new opportunities that the center will provide for UCCS and the professional entities attached to it — TheatreWorks and the Galleries of Contemporary Art.

The building itself shines on its perch on North Nevada Avenue, a sweeping silver edifice, with Starr Kempf’s iconic kinetic sculptures spinning in the wind as we drive up.

Inside, floor-to-ceiling windows open up westward to a view of the mountains, with classy, modern furniture punctuating the otherwise white and silver lobby. Above our heads hangs the Ent Center’s permanent art installation, a piece by Benjamin Ball and Gaston Nogues (Ball-Nogues Studio). Its many threads drape in blues, purples and reds, a delicate and powerful addition to an already powerful space. And, believe it or not, that’s just the lobby.

Ball-Nogues Studio created this piece specifically for Ent Center for the Arts. - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • Ball-Nogues Studio created this piece specifically for Ent Center for the Arts.

With five major venues, plus music practice rooms, offices, rehearsal space, a café, dance studios, classrooms and more, the Ent Center for the Arts serves a variety of needs both for UCCS and the wider community, and I can admit we’re a little excited about it.

Michelle Winchell, marketing and PR representative for UCCS Presents, says: “There’s a lot of stakeholders [in this building], especially with all the shared spaces, because it’s not just these professional programs; it’s also the academic programs and community partners who will be renting the space.”

Teams and committees throughout the process took a variety of needs and perspectives into account. For instance, the size of the Shockley-Zalabak Theater (the largest Ent Center venue, with up to 792 seats) was decided based in part on a report by the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region, which indicated a community need for larger venues that weren’t quite the overwhelming size of the Pikes Peak Center (which boasts 2,000 seats). “People who used to rent a high school auditorium — they won’t be able to fill the Pikes Peak Center, but they might fill this space. It’s a lot nicer [than an auditorium], and it’s actually made for performing arts.”

The Shockley-Zalabak Theater - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • The Shockley-Zalabak Theater
In fact, every venue in the Ent Center has been made for the performing arts in one way or another. Acousticians worked in each of them, even GOCA’s new space (the Marie Walsh Sharpe Galleries of Contemporary Art), to ensure that the needs of all sizes and sorts of performances could be met. The attention to detail and customization is also evident in TheatreWorks’ new performance venue — the Dusty Loo Bon Vivant Theater.

Dusty Loo is marginally larger in size than its former location, and can now seat up to 300 people, but what’s truly exciting isn’t so much the capacity as the new opportunity to expand the quality and variety of performance. Not only does TheatreWorks now have high ceilings to encourage multi-level sets, but the late Murray Ross, founder of TheatreWorks, was adamant about installing a trap door, which the organization already plans to use in its upcoming production of Oklahoma! (opening Feb. 15).

The Dusty Loo Bon Vivant Theatre - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • The Dusty Loo Bon Vivant Theatre
Lynne Hastings, Artistic Producer of TheatreWorks, says that the technical aspects of the theater (including rolling gantries to assist in light and set work) are most exciting to her, and not just for the production possibilities. “Another thing I love with this whole space,” she says, “is that the students get the opportunity to work with state-of-the-art equipment. And everything’s the same in every theater... That gives them flexibility for all the programming going on here, and it gives the students a chance to work on these professional-level productions.”

Many of the behind-the-scenes amenities were designed with students in mind, as the Ent Center remains, at its core, an integral part of UCCS’ academics. A new dance studio, which Winchell calls “the beauty room” provides a gorgeous view of the mountains, a marked step above the converted loading dock currently used by dance students. Plus, the catwalk in the Shockley-Zalabak Theater feels stable underfoot, not nearly as frightening to walk on as this acrophobic expected.

During the tour, we happened to stumble upon artist Floyd Tunson, putting the finishing touches on an installation that will hang outside the Marie Walsh Sharpe GOCA for a year — his Haitian Dream Boats. GOCA artistic director Daisy McGowan says that the installation will “amplify” Tunson’s upcoming exhibit, Janus, which will open Feb. 1.

Floyd Tunson's Haitian Dream Boats - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • Floyd Tunson's Haitian Dream Boats
The gallery space itself boasts a variety of new goodies about which McGowan was happy to share her excitement. For one, the team was intentional about acoustics, which are a necessary consideration for a gallery that does so much multi-media art. In addition to that, GOCA can now take advantage of plywood-backed walls (to better hang artwork), customizable lighting, and museum-certified humidity control, which will enable them to exhibit artwork from collections that they may not have had the opportunity to exhibit before.

Taking it all in, the Ent Center exudes “possibility” — possibility for more dynamic performances, better-sounding concerts, more artwork, more customization, more community collaboration and more collaboration between UCCS departments. While UCCS has fared well within its spaces before, including notable exhibits at GOCA and award-winning shows at TheatreWorks, the freedom provided by this extensive, specialized and customized space will provide a wealth of new opportunities, and we are excited to see what they do with them.

As TheatreWorks’ Lynne Hastings says: “There’s no boundaries anymore.”

See below for more photos from our tour.


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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Open mics, opening receptions and more events to keep you busy this week

Posted By on Wed, Dec 6, 2017 at 1:00 AM

7 Thursday

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Annie
Winner of seven Tony Awards, Annie stands as one of the most iconic musicals of all time,
suitable and generally enjoyable for all ages. The musical was originally based on the daily comic strip Little Orphan Annie by Harold Gray, which ran (with varying levels of success) between 1924 and 2010. If you need another reason to go, you should know that Annie’s dog will be played onstage by a foster pup from the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region, a graduate of the organization’s “wallflower program” to socialize shy dogs. Thursdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m., select Saturday and Sunday matinées, 2 p.m., and other select dates through Jan. 7, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College, 30 W. Dale St., $20-$45, csfineartscenter.org.

8 Friday

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Mi Barrio
Brandon A. Miera, aka BAM, is a local artist best known for his movie and rock music posters. This is Miera’s first show with his 16-year-old son Rodan “Read” Miera, who follows in his old man’s rock ’n’ roll footsteps with unique graffiti art. Opening reception includes refreshments and live music by DJ Gravity, plus plenty of art for sale and a meet-and-greet with the Mieras. Opening reception, Dec. 8, 6-10 p.m., on display through Jan. 5, Art 111, 111 E. Bijou St., facebook.com/Art111ColoradoSprings.


9 Saturday

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Holiday Party & Ornament Auction
This inaugural event, hosted by Cottonwood and the Colorado chapter of AIGA, the professional association for design, supports local artists and crafters. Each ornament in this juried silent auction was created and donated by a local artist, and proceeds from the auction will help fund
Cottonwood’s 2018 events. More than an auction, this is a full-on party: look forward to live music, giveaways, food and more. Dec. 9, 4-8 p.m., Cottonwood Center for the Arts, 427 E. Colorado Ave., $15-$20, cottonwoodcenterforthearts.com.


11 Monday

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Hear, Here! Speaking of Faith Open Mic
Poets, musicians and storytellers are welcome to share their interfaith work, anything that addresses the concept of faith or spirituality. This marks another of Hear, Here!’s themed open mics, which have included opportunities for queer, black and differently abled folks to share their work. Hear, Here! is participating in this year’s Give! campaign, hoping to support their youth and adult slam poetry teams. Dec. 11, 7-10 p.m., donations accepted,
Wild Goose Meeting House, 401 N. Tejon St.,
hearherepoetry.org.


Find even more weekly listings in each Wednesday issue of the Indy, and submit your own events here.
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Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Celebrate, listen, learn and play with these local events

Posted By on Wed, Nov 8, 2017 at 8:30 AM

8 Wednesday

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Front Range Barbeque 17th Birthday Bash
Tonight, celebrate some excellent barbecue, consistent and consistently fantastic live music from blues to bluegrass, and a 17-year-old staple of Old Colorado City. Enjoy a firkin of Left Hand Brewing Co. beer, plus specials on tap: Extrovert IPA, Fade to Black Export Stout and Sawtooth Ale. Live music will be provided by Woodshed Red, and you can look forward to great food and friends, and a ticket giveaway for Longmont’s Nitro Fest. Nov. 8, 6-10 p.m., Front Range Barbeque, 2330 W. Colorado Ave., frbbq.com.

8 Wednesday

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Connecting Things with Chef Brother Luck
The Connecting Things series promises: “the ideas, collaborations and knowledge that make us creatives and doers great.” Tonight, hear from Chef Brother Luck, owner of Four by Brother Luck, who has made a name for himself on the Food Network by participating in Chopped and Top Chef, as well as rising to the challenge in Beat Bobby Flay. Our Indy food writers will tell you he knows a lot about his presentation's topic: “Creating Boldly and Risking.” Nov. 8, 6-7 p.m., Welcome Fellow, 616 N. Tejon St., connectingthings.co.

10 Friday

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Blackademics
Written by Colorado College professor/playwright/poet/renaissance man Idris Goodwin, and directed by local stage designer extraordinaire Roy Ballard. In this play, two African-American academic women “vie for a seat at the table” at an exclusive café (with only one table), but their banter turns into an all-out battle. Blackademics sets up an absurdist and intelligent commentary on “post-racial America.”
Fridays-Sundays, 8 p.m., through Nov. 19, UCCS Osborne Theater, 3955 Regent Circle, $5, free for students, uccs.edu.

10 Friday

COURTESY ORMAO DANCE COMPANY
  • Courtesy Ormao Dance Company
Fall Salon Showings
Ormao Dance Company is a perennial winner of the Indy’s annual Best Of in the “Best Dance Company” category. At tonight's performance, enjoy original choreography by New Yorkers Loni Landon and Alex Betka; Virginia native Ila Conoley Paladino; and Ormao founder/artistic director Janet Johnson. Founded 27 years ago, Ormao hasn’t slowed down: Keep an eye on their social media for unique classes and performances. Nov. 10-11, 7 p.m., Nov. 11, 4 p.m. and Nov. 12, 2 p.m., Ormao Dance Company, 10 S. Spruce St., $10-$20, ormaodance.org.

11 Saturday

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  • Shutterstock.com
GameCon IX
Proof teachers can be just as nerdy as their students — public school teachers offer this tabletop gaming convention to kids and teens bi-annually. Expect Dungeons and Dragons, Magic: The Gathering, Yu Gi Oh! and more traditional games such as chess, if monsters aren’t your thing. Also enjoy vendors, professional cosplayers, comic book artists and other special guests, plus 400-500 excited youth. Nov. 11, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Rampart High School, 8250 Lexington Drive, $10, gamebewithyou.org.



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