Wednesday, July 10, 2019

The Laramie Project at Springs Ensemble Theatre, plus more events to attend this week

Posted By on Wed, Jul 10, 2019 at 12:00 AM

  • Courtesy SET

The Laramie Project

Thursdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m., Sundays, 2 p.m., no show on July 14, Springs Ensemble Theatre, 1903 Cache La Poudre St., $15,

‘Look, I do think that, um, the media actually made people accountable. Because they made people think. Because people were sitting in their homes, like watching TV and listening to CNN and watching Dan Rather and going, ‘Jesus Christ, well, that’s not how it is here.’ Well, how is it here?”

In 1998, a young man named Matthew Shepard was beaten and left for dead, tied to a fencepost in rural Laramie, Wyoming. It was one of the first homophobic hate crimes to really make waves in the U.S., to wake people up to the kinds of attacks that were happening to LGBTQ people in their own backyards.

Maybe so much attention focused on this crime because Matthew was only 21, a handsome kid with his whole life ahead of him. Maybe it was because his parents became activists and refused to let the story die. Whatever the reasons, Matthew’s murder started a national conversation, and much of it focused on Laramie and communities like it.

The above quote comes from a character named Tiffany Edwards in The Laramie Project, a docudrama created by Moisés Kaufman and the Tectonic Theater Project out of New York City. Her voice as a local reporter, and the voices of more than 50 other Laramie residents, come together in a powerful piece of theater that seeks to paint a portrait of a town.

It’s a town where something terrible happened, but does that make its residents terrible? Do these people feel responsibility for Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson, the two of their own who committed the crime? After conducting hundreds of interviews, the Tectonic Theater Project answers these questions, and attempts to answer the question posed by Tiffany Edwards: “Well, how is it here?”

Since its premiere in 2000, The Laramie Project has been produced in hundreds of communities of all sizes and political and religious sensibilities, both in the U.S. and internationally. It has drawn protests and controversy, but mostly it has helped share the story not only of Matthew Shepard himself, but of the place where he died.

Produced locally by the ever-thoughtful Springs Ensemble Theatre, The Laramie Project features eight powerhouse actors playing more than 50 roles. Join them for opening night, an official part of Colorado Springs PrideFest, or stick around for talkbacks on July 13 and 21.
If you’d rather reflect on Shepard’s death on your own, it may be worth asking yourself and your community that poignant question: How is it here, really?

7th Annual Tour de SRAM

July 11, 5-8 p.m., SRAM, 980 Elkton Drive, $10-$200,

Last year, SRAM Colorado Springs, a bicycle component manufacturer, raised more than $11,000 for World Bicycle Relief through a fundraiser that has become a favorite community event. The annual Tour de SRAM is part street festival (with food trucks, local beer, live music and more) and part exclusive tour of the SRAM facility — a must-see for bike nerds. Donations go toward providing bikes to folks in rural Africa, where easier transportation can make a world of difference.

Rich Wojdula Exhibit

Opening July 12, 5-8 p.m., on display through Aug. 17, G44 Gallery, 1785 S. Eighth Street, Suite A,

Colorado-based artist Rich Wojdula is a true renaissance man. For nearly 50 years, he has dabbled in and excelled at all manner of mediums, from drawing and painting to ceramics. He’s focused on his paintings to great success, channeling Abstract Expressionists to create works improvisational in execution and emotional in impact and expression. Catch a showcase of his recent neo-expressionist works at G44, and shake his hand at tonight’s opening reception.

  • Jasmine Dillavou


Opening July 13, 5-9 p.m., on display through Aug. 9, GOCA 121, 121 S. Tejon St., #100,

Some of our favorite local artists come together in this tour de force exhibition: Jasmine Dillavou, JD Sell and Su Kaiden Cho. Combining their unique styles to create a thoughtful installation, the artists have worked with the Galleries of Contemporary Art and Ephemera Dinners in what Dillavou calls “the mashup of the summer.” At tonight’s opening, enjoy a performance at 7 p.m. to activate the exhibit, but be sure to come back for some of the exhibit’s other special events. Ephemera will host a dinner with food pairings inspired by the artwork on July 22, and there will be artist talks and live music at August’s First Friday and the closing party on Aug. 9.

Colorado Springs PrideFest

July 13-14, parade on July 14 at 11 a.m., America the Beautiful Park, 126 Cimino Drive, $5,

We’ve been working up to it throughout Pride Month in June, and finally the time has arrived! Our local PrideFest brings the LGBTQ and allied community together for part party, part protest and part parade, with a whole festival full of folks who love and support you — exactly as you are. Check out drag performances by national stars like Jade Jolie and Pork Chop, plus live music, drag story time, vendors and more. Consult the website for other connected events and a full schedule of exciting entertainment. This year’s theme: Rise Up! Remembering 50 years of Stonewall.
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Wednesday, June 26, 2019

TheatreWorks stages Shakespeare's Measure for Measure, plus more events this week

Posted By on Wed, Jun 26, 2019 at 12:00 AM

  • Isaiah Downing

Measure for Measure

Wednesdays-Sundays, 7 p.m., through July 21, no show on July 4, Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site, 3105 Gateway Road, $20-$39.75,

While theatergoers may be comfortable with Shakespeare’s more well-known works (the Juliets, the Hamlets, the MacBeths, and so on), there’s a certain joy in discovering or rediscovering another of the Bard’s works — maybe one you didn’t read in sophomore English class. Artistic director of TheatreWorks, Caitlin Lowans, describes this year’s Shakespeare at the Ranch production as “a Shakespeare play where people are going and don’t always know the story. ... With Measure for Measure, there’s actually a degree of surprise and wanting to see how the story is going to unfold.”
And what a story it is. In true Shakespearean fashion, Measure for Measure features such beloved tropes as royalty in disguise, sudden betrothals and mistaken identities, and a cast of characters as complex as their problems. The story begins when the Duke of Vienna leaves a man named Angelo in charge of the city, which is suffering a bit of moral decay. Angelo, drunk on power, imprisons a man whose fiancee is pregnant, and tries to convince the man’s sister, a nun, to sleep with him in exchange for her brother’s freedom. But it’s not as black and white as it seems. “When you go through the story,” Lowans says, “the play doesn’t have a villain. It has a bunch of people making really poor decisions on the best available information, and that’s what life is.”
But while the play deals with heavy themes, it is not exactly what one might consider a tragedy. “[It is] so much more funny than anyone knows, than we even do a good job of telling people about. It’s a very funny show. But it’s a very funny show about very big, serious stuff,” Lowans says.
The play runs through July 21, but be sure to check out the informal scholar chats before Thursday evening performances, plus post-show conversations with the cast on Sundays. Before the show on June 30, TheatreWorks will host a special discussion about ethics, leadership and gender in Measure for Measure, with Dr. Michael Kim of Colorado
College and Dr. Patrick Yarnell of UCCS.

Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Fan Fest

June 28, 5-10 p.m., Downtown Colorado Springs, free,

Whether or not you’re a fan of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (and why wouldn’t you be, with some of the coolest cars in existence tackling the peak at breakneck speeds?) you should definitely be a fan of the Hill Climb’s Fan Fest. More than 30,000 people pack the streets of downtown each year to enjoy vendors, food, entertainment and — most exciting — live stunts performed by the Red Bull Motorcycle Jumpers.

Throw Down Axe Festival

June 28-30, Bad Axe Throwing, 3506-3536 N. Academy Blvd., free,

I mean, there are weirder hobbies out there than axe throwing, an activity that has taken the Springs by storm since Bad Axe Throwing opened up its doors on Academy Boulevard in 2018. If you want to watch some of the best axe throwers in the nation line up to compete, if you want to try your hand at hitting the target, if you want to drink beer and embrace your inner lumberjack, you’ll want to pop by Bad Axe Throwing for this free-to-attend inaugural festival.

  • Chad Orr

TheatreGasm: 'Murica

June 28-29, 9 p.m. and June 30, 4 p.m., Zodiac Venue and Bar, 230 Pueblo Ave., $10,

For 11 years now, local company THEATREdART has been providing us with some of the most interesting theatrical experiences in Colorado Springs, including this annual showcase of short plays by local playwrights, TheatreGasm. This year’s theme is ‘Murica. Not “America,” but ‘Murica. How have these eight playwrights interpreted the distinction? We don’t know yet, either, but the show should enlighten us all.

Circus Foundry: Sonder

June 30, 7:30 p.m., Ent Center for the Arts, 5225 N. Nevada Ave., $25,

Denver-based Circus Foundry may be a new company, but they’ve already found a recipe for exciting performance art. Far more than your typical spectacle circus, Circus Foundry combines the talents and interests of all of its members, from acrobatics to music to theater. Their touring show, Sonder, is meant to be a thoughtful examination of human connection through movement, music and more.

  • Zach Wiegert
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Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Pikes Peak Suicide Prevention's annual art show, plus more of this week's featured events

Posted By on Wed, Jun 19, 2019 at 12:00 AM

  • Photo by Alissa Smith

Pikes Peak Suicide Prevention Art Show and Fundraiser

June 20, 6:30-9 p.m., Pikes Peak Market, 315 E. Pikes Peak Ave., $10-$15,

Kaihosha, a member of the teen advisory board of Pikes Peak Suicide Prevention (PPSP), says that teens like her and her peers often reach out for help, but adults seldom see it. “Usually what most adults believe is if you need help, you’ll ask for it,” she says. “And I think that’s what’s typical, is most people don’t ask with words.”

PPSP’s annual art show originated from this viewpoint years ago, when the teen board — many of whom were artistically inclined themselves — felt that sharing the artwork of struggling teens with the community might help people, especially adults, understand what they were going through on a visceral level. They found that art could speak for them when they couldn’t find the words to express their deeper emotions.

The art show has done double duty over the years, also drawing awareness to PPSP and the valuable work they do in a county with one of the highest suicide rates in the state. “I think it’s really just given us an opportunity to kind of bring the community together,” says executive director Marie McQuillan, “and kind of break down some of those barriers. ... People can talk about suicide, or they can come and kind of see what services are available.”

Having grown significantly from its roots, the art show showcases and sells not only the artwork of teens participating in PPSP’s programs, but also that of professional regional artists. McQuillan says painters, photographers, paper artists and more have been inspired by the teens’ stories, and have offered their art to support the cause. Plus, because art takes many forms, some teens will be performing songs or poetry at the fundraising event, sharing their experiences and their stories.

Proceeds from the art auction and any donations will benefit the organization’s ongoing child-, teen- and adult-focused programs, and help PPSP get to the point where they can expand services beyond their downtown location.

The teen board, composed of teens who have experiences with suicide either personally or within their family and friend groups, chose a theme for this year’s art show: “L;ve Your Story.”
Kaihosha explains the intention behind the title: “We want people to feel comfortable in their own skin, and to be able to just be like, strong with who they are. … There is an outcry for help from teens about suicide, and just like their mental health stance. And what we do is we really try to, you know, not only advocate, but create options and help.”

The World Series of Comedy Festival

June 19-22, 7-8:30 p.m. and June 21-22, 9:30-11 p.m., Loonees Comedy Corner, 1305 N. Academy Blvd., $15-$45,

For 10 years, a search for the country’s greatest comedians has consistently attracted and promoted some fine talent from far-flung corners. The World Series of Comedy includes weeklong qualifying events throughout the year at tons of satellite locations, including our very own Loonees Comedy Corner, which will be hosting its qualifying events starting tonight. Go cheer for your favorite regional comic in hopes that they will be among the lucky 101 to make it to the prestigious Main Event in September.

  • Via

Queer Movie Series

June 20, 6-8 p.m., The Gallery Below, 718B N. Weber St., free,

We love Pride Month, not only because of the main event, PrideFest, in July, but because throughout the month of June we get to enjoy tons of local LGBTQ-focused events — many of which are hosted by The Gallery Below. This proud gallery will not only showcase an exhibit of queer art throughout the month, but will also screen queer films nearly every Thursday through July 25. Tonight, enjoy lesbian comedy classic But I’m a Cheerleader, about a teenage girl who realizes she’s gay and gets sent to conversion camp. (It sounds bleak, but trust us, it’s gold.) See the gallery’s facebook page for a full list of films and dates.

Concrete Couch Learning Laboratory Launch

June 22, 5-9 p.m., Concrete Couch, 1100 S. Royer St., free,

In addition to its tireless work around the city — creating murals and public art, and fixing up public spaces — local community-building organization Concrete Couch has been nose-to-the-grindstone preparing its new property to house all of the organization’s extensive operations. Now, the Learning Laboratory is ready to launch, inviting folks to help celebrate with tours of the 5.67-acre property, live music, activities for families and much more. The event will culminate with Concrete Couch’s annual Lantern Parade, so you definitely don’t want to miss it.

OCC West Fest

June 23, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Bancroft Park, 2408 W. Colorado Ave., free,

Every neighborhood in Colorado Springs is proud of itself and its community, and rightfully so, and we love seeing these regions celebrate their unique cultures and identities. Take Old Colorado City, the epicenter of the Westside, where art galleries, restaurants and boutiques give the neighborhood a reputation for artistry and class. But with OCC West Fest, the neighborhood proves it can have some silly fun, too. Enjoy art and vendors, food and drink, a kids zone, magic show and live music today, all celebrating the Westside’s quirky and eccentric self.
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Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Color Theory explores math and visual at GOCA, plus more events this week

Posted By on Wed, Jun 12, 2019 at 12:00 AM

  • Camila Friedman-Gerlicz

Color Theory Reception and Gallery Talk

June 15, 2-5 p.m.; on display through July 27, Ent Center for the Arts, 5225 N. Nevada Ave.,

Daisy McGowan, executive director of UCCS’ Galleries of Contemporary Art, promises that GOCA curates its exhibits for the general public, not specialists. So even though the premise of Color Theory, GOCA’s newest exhibit, may be based on mathematical theory and science, its appeal is not only intellectual, but sensual. “First and foremost, it is a visually stunning exhibition that will really, you know, pull you in and have a lot to offer, without knowing the depth of the mathematical formulas,” McGowan says. But she adds that she hopes it opens viewers’ eyes to the kinship between math and art, between aesthetic beauty and the so-called hard sciences.

Each of the three Colorado-based artists featured in the exhibition, Clark Richert, Camila Friedman-Gerlicz and Andrew Huffman, had their own such awakening as they embarked on their artistic journeys. Clark Richert, a regionally and nationally influential artist and emeritus faculty with the Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design, grew up in a family of scientists and believed he would be a scientist as well. But McGowan says Richert’s experiences with Abstract Impressionism — plus inspiration from architect Buckminster Fuller and artist Mark Rothko — changed his outlook. Now he fuses the natural world with mathematics and color theory. “He’s really interested in symmetry and the quasi-crystal patterns that are found in nature,” McGowan says, “and then theoretical mathematics. And some of those theories are of his own making.”
GOCA presents a selection of his paintings and sculptures, as two retrospective exhibits of his work open: one at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver and one at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art.
  • Andrew Huffman

Another featured artist, Camila Friedman-Gerlicz, is also an accomplished mathematician in her own right. She has a master’s degree in theoretical mathematics, but didn’t want to spend her career in front of a blackboard. “So she went back to another interest of hers — ceramics — and going back to grad school for visual art, found an interest in fusing those two sides of her brain, so to speak,” McGowan says. Friedman-Gerlicz’s sculptural works all start with a mathematical formula — expressed both in color and structure. By introducing measured changes to those formulas, she creates a structure that is all at once planned and intuitive, and makes these formulas tangible for viewers.

The final artist featured in Color Theory, Andrew Huffman, considers his work to be more improvisational, even likening it to jazz. Even so, there are undeniable patterns in the way his works come together, and all are based on geometric forms. McGowan says he uses air and light as their own mediums, which will be evident in the installation piece he has designed specifically to complement the architecture of the Ent Center: Stair Projection. “It stair-steps down these blocks of string color,” McGowan says, “and as you move across it, it changes and morphs almost like a moiré pattern.”

If you’d like these experts to help explain the mathematical and scientific inspiration behind what they do, join GOCA for a gallery chat and reception on June 15.

Clue: The Movie Shadowcast

June 14-16, 7:30 p.m., $15, $50/VIP, The Cellar at the Carter Payne, 320 S. Weber St.,

The Antici-Pations Cast, a local troupe with a love of cult classic films, is known for their rousing Rocky Horror Picture Show performances, in which a shadowcast acts out the film as it plays on-screen behind them and audiences shout at the characters or throw props at each other. Earlier this year, the cast gave the Rocky Horror treatment to The Princess Bride. Now, they’ve taken on another cult film: Clue: The Movie. This Tim Curry classic is so funny it almost hurts, and Antici-Pations are going to make it even better.

Colorado Renaissance Festival Opening Day

Saturdays and Sundays through Aug. 4, Festival Grounds, 650 W. Perry Park Ave.,

You’re likely to spot a few centuries’ and a few dozen cultures’ worth of historical anachronisms as you stroll the Renaissance Festival grounds with your turkey leg in one hand and your beer in the other, but who cares when you’ve got live jousting tournaments, a petting zoo, hundreds of vendors, activities and games? Put aside any pretension to or semblance of historical accuracy, and enjoy this yearly tradition’s opening day — or visit any weekend through Aug. 4.

  • Courtesy Trails and Open Space Coalition

Starlight Spectacular

June 15, 9-11:45 p.m., Garden of the Gods, 1805 N. 30th St., free-$48,

Twenty-five years ago, a favorite local tradition began with a group of cyclists who “decided it would be awesome to get up in the middle of the night, ride bikes by starlight and watch the sunrise together.” That group grows each year, bringing serious cyclists, amateurs and families out to Garden of the Gods one summer night each year, with multiple routes, plentiful festivities and a culminating pancake breakfast. The Trails and Open Space Coalition encourages folks to get playful with their ride and their costumes, but if you should need some extra play, you’ll be happy to note that TOSC has promised more activities and more food options than ever before.

Women in STEM: Exploring and Equipping

8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Space Foundation, 4425 Arrowswest Drive, $25,

Part career fair, educational opportunity and inspirational gathering, this inaugural event hosted by the Zonta Club of the Pikes Peak Region should be just what our community needs. Colorado Springs is rich with opportunities in STEM careers, but these fields need more women at the helm. Hear from keynote speaker, engineer Jill Tietjen, browse booths and inspire women to pursue the fastest-growing career paths in the world.
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Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Jozalyn Sharp brings sharp comedy to the Loonees, plus other events this week

Posted By on Wed, Jun 5, 2019 at 12:00 AM

  • George White

Jozalyn Sharp

June 7-8, 7 and 9:30 p.m., Loonees Comedy Corner, 1305 N. Academy Blvd., $8,

It’s not an easy world for women in comedy. Between pervasive harassment and a systemic lack of faith and support, making a career in stand-up can wear down even the toughest. Jozalyn Sharp, however, is made of steel. Not only does she challenge what it means to be a woman in comedy, but she challenges societal perceptions of what women should be on the baseline. Her stand-up covers topics from sex and relationships to body image and physical struggles, and she presents it all with shameless vulgarity and unapologetic verve.

In a recent blog post, Sharp writes: “My whole life people have had issues with my confidence. As a living, breathing reflection of the traits of humanity deemed less than by them, I think I scare them. What secrets of life have I unlocked? A fat woman, truly happy?! What sorcery is this?!”

But she proves that no matter our sizes or shapes, women can make it in whatever field they want to pursue, and they can do it while being wholly themselves — whatever that self looks or acts like. Not to say of course that she has not experienced struggles, but in the face of all the men who refuse to acknowledge her sexuality and her ownership of her own body, Sharp has gone on to perform at multiple national comedy festivals, headline the Filth Factory in Las Vegas every month, and co-host two podcasts: Metalsucks and Rise To Offend.

So, yes, she plans to be successful no matter what anyone else has to say about it.
“This IS about loving myself,” Jozalyn writes. “Because that voice in my head saying ‘don’t post another picture of yourself’ is the same one who told me for years ‘no one will love you unless you lose weight.’ I’m really not interested in letting that voice win anymore.”

  • via

Lunafest 2019

June 6, 5-10 p.m., Tim Gill Center for Public Media, 315 E. Costilla St., $12-$15,

For nearly 20 years, Luna (the company that makes those probably-healthier-than-a-brownie energy bars) has been putting its money to good use, collecting short films by women filmmakers and presenting them in an annual festival: Lunafest. Available to any venue that wants to support local women’s causes, Lunafest brings attention to the voices we don’t often, if ever, hear in media. Hosted locally by the Independent Film Society of Colorado, and supporting local domestic and sexual violence prevention organization TESSA, this year’s Lunafest includes eight shorts from diverse filmmakers. Flip the Record follows a Filipino-American teen who discovers her calling in the 1980s; War Paint explores the intersection of racism and sexism from the perspective of a young black girl in L.A.; Are We Good Parents? provides a window into a family home, where otherwise supportive parents have to question their preconceptions about their daughter’s sexuality; and there are plenty more. Each film should prove insightful and interesting. Plus, your admission goes to a great cause.

Boulder Street Gallery Artists’ Farewell Show

Opening reception June 7, 5-8 p.m., on display through June 30, Boulder Street Gallery, 206 N. Tejon St.,

It’s the end of an era for the nearly 30 locals who call themselves the Boulder Street Gallery Artists. For decades, the Boulder Street Gallery has provided a home for these painters, photographers, woodworkers and more, but now as the owners plan to move away and sell the building, the artists will disband and find new homes, new places to showcase their work. While none of them plan to stop making art, this will be their final show together, and their final First Friday celebration. They don’t know what the space will become once it’s sold, or where the majority of them will end up, but for now you can enjoy everything the Boulder Street Gallery Artists have to offer right downtown. This month’s featured artists: Myra Patin and Michael Malta, with guest artist Joni Ware.

  • Myra Patin

MACnificent 2019: Mac ’n’ Cheesy

June 7, 6-10 p.m., Manitou Art Center, 513 Manitou Ave., $25-$35,

It might sound cheesy, but we love the Manitou Art Center, which has been a bastion of local artwork for so long that we can’t envision Manitou without it. Its annual fundraiser and celebration, MACnificent, promises to be bigger and better than ever this year, with live music by bluegrass band WireWood Station, a mac ‘n’ cheese bar provided by Adam’s Mountain Café, tours of the MAC’s makerspace and much more. Bonus: If you dare to dress up as the king or queen of cheese (Kenny Rogers or Dolly Parton), you can enter a costume contest to win a $25 MAC gift certificate.

Feast of Saint Arnold

June 8, noon to 4:30 p.m., Chapel of Our Savior Episcopal Parish in The Broadmoor, 8 Fourth St., $40,

The patron saint of hops and brewers, Saint Arnold, must be smiling down on this annual local event, ‘cause it proves to be more fun and more extensive every year. If you want to enjoy beer from some of the best craft breweries around, learn about brewing traditions, listen to live music and take in awesome local food — and still bring your kids to a fun family festival — this is your event. With more than 30 beverage vendors offering beer and spirits, plus tons of activities for families and adults, you can easily spend the whole 4½ hours wandering the booths and getting toasted in honor of the saint himself. Just make sure you get a designated driver set up if you’re planning to sample all 30. Proceeds support Westside CARES.
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Wednesday, May 29, 2019

America the Beautiful Chorus presents special spring concert, plus more featured events

Posted By on Wed, May 29, 2019 at 12:00 AM

  • Courtesy America the Beautiful Chorus

America the Beautiful Chorus: A Good Day

June 1, 2 and 7 p.m., Sunrise Church, 2655 Briargate Blvd., $10-$15,

As the first song on the program for America the Beautiful Chorus’ upcoming concert, the gospel standard “It’s a Good Day” promises to set a tone: “Stop stressing over all the past problems that you’ve had. / Take the time, now get up, you’ll find the good outweighs the bad. / It’s a good day, it’s a good day.” America the Beautiful Chorus, a 73-year-old, Colorado Springs-based, 30-plus voice men’s barbershop ensemble, took that lyric for the title of their spring show because, yes, it is going to be a very good day.

While America the Beautiful Chorus presents two big shows a year, they’re out to make this one feel special for a number of reasons. For one, A Good Day will acknowledge a population that’s incredibly important to its members: U.S. military veterans. Chorus director Jim Clark says the run-up to the 75th anniversary of D-Day seemed an appropriate time to reach out to the veterans of Colorado Springs. “We have a huge number of our guys in the chorus who have served in one branch of the service or another, so it’s always an easy, easy sell to say, ‘Hey guys, let’s do something patriotic,’” says Clark.

Within an incredibly eclectic program of contemporary and classic songs, the chorus will perform an armed forces medley, meant to acknowledge the vets in the audience, and the vets in their own ranks.

One of these vets, Pete Tyree, 92, is a lifelong singer of barbershop music, and was in training to deploy as World War II reached its end. He will be receiving some special recognition in honor of another important anniversary. In the ’50s, Tyree was the baritone singer of a widely lauded barbershop quartet, The Orphans, which won a gold medal for their performance in an international competition in 1954. Sixty-five years after winning that medal, Tyree still has a passion for the art of barbershop, contributing his seasoned vocals to a group he’s been a part of now for decades.

The concert will also include a feature performance by Southern California barbershop quartet The Newfangled Four, currently ranked sixth internationally by the Barbershop Harmony Society. Between their high-energy performance and the surprises in store from ATB, it should be a special show indeed.

“It just felt like, in this particular time of our lives, in this particular point in history where there seems to be a lot of turmoil, it’s a good thing to give people a respite from that,” says Jim Clark. “So if they get a couple hours where we can take their burden off their shoulders and give them something positive to latch onto, and little breather from our ongoing toil that we have — [A Good Day] seemed like the perfect title for the show.”

  • Kemper Simpich

Simpich Showcase 10th Anniversary Celebration

May 31-June 2, Simpich Showcase, 2413 W. Colorado Ave., $12-$22,

It’s heartwarming to witness families carrying on traditions, and even more so when those traditions benefit and entertain the whole community. At Simpich Showcase, where three generations of artists have come together, puppeteer David Simpich has carried on his parents’ successful doll-making enterprise for 10 years, while creating and presenting marionette shows. Now, with a reenvisioned art gallery that also displays the work of Simpich grandson Kemper (a photographer) and Simpich patriarch Bob (a painter), this showroom/store/museum/theater has more to offer than ever. Help the family celebrate their anniversary and enjoy discounts, signings, giveaways and special performances of Simpich’s show, The Hans Christian Andersen Storybook.

Southern Colorado Kids Fun Fest

June 1, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Acacia Park, 115 E. Platte Ave., free,

While your kids probably don’t need much help getting pumped for summer, you might need some help tiring them out before their long break gets going. Luckily, Southern Colorado Kids Fun Fest, co-sponsored by Smokebrush Foundation for the Arts and Rocky Mountain PBS KIDS, should provide a day of solid family fun to kick their summer off right. Cruise more than 40 vendor booths, enjoy face painting, live entertainment and more, and encourage your kids to dress in costume for a parade around the Uncle Wilber fountain. Smokebrush will be unveiling a newly painted addition to the Uncle Wilber sculpture, so be sure to check it out — Just bring your swimsuit if you plan to get close.

  • Richard Gill

Cirque du Monument

June 1, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., downtown Monument, free,

Thank goodness the sun has decided to grace us with her presence just in time for outdoor festival season. Among the many annual and inaugural offerings this summer: Cirque du Monument promises a whole host of outdoor entertainment and activities. In addition to fabulous fest fare like cotton candy, bratwursts and popcorn, the cirque will offer live acrobatic performances by Aerial Aura, a local aerial dance company. You and the fam can also enjoy music by Sound Junction, a petting zoo and alpaca experience, balloon animals and way more.

Les Misérables

June 5-9, times vary, Pikes Peak Center, 190 S. Cascade Ave., $64-$124,

Did you dream a dream of a beloved Broadway production coming to Colorado Springs? Do you hear the people singing classic show tunes from one of the most celebrated musicals of all time? Are you ready to look down from a balcony at the Pikes Peak Center onto a stage filled with professional triple threats bringing Victor Hugo’s incredible tale to life? American Theatre Guild’s touring Broadway productions continue with one of our all-time faves, and you won’t want to miss it.
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Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Funky Little Theater Company presents August: Osage County, plus more of this week's events

Posted By on Wed, May 22, 2019 at 12:00 AM

  • LaRell Herbert

August: Osage County

Thursdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m., through June 1, Funky Little Theater Company, 1367 Pecan St., $15-$19,

When it comes to a beloved play like August: Osage County by Tracy Letts, each production must not only honor, but bolster the Pulitzer Prize-winning script. Actors must come across as genuine and heartfelt, whether delivering the play’s moments of tension-snapping laughter, or throwing themselves into the depths of its drama.

And there is plenty of drama. The dysfunctional Oklahoma family at the center of the action deals with everything from addiction to divorce to suicide to cancer to incest, and at its best it feels like the worst family reunion you’ve never attended. Only in this play, it’s the disappearance of the family’s patriarch that brings everyone together, rather than any desire to spend time in each other’s company.

On Funky Little Theater’s stage, the family home comes to brilliant life with a set I knew was designed by Roy Ballard before I even looked at the crew list. It accomplishes what Ballard’s sets do best: making a small space appear extensive. But even so, when the family starts flooding in — a cast that gets larger with each passing scene until the big family dinner — it feels appropriately claustrophobic and crowded, uncomfortable.

The cast contributes beautifully to that sense of discomfort, bringing these people to life with consistent physical mannerisms and deeply intentional expressions, even when the audience’s focus falls on the other side of the stage. Cara Marshall (Ivy) appears first to the audience curled in on herself with nervous tension, and she carries that tension in her shoulders nearly the entire play. Elisabeth Sells plays 14-year-old Jean with startling authenticity and awkwardness, immediately endearing her to the audience. Then there’s Elizabeth Kahn as Barbara, who has to sustain a level of rage throughout most of the play that would do a number on most actors, but somehow she keeps that fire stoked.

While the rest of the cast performs admirably as well, Karen Anderson as matriarch Violet undoubtedly steals the show. There’s something deeply unsettling about the realism of Violet’s drug-induced ramblings, and how recognizable her addiction is to those of us who have seen it in our loved ones. One of the most powerful moments of the play: Violet sits at the center of the family dinner table (reminiscent of Jesus in “The Last Supper”), smoking a cigarette and verbally attacking her children. The visual drives home the power Violet holds over her family. Kudos to director Chris Medina there.

Ultimately, the Funky cast and crew do a service to August: Osage County; it’s well worth taking the time to be inspired by it.


Wednesdays-Sundays, times vary, through June 16, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College, 30 W. Dale St., tickets start at $20,

The art of the circus, it turns out, has deep roots at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. In researching the FAC’s history for the institution’s 100th anniversary this year, FAC staff discovered photos and articles about circus-themed fundraisers hosted by the FAC in 1953 and 1954. These provocative events included acrobats and animal shows, clowns and more, filling up the center from top to bottom and raising both money and eyebrows. In honor of this heritage, and because it’s just a good damn show, the FAC’s award-winning theater company will be putting on Barnum, the 1980 musical about the founder of the famed Barnum & Bailey Circus. You’ll see authentic circus acts alongside some stellar musical numbers, and enjoy the spirit of the FAC’s legacy while you’re at it.

Fire and Ice Figure Skating Exhibition

  • Courtesy Broadmoor Skating Club

May 23, 6:15-8 p.m., Broadmoor World Arena, 3185 Venetucci Blvd., free,

Anything that sticks around 80-plus years has total permission to brag on its successes, and the Broadmoor Skating Club is no exception. As this group has collected coaches, figure skaters and choreographers from around the world, it has produced figure skating national champions since 1950, and some of its current members have brought further recognition to the group. Take Camden Pulkinen, who holds the world record for the junior men’s short program, or ice dance pair Karina Manta and Joseph Johnson, who consistently make it to the U.S. Championships. Tonight’s exhibition will feature members of the Broadmoor Skating Club, plus a lineup of other skaters who are currently training at the World Arena.


Fridays-Saturdays, 7-9 p.m., and Sundays, 3-5 p.m., through June 2, Rialto Theater, 209 W. Main St., Florence, $10-$12,

Self-aware theater can make for incredibly fun theater, as the playwright knows exactly which tropes they’re walking into and can choose to subvert or embrace them, depending on the mood. Though Deathtrap, like its title suggests, is a murder thriller on paper, its total awareness of itself makes for a brilliantly funny dark comedy that wholly embraces all the shock and subterfuge that defines the genre. Deathtrap follows a struggling playwright who plots to kill his colleague and steal his sure-to-be-successful script, but there’s more than one scheme at play here. Check out the Rialto Players’ performance of this 1978 classic.

Ali Wong

May 26, 7-9 p.m., Pikes Peak Center, 190 S. Cascade Ave., $43.75-$80.25,

In the last five years, comedian Ali Wong has gone from relative anonymity to intense fame, partly due to her writing gig on the hit show Fresh Off the Boat and partly due to her two Netflix comedy specials: Baby Cobra and Hard Knock Wife, both of which were filmed when she was seven months pregnant. Wong brings a lot of physicality to her comedy — her often vulgar, painful-truth-telling comedy — and she’s well worth watching live. 
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Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Star Bar Players tackle social issues, and more events this week

Posted By on Wed, May 15, 2019 at 12:00 AM

  • Alissa Smith

The Cake

May 16-18, 7 p.m., and May 19, 4 p.m., The Cellar at Carter Payne, 320 S. Weber St., $12-$15,

In Colorado, we had a front-row seat to the unfolding drama of the Masterpiece Cakeshop court case, wherein Lakewood baker Jack Phillips refused to bake a cake for a same-sex couple’s wedding celebration back in 2012. Though Phillips won his case against the Colorado Civil Rights Commission in the U.S. Supreme Court, the underlying issue about whether bakers can refuse such commissions hasn’t been decided, and as a culture we’re still struggling with the balance between the two sides.

The Cake, a play by Bekah Brunstetter, draws on this and similar cases across the country, but adds a layer that allows the audience to delve deeper into the underlying issues of faith versus fair treatment. The story follows newly engaged lesbian couple Macy and Jen, who return to Jen’s North Carolina hometown to commission a wedding cake from an old family friend — a baker named Della who’s more than a little surprised to find out her little Jenny is marrying a woman.

“So in here, the people who are on the opposite sides of this issue are people who love each other,” says Beth Clements Mosley, director of Star Bar Players’ production of The Cake. “And so that gives them permission. It gives them a glue that sticks it together so that they can actually confront more about [the issue] than the guy who just sends them away from the shop.”
It’s a very human play, presenting vulnerability and stubbornness and tension on all sides of a complex issue of freedom and love, while maintaining a warm sense of humor that keeps it accessible. Della struggles with her faith, and intimacy in her own marriage. Jen struggles with two sides of herself: the woke liberal lesbian she is in New York City, and the religious Southern girl she was raised to be.

The cast includes a lineup of local rock stars, with Kala Roquemore and Cyndi Parr playing Macy and Jen, and Ellen Regina and Dylan Mosley bringing life to Della and her conservative husband Tim. Each plays their role with authenticity, regardless of what their own political beliefs may be. The goal is to let the audience decide what they believe.

“This is a beautifully balanced piece,” Clements Mosley says, “where they’re talking about this issue, which needs talking about right now, but also she [the playwright] has not weighted it in any given direction. ... It’s important to remember that, for the most part, people that we are so horrified by right now on either side ... most of them are not horrible beasts, and they sincerely are wrestling with these issues.”

The Cake is Star Bar’s first production as part of ARTx, a new arts collective presenting performance art in the cellar at the Carter Payne.

  • Sam Scott of Monument Photography

Pikes Peak Whittlers Woodcarving and Woodworking Show

May 18, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and May 19, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Colorado Springs Shrine Club, 6 S. 33rd St., $2-$3,

While the Pikes Peak Whittlers are active year-round, hosting monthly meetings for woodworkers and wood carvers passionate about their craft, this annual show and sale marks their biggest event of the year. More than 40 of PPW’s members will be packed into the Shrine Club, displaying their works, demonstrating their techniques, and offering insight into their art. Check out impressive carvings, furniture, ornaments and knickknacks and more, and vote for your favorite piece to win the PPW’s 2019 People’s Choice award.

Front Range Paranormal Society Meet and Greet

May 18, noon to 5 p.m., Pink Cadillac Boutique, 1635 W. Colorado Ave., free,

While we can’t confirm this ourselves, we have been informed by Facebook (a reliable source, to be sure) that Pink Cadillac Boutique in Old Colorado City is “the most haunted boutique in America.” By day, the store offers women’s clothes and accessories. By night, it comes alive with supposed paranormal activity such as disembodied screams and mysterious mists. The Front Range Paranormal Society has chosen this location for its upcoming meet and greet, where folks interested in paranormal investigation can check out their equipment and some of their evidence. There will be raffles and refreshments, but hopefully there will also be an opportunity to confirm this location’s paranormal reputation for yourself.

  • Alan Ray

ROLL Bike Art Festival

May 18, 5-8 p.m., Buffalo Lodge Bicycle Resort, 2 El Paso Blvd.,

Fifteen years after a group of bikers and artists (and biking artists and art-making bikers) came together to celebrate their passions, ROLL Bike Art Festival is still cycling on. Drop on by to check out this juried, national exhibit of bike-themed and -related artwork, take advantage of group rides and other activities, and enjoy the community that has sprung up around this 15-year tradition. The theme and title of the exhibition this year is BUFF*VELO EVOLUTION, encouraging contemplation on the evolution of the bike or the festival itself.

My Black Colorado Magazine Release Party

May 19, 2-7 p.m., The Social, 3506 N. Academy Blvd.,

In 2018, a group of passionate Coloradans got together to create a resource for the state’s black community. They compiled a massive directory of black-owned businesses, and shared relevant news and events with a growing community of readers. Now, two months after publishing their inaugural print issue, they’re celebrating the accomplishment in style with a party and award ceremony. You’ll find live performers like DJ Craftmatic and Talisa Caldwell, plus vendors, refreshments and plenty more. My Black Colorado will also be announcing the winners of its Golden Ticket People’s Choice Awards, which cover categories from arts and music to businesses and services to education.
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Thursday, April 11, 2019

Pikes Peak Gamers Board Game Convention is back, bigger and better

Posted By on Thu, Apr 11, 2019 at 1:00 AM

April 12, 5-11:45 p.m., April 13, 8 a.m. to 11:45 p.m., and April 14, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Manitou Springs City Hall, 606 Manitou Ave., $10-$45, - ANGELA SMITH
  • Angela Smith
  • April 12, 5-11:45 p.m., April 13, 8 a.m. to 11:45 p.m., and April 14, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Manitou Springs City Hall, 606 Manitou Ave., $10-$45,
In its second year, the Pikes Peak Gamers Board Game Convention looks to be even bigger and even better than last year’s exciting inaugural event. The gamers have collected a library of more than 800 board games that you can play at the convention or check out to take home overnight, and they’ll be hosting a flea market to buy, sell or trade; a whole gaggle of vendors; a silent auction and contest with proceeds benefiting local community- building nonprofit Concrete Couch; a nightly raffle; and so much more.
Sunday will be family day, but remember: Board games aren’t just for the kiddos. Go get your game on — you’ve got plenty of titles to choose from.
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Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Tarana Burke wants to build a world free of sexual assault with your help

Posted By on Wed, Apr 10, 2019 at 3:07 PM

7 p.m., UCCS Gallogly Event Center, 1420 Austin Bluffs Pkwy., $4, - LEV RADIN / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
  • lev radin /
  • 7 p.m., UCCS Gallogly Event Center, 1420 Austin Bluffs Pkwy., $4,
The #MeToo movement has changed our culture in an astonishingly short time. With those who have suffered sexual assault, harassment and abuse speaking out louder than they ever have, and the general public finally paying attention, media and politics have become more aware of women’s voices and the prevalence of sexual violence. This movement, though it has spread like wildfire past its origin, can be traced back to one woman: Tarana Burke, an activist out of New York City who was fed up with silence and decided that she needed to help survivors raise their voices.

Now, 13 years after Burke first wrote the words “Me Too” on a piece of paper that would become her action plan for raising awareness about the prevalence of sexual assault, she stands at the forefront of a pivotal moment in history. It’s an honor, then, that she will be here in Colorado Springs on April 16, speaking as UCCS’ 2019 Significant Speaker — during Sexual Assault Awareness Month, no less.

In a 2018 speech at TEDWomen, Burke confessed that in the face of the movement’s opposition, she had grown tired and, to use her word, “numb.” This was after the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court, after Burke witnessed the hateful rhetoric turned on his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford. It is natural for a movement to tire in the face of such a blow as Kavanaugh’s confirmation, but Burke spoke beautifully about what this numbness means to her: “Sometimes when you hear the world ‘numb,’ you think of a void,” she said. “An absence of feeling, or even an inability to feel. But that’s not always true. ... For me, numbness comes from looking in the faces of survivors and knowing everything to say, but having nothing left to give. It’s measuring the magnitude of this task ahead of you versus your own wavering fortitude. Numbness is not always the absence of feeling, sometimes it’s an accumulation of feelings.”
But for every abuser who has made it unscathed through credible accusations, including our own president, there are countless more people joining movements like this one every day, just waiting to turn the tide. Join Burke’s movement tonight as you listen to her speech, then join the Colorado Springs Feminists afterward for a social hour with food and drinks at Clyde’s Gastropub on the UCCS campus.

“Those who came before us didn’t win every fight,” Burke reminded her TEDWomen audience, “but they didn’t let it kill their vision… so I can’t stop, and I’m asking you not to stop either. We owe future generations a world free of sexual violence. I believe we can build that world. Do you?”
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Thursday, April 4, 2019

TVunscripted is far from your regularly scheduled programming

Posted By on Thu, Apr 4, 2019 at 1:00 AM

TVunscripted Live, 7:30-9:30 p.m., Funky Little Theater Company, 1367 Pecan St., $8-$10, - DANIELLE TRINA FINE ART PHOTOGRAPHY
  • Danielle Trina Fine Art Photography
  • TVunscripted Live, 7:30-9:30 p.m., Funky Little Theater Company, 1367 Pecan St., $8-$10,
Tired of all the remakes, reboots and re-imaginings you see at the movie theaters and on TV? Looking for something original? Well TVunscripted isn’t just an original show, but one that’s created on the spot with suggestions from the audience by seasoned comedians Ryder Tam and Gabe Valdez. In the longest long-form improv comedy you’re likely to find, Tam and Valdez will create an entire original narrative from top to bottom right before your eyes.
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Finding Our Voices marks 12 years with local showcase

Posted By on Thu, Apr 4, 2019 at 1:00 AM

Finding Our Voices Annual Art Show: A Bridge to Your Voice, First Friday opening, April 5, 5-8 p.m., FOV reception, April 13, 1-4 p.m., on display through April 30, Cottonwood Center for the Arts, 427 E. Colorado Ave., - KIM GRIFFIS
  • Kim Griffis
  • Finding Our Voices Annual Art Show: A Bridge to Your Voice, First Friday opening, April 5, 5-8 p.m., FOV reception, April 13, 1-4 p.m., on display through April 30, Cottonwood Center for the Arts, 427 E. Colorado Ave.,
Adult survivors of sexual abuse and assault seldom find the support they need. In fact, many cases of childhood sexual abuse in particular go unreported for 20 or more years, as the child grows up with lingering trauma. That’s why local organization Finding Our Voices has found its foothold here in the Springs, where it hosts art therapy workshops, retreats and, most notably, an annual art show for survivors and their allies. Held in honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, this show allows survivors to express long-hidden pain, to overcome long-held trauma, and to receive long-needed support from the community. Take a look at the art during Cottonwood’s First Friday reception, but come back on April 13 when FOV will host a showcase: Nyah Meister, Therese Martin, Monica Holcomb and Tracey Gatson performing poetry, Abigale Vaviades performing dance, and survivor artists speaking on behalf of the organization’s impact.
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Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Springs Dance Theatre, Peridance join forces for a must-see performance

Posted By on Wed, Apr 3, 2019 at 1:00 AM

Peridance Contemporary Dance Company, 7:30-9 p.m., Ent Center for the Arts, 5225 N. Nevada Ave., $30-$50, - ANJOLA TORO
  • Anjola Toro
  • Peridance Contemporary Dance Company, 7:30-9 p.m., Ent Center for the Arts, 5225 N. Nevada Ave., $30-$50,
Colorado Springs Dance Theatre always manages to attract some stellar talent to the Springs. This time: Peridance Contemporary Dance Company out of New York City, a 35-year-old organization dedicated to promoting dance performance and education. The company has partnered on this show with the Chamber Orchestra of the Springs, which makes this a must-see event for lovers of dance and music alike.
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20 years in, Wunderkind now serves a different purpose

Posted By on Wed, Apr 3, 2019 at 1:00 AM

Wunderkind 20th Anniversary Exhibit, Opening reception, April 5, 5-8 p.m., on display through May 12, Manitou Art Center, 513 Manitou Ave., - - RODAN ARTESE MIERA
  • Rodan Artese Miera
  • Wunderkind 20th Anniversary Exhibit, Opening reception, April 5, 5-8 p.m., on display through May 12, Manitou Art Center, 513 Manitou Ave.,
Of all the changes that the Manitou Art Center has undergone over the decades — rotating directors, an evolving mission, a new name, an expanded location and purpose — Executive Director Natalie Johnson points out that the annual Wunderkind exhibit has adapted to those changes for 20 years. “The idea that this show has survived all of that I think says a lot, too, about the importance of it. Because it’s very easy right? To drop something? And this has not been dropped.” In fact, Wunderkind has thrived.

Though the goal of the show has always been to collect and display a juried selection of artwork by Pikes Peak region high school juniors and seniors, the way in which the center has met that goal has changed significantly with the changing landscape of arts education. Originally, Wunderkind was established to teach young, aspiring artists how to put together a portfolio, how to secure letters of recommendation and prepare for a gallery show and — most importantly — to give them a window into the life of a professional creator.
Now, the project’s head organizer Michael Howell, who has spearheaded Wunderkind for seven years, says only 10 to 15 percent of the kids who enter the show actually want to pursue a career in the arts, and usually they receive that professional development in school; Wunderkind now serves a different purpose. “I decided to try and turn it over to the students as much as possible,” Howell says. “They didn’t have to be in an art class anymore. They could be any students. Any student making art could enter, and that really changed the tone of the show.”

Those who enter the show use it more as a venue of expression than a platform for career development, and the sincerity of their work shows. Howell says that once they opened up applications to all students, the work became edgier, often more personal and diverse. He instructed jurors to focus on content rather than skill — though the pieces in these shows undoubtedly show skill.
  • Rodan Artese Miera
“We don’t treat this as a high school show,” he says. “It’s in our finest gallery in the center. All the work has to be matted and framed, or somehow professionally presented. ... At opening night, you will see all these kids from different high schools talking to each other about the work. And they’ve never met these kids before. And they’re starting to realize there are a whole bunch of different kids out here that make art.”

He says the show proves eye-opening for the parents, too, who may not know the internal struggles their child is facing until they see those struggles in art. Conversations between parents and their children, between diverse students, between community members and educators, spring up around Wunderkind, and no one walks away from this show unaffected.

Dustin Booth, manager of the MAC, says: “Even if there are kids that aren’t interested in going into the art field, maybe they, you know, add a tool in their arsenal of dealing with being a human being. Having the ability to create art and to be able to express themselves and feel comfortable doing that — that’s a valuable thing to have in life.”
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Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Illusionists are anything but run-of-the-mill magicians

Posted By on Wed, Mar 20, 2019 at 9:34 AM

The Illusionists, March 26-27, 7:30 p.m., Pikes Peak Center, 190 S. Cascade Ave., $49.25-$70, - MAGICSPACE ENTERTAINMENT
  • MagicSpace Entertainment
  • The Illusionists, March 26-27, 7:30 p.m., Pikes Peak Center, 190 S. Cascade Ave., $49.25-$70,
You aren’t just signing on for run-of-the-mill rabbits in hats when you check out an Illusionists magic show. Nor should you go in expecting the empty flair that defines show-before-skill magicians like certain Las Vegas “mindfreaks.” No, the Illusionists are one of the premier touring magician companies in the U.S. for a reason — they really are the best at what they do. See daring stunts and escapes, card tricks that bend the mind, illusions that clone and slice and sever and burn practitioners, only for them to emerge whole and hale at the end. With six magicians presenting vastly divergent styles, any magic lover would be lucky to attend.
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