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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Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Dark comedy at Springs Ensemble theatre, more events this week

Posted By on Wed, May 8, 2019 at 1:19 PM

  • Courtesy Springs Ensemble Theatre

The Moors

Thursdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m., Sundays, 2 p.m., through May 26, Springs Ensemble Theatre, 1903 E. Cache La Poudre St., $10-$15,

Emory John Collinson, vice president of Springs Ensemble Theatre and director of The Moors, describes SET’s upcoming production as “Brontë sister fanfiction.” While that should be enough to convince you to get your ass over to SET sometime before the show closes on May 26, you might want to go in knowing a bit more about what this particular fanfiction looks like. For the record, it isn’t actually about the Brontë sisters, the famous trio of Romantic-era authors responsible for such titles as Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre. But it plays off plenty of tropes and conventions found in their lives and work.

“It starts out sort of light and funny and quirky,” Collinson says, “almost like a parlor piece of sorts, you know. And then it just sort of spirals out of control.”

The story follows two sisters in the year 18-something in England, living on the desolate, dreary and dank English moors. They have grand plans for themselves, ambitions of fame and fortune, and they rope their new governess into schemes that swiftly begin to unravel. Add onto this their not-so-faithful dog who weaves his own machinations with the help of a “hapless” moor hen, and you’re in for a weird, wonderful dark comedy. “From the maid to the matriarch — or even from the mastiff to the matriarch — you know, all the way up, they all want their own thing,” Collinson says.

While Collinson emphasizes that, no, it’s not “zany” or “crazy” or anything along those lines, he does warn that there may be a rock ballad somewhere in the middle of the show, and that the dog and the moor hen are both played by humans. (OK, you gotta admit, those elements do set a tone.) Of course The Moors isn’t all fun and games. Murder, class divides and sibling rivalry play into the story, but even these manage to be their own brand of hilarious. “I mean, even the dark stuff is funny,” Collinson says. “At SET especially, we do a lot of pieces that, like, teach you something about the world or make you think about the way you look at something. And this one is — this is fun. It’s just fun in a, you know, put-you-in-the-dark-and-let-you-forget-about-your-own-life-for-a-while [way].”

It should prove a refreshing continuation of SET’s 10th season, with founding member Jodi Papparoth starring as Huldey, local powerhouse Barbara Summerville playing Agatha, and performances by Holly Haverkorn, Ellie Hinkle, Madalyn Roberts and Nathaniel Bourne.

  • DynAerotech

Americana Spring Fling

May 10, noon to 11:45 p.m., May 11, 8 a.m. to 11:45 p.m., Pikes Peak International Raceway, 16650 Midway Ranch Road, #1, Fountain,

Get ready to hop back in time and enjoy a weekend of ‘50s-themed fun at Pikes Peak International Raceway. The annual Americana Spring Fling celebrates all the good parts of the ‘50s — namely the cars, music and aesthetic — with a jam-packed schedule of activities. Cruise the cruisers at a pre-’89 car show; zip around in go-karts; dance to music by Flash Cadillac, The Movers and Shakers and Beverly Belles; and even pull up for a drive-in movie, where they’ll be showing Grease on the big screen.

Mother’s Day Jewelry Trunk Show

10 a.m. to 6 p.m., May 11, Commonwheel Artists Co-op, 102 Cañon Ave., Manitou Springs,

Commonwheel Artists Co-op is home to many a Front Range artist, including some of the biggest names in the region. Among the many mediums and styles on display at the gallery, you’ll find handmade jewelry year-round — though not quite like you’ll find it today. At this trunk show, not only are you sure to see a wide array of jewelry styles, but you’ll also get to chat with the artists themselves about their processes and materials. Attach a story to your Mother’s Day gift this year.

2019 Great Bicycle Carnival

10 a.m. to 1 p.m., May 11, El Pomar Youth Bike Park, 901 E. Fountain Blvd., free,

It’s one of our favorite times of year, bike season, and that’s something all ages can celebrate. Kids on Bikes, a local nonprofit that aims to get kids active and enjoying the great outdoors, hosts this annual carnival to bring together all corners of the biking community and celebrate our favorite two-wheeled transportation. Enjoy group rides, 

TEDx Colorado Springs

11 a.m. to 5 p.m., May 12, Ent Center for the Arts, 5225 N. Nevada Ave., $73,

While “ideas worth sharing” might be a wide net, the tagline of TEDx Colorado Springs manages to collect all manner of speakers, from entrepreneurs to scientists to activists. If you’re a fan of the popular TED Talks series, or even if you’re just interested in the ideas being generated in Colorado, you’ll want to attend these presentations.

Spring SEXtival

12:15-3 p.m., May 14, CC’s Worner Campus Center, 902 N. Cascade Ave., free,

Let’s talk about sex. Often, loudly and clearly, let’s talk about sex! Let’s talk about how to stay healthy, how to have fun, how to take care of yourself and your partner or partners. Let’s share resources and ideas, get tested, reduce the stigma around discussing something society tells us to keep tucked away. Colorado College Wellness Resource Center’s Spring SEXtival aims to do all of the above. In partnership with Planned Parenthood, this festival will have live music, resources, free HIV testing, classic carnival games (but sexier) and way more.

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Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Event Horizon: El Cinco de Mayo Gala & Fiesta, more

Posted By on Wed, May 1, 2019 at 1:00 AM

A Colorado Springs tradition is slated to make its Southeast debut on May 4 and 5: The 36th annual El Cinco de Mayo Scholarship Awards Gala and the Cinco de Mayo All-ages Fiesta and Car Show. - DAVID KING VIA WIKIMEDIA
  • David King via Wikimedia
  • A Colorado Springs tradition is slated to make its Southeast debut on May 4 and 5: The 36th annual El Cinco de Mayo Scholarship Awards Gala and the Cinco de Mayo All-ages Fiesta and Car Show.

El Cinco de Mayo Gala & Fiesta

May 4, 5:30 p.m., dance at 8 p.m., Hotel Eleganté, 2886 S. Circle Drive, $75/gala, $30-$40/couple for the dance only; Fiesta: May 5, 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mission Trace, 3031 S. Academy Blvd., free,

A Colorado Springs tradition is slated to make its Southeast debut on May 4 and 5: The 36th annual El Cinco de Mayo Scholarship Awards Gala and the Cinco de Mayo All-ages Fiesta and Car Show.

“There’s something for everybody,” Benjamín Gallegos-Pardo, chair of the presenting committee, El Cinco de Mayo, Inc., says. “We don’t want to put any sort of … restrictions on this family-friendly event.”

El Cinco de Mayo commemorates Mexico’s victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. Perhaps surprisingly, it’s not considered a major holiday for most of our neighbors to the south. But here in the U.S., it is a day to celebrate the many cultural and social contributions of Mexican-American residents.

Let’s be honest here: With national debate over a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico and an American proclivity to, at least to some extent, misappropriate the holiday, there may be some misconceptions about El Cinco de Mayo. But there is much more to the Springs’ celebration, and the cultures it honors, than popular dialogue may suggest.

Gallegos-Pardo, 33, recalls going to the Colorado Springs fiesta as a young child. “It used to be a huge event,” he says. “I was going to these festivals since ’92, ’93, as a little kid, 6, 10, 12, 14 years old. It was one of the few cultural activities in the city that validated my Chicano side as a Mexican-American.”

The Saturday evening gala dinner includes a keynote address by Monikah Ogando, best-selling author and CEO of leadership development firm CEO Mastery, Inc. Following that, a social dance. This year the Southeast-based multi-agency RISE Coalition sponsored a $2,000 scholarship for one future collegian, but proceeds from both events will also support El Cinco’s scholarship efforts as they have for more than three decades.

Sunday’s free fiesta will bring with it a family-friendly hodgepodge of live music, food, performing arts, crafts, and information booths from area organizations and businesses. And that is to say nothing of the 100 or so cars of all types that will be on display for auto enthusiasts’ viewing.

“This is really a community effort,” Gallegos-Pardo says.

Mario Marchese offers a different kind of magic that you’re not going to find any old birthday party scarf-stuffer performing.
  • Mario Marchese offers a different kind of magic that you’re not going to find any old birthday party scarf-stuffer performing.
Mario Marchese: The Maker Magician

May 2-3, 7-8:15 p.m., Theatre of Dreams Arts & Events Center, 735 Park St., Castle Rock, $25-$30,

Sure, Mario Marchese may have been called “the best children’s magician in the world,” by magic superstar David Blaine (admittedly now disgraced), but if you’ve seen a Marchese show you’ll know that his family-friendly entertainment reaches adults just as effectively. Using homemade gadgets in his illusions, and ensuring he provides some solid slapstick laughs alongside mind-bending tricks, Marchese offers a different kind of magic that you’re not going to find any old birthday party scarf-stuffer performing.

Arts Alley’s two galleries, The Modbo and S.P.Q.R., have collected an impressive cadre of artists for their May exhibit. - SEAN O'MEALLIE
  • Sean O'Meallie
  • Arts Alley’s two galleries, The Modbo and S.P.Q.R., have collected an impressive cadre of artists for their May exhibit.

First Friday in Arts Alley

May 3, 5 p.m. to midnight, S.P.Q.R. and The Modbo, 15B and 15C Bijou St., free,,

Arts Alley’s two galleries, The Modbo and S.P.Q.R., have collected an impressive cadre of artists for their May exhibit. At The Modbo, Piece of Work features the artwork of some of the area’s most recognizable and renowned sculpture artists: Larry Kledzik, Wendy Mike, Sean O’Meallie, Daniel Romano and Phil Vallejo. Their pieces comment on everything from the current political landscape to the media, from the transformational nature of the human body to the similarities between “sausages and smiles.” (Can you guess that last one comes from master of playful artistic expression Sean O’Meallie?) It should be a superstar exhibit. 

Meanwhile, S.P.Q.R. next door will present the work of painter Lupita Carrasco in an exhibit titled Oremus — a Latin term that means “let us pray.” Carrasco’s work, usually in oil, presents a thoughtful and detailed exploration of the human experience. 

50 Shades of Gay: The Out Loud Men’s Chorus Spring Concert

May 3-4, 7:30-9 p.m., and May 4, 2-3:30 p.m., First Congregational Church, 20 E. St. Vrain St., $20,

On June 28, it will have been 50 years since the Stonewall uprising that ignited the modern movement for LGBTQ rights. That anniversary means a lot to LGBTQ people who to this day must protest, advocate and fight for rights that, after 50 years, we likely should have won by now. But The Out Loud Men’s Chorus doesn’t deal in despair. In fact, they’re presenting this concert in commemoration of Stonewall and every major leap forward since, inspiring hope as they tend to do. Song selections will take you back to 1969, and the sense of community you find in the audience and onstage will certainly embolden you in the present.

Kirsten Akens collected all that knowledge for the rest of us, and put it out in a book: 100 Things to Do in Colorado Springs Before You Die. - COURTESY KIRSTEN AKENS
  • Courtesy Kirsten Akens
  • Kirsten Akens collected all that knowledge for the rest of us, and put it out in a book: 100 Things to Do in Colorado Springs Before You Die.

Kirsten Akens Book Signing

May 3, 5:30-7 p.m., Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College, 30 W. Dale St., free,

Former Indy copy editor Kirsten Akens knows this city. She’s been a part of this community for 25 years, embedding herself in the culture of Colorado Springs and all it has to offer, from its food to its museums to its gorgeous great outdoors. Now, she’s collected all that knowledge for the rest of us, and put it out in a book: 100 Things to Do in Colorado Springs Before You Die. Hitting some mainstays like the Millibo Art Theatre, and delving into hidden gems like Story Coffee Company, Akens has put together a comprehensive guide to the Springs for tourists and locals alike. Get your book signed tonight at the FAC’s First Friday celebration, where you can enjoy all manner of other entertainment while you’re there.

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Thursday, April 18, 2019

Fin: A Going Away Party

Posted By on Thu, Apr 18, 2019 at 2:44 PM

This going-away party includes all the trappings: cake, refreshments and mingling. - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy Photo
  • This going-away party includes all the trappings: cake, refreshments and mingling.

6-8 p.m., April 22, Ent Center for the Arts, 5225 N. Nevada Ave., free,

We’ve all heard the undeniably depressing forecast for our beloved planet. Some say we have 10 years until the effects of climate change become irreversible. Some say we’re already too late.

No matter the timeline, local painter and UCCS instructor Marina Eckler recognizes that we should probably wish Earth “as we know it” goodbye. This going-away party includes all the trappings: cake, refreshments and mingling. Some may even stand to say a few words in memory of humanity.

While you wish goodbye to the Earth, check out GOCA’s current exhibit, the aptly titled
Time. As part of UCCS’ biennial Pollinate festival, Time includes work by UCCS visual art faculty members, speaking to the theme through various mediums.

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Millibo's second annual WTF showcases local female talent

Posted By on Thu, Apr 18, 2019 at 2:38 PM

Millibo Art Theatre’s Women’s Theatre Festival features five plays and one poem, all written by Colorado Women (with four from Colorado Springs). - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy Photo
  • Millibo Art Theatre’s Women’s Theatre Festival features five plays and one poem, all written by Colorado Women (with four from Colorado Springs).

Thursdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m., Sundays, 2 p.m., through April 28, Millibo Art Theatre, 1626 S. Tejon St., $18-$25,

With the right variety of profundity, comedy and drama, a night of one-act plays can feel like popcorn — an indulgent snack that you can’t quite seem to stop yourself from eating and miss terribly once you reach the bottom of the bucket.

The Millibo Art Theatre’s WTF #2, the second annual Women’s Theatre Festival, proves filling in so many unique ways. Featuring five plays and one poem, all written by Colorado Women (with four from Colorado Springs), WTF showcases plentiful local female talent.

The festival opened with roaring success on Open Concept, written and directed by Lisa Siebert and featuring knockout actresses Anna Faye Hunter and Jane Fromme. Hunter plays the neurotic housewife Cheryl, Fromme the enthusiastic realtor trying to sell Cheryl’s home, and the comedic energy between the two sparks from the second Fromme saunters through the front door. It’s no surprise my companion and I swooned over Hunter in this show — if Anna Faye Hunter shows up on the cast list, no matter the play, she will shine. We recall her roles in Accidental Death of an Anarchist and The Crucible, past plays at the Millibo, and if you’ll pardon the cliché: That kid is going places.

The festival’s biggest successes proved to be its bookends, as the other standout was the final play in the lineup: One Man’s Trash by Leslie C. Lewis, directed by Marisa Hebert, featuring Lynn Jacobs and Lynne Hastings. Providing meaningful commentary on art and perspective, on race and privilege, One Man’s Trash had so much to say, and managed to say it while making our opening night audience laugh like donkeys. Jacobs’ erratic mannerisms as an eccentric divorcee play off Hastings’ straight-man sobriety to great success, but both add dimension to their characters that keeps the play from feeling too heavy-handed, though certain parts of the script could have been more subtle.

Overall, the festival delighted. “Like a Living Breathing Janus,” the poem by Lara Gaydos, landed hard with effective, snapshot storytelling that provided a nice counterpoint to the night’s comedy. A Moderate Proposal, which offered commentary on the divisiveness of modern politics, started slow but revved up to total comedic success, and we found Positively Ridiculous and Nomads of Disaster/Listening to Chernobyl to be alternately silly and heartfelt in their own ways (obligatory kudos to Charlie Ammen and Jane Fromme for their Russian accents).

I regretted reaching the end of this particular bucket of popcorn, but should the Millibo continue to stage this annual festival, I’ve no doubt there are plenty more treats to be had.

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Motorless morning, Earth Day Celebration set for Saturday at Garden of the Gods

Posted By on Thu, Apr 18, 2019 at 1:38 PM


Motorless morning from 5 a.m. to noon; Earth Day Celebration from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Garden of the Gods, 1805 N. 30th St.,

There’s nothing better than an early morning jaunt in Garden of the Gods, whether you prefer biking, hiking or climbing around our region’s famous red rocks. Well, OK, there is one thing that’s better. Try enjoying the natural splendor without a single car engine rumbling through the quiet and disturbing the peace. Garden of the Gods will close itself to vehicular traffic, allowing park attendees to enjoy the natural world. During or after your morning outing you can celebrate that world by heading to the visitor center’s Earth Day celebration, which includes interactive activities, live animals, vendor booths and more. Take advantage of free admission to Rock Ledge Ranch, too.

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Improv Colorado, arts collective aim to fill Carter Payne with excitement

Posted By on Thu, Apr 18, 2019 at 1:26 PM

Improv Colorado specializes in short-form improv comedy, and they keep it family-friendly so all ages can comfortably attend. - IMPROV COLORADO FACEBOOK
  • Improv Colorado Facebook
  • Improv Colorado specializes in short-form improv comedy, and they keep it family-friendly so all ages can comfortably attend.

7:37-9:07 p.m., April 20, Local Relic at The Carter Payne, 320 S. Weber St., $8-$12,

Improv Colorado has been around for a long time, hosting monthly improv shows and workshops for those who want to try their hand at this challenging form of comedy. In the style of Whose Line Is It Anyway?, Improv Colorado specializes in short-form improv comedy, and they keep it family-friendly so all ages can comfortably attend. This will be the group’s first performance as part of the new arts collective ARTx, made up of performing arts companies aiming to fill the Carter Payne facility with art and excitement.

Event Details Saturday Night Improv
@ Local Relic at The Carter Payne
320 S. Weber St.
Colorado Springs, CO
When: Sat., June 22, 7:30-9:15 p.m., Sat., July 27, 7:30-9:15 p.m., Sat., Aug. 31, 7:30-9:15 p.m., Sat., Sept. 28, 7:30-9:15 p.m., Sat., Nov. 9, 7:30-9:15 p.m. and Sat., Dec. 7, 7:30-9:15 p.m.
Price: $8-$12
Buy Tickets
Comedy & Improv and Stage
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Poetry 719 to host Black Voices Matter, Denim Day Open Mic

Posted By on Thu, Apr 18, 2019 at 1:14 PM

Black Voices Matter (April 19) will include a writing workshop and an open mic for black performers. - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy Photo
  • Black Voices Matter (April 19) will include a writing workshop and an open mic for black performers.

Black Voices Matter, April 19, 6:30-9 p.m., Urbanites Leading the Pikes Peak Region, 506 E. Moreno Ave.; Denim Day Open Mic: April 24, 6:30-9 p.m., Tim Gill Center for Public Media, 315 E. Costilla St., $5 suggested donation per event,

Poetry 719, a local collective of spoken-word poets, really doesn’t slow down. Consistently setting out to raise the voices of the marginalized, the group hosts amazing, specialized open mics. In the coming days, we can look forward to not one, but two exciting events: Black Voices Matter and Denim Day Open Mic. Black Voices Matter (April 19) will include a writing workshop and an open mic for black performers. Denim Day Open Mic (April 24) will be open to all performers who wish to show support for survivors of sexual assault, including and especially survivors themselves. This will be Poetry 719’s observance of Denim Day, held annually during April (Sexual Assault Awareness Month), which raises awareness of the prevalence of sexual violence.

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Where to find 4/20 events in Colorado

Posted By on Thu, Apr 18, 2019 at 12:55 PM

Mile HIGH Burlesque Fest includes  weed-themed shows and contests, different each night. - GMARKART
  • GMarkArt
  • Mile HIGH Burlesque Fest includes weed-themed shows and contests, different each night.

If you’re ready to get mile-high this Saturday, you aren’t alone. In fact, you’ve got your choice of plenty of local and regional festivals, concerts, performances and more, all celebrating Colorado’s de facto state plant. Here are just a few we’re most looking forward to. Smoke up; you’ve earned it.

Mile HIGH Burlesque Fest

April 19-20, 8 p.m., The Oriental Theater, 4335 W. 44th Ave., Denver, $20-$40, ages 21+,

With not one but two full nights of entertainment, Mile HIGH Burlesque Fest has you covered all weekend. The dancers, on the other hand, will be removing their coverings one teasing performance at a time. Enjoy weed-themed shows and contests, different each night.

Cannival Elevated Music Fest

April 19-21, times vary, I Bar Ranch, 850 County Road 49, Gunnison, $30-$70, ages 21+,

You hardcore smokers and tokers might appreciate this: a three-day, 4/20-themed camp-out with three nights of live music, vendors, food trucks, bonfires, hiking and biking, workshops, yoga and way more. Best part: Sunday’s events are free to attend.

Mile High 420 Festival

10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Civic Center Park, Denver, free, ages 18+ recommended,

This here’s the big one. Drawing more than 50,000 attendees each year, Denver’s massive 4/20 celebration is free and jam-packed with events and vendors. Featured 2019 performers: T.I. and Jermaine Dupri.

420 Art Jamboree

11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Knobhill Urban Arts District, 2307 E. Platte Ave., free, ages 21+,

If you want our recommendation, this is how you should start your holiday. The Knobhill Urban Arts District has more than 20 mural artists set to paint a building all at once, plus vendors, contests, food, live music and more.

Southern Colorado 420 Festival

4 p.m., Speak Easy Vape Lounge, 2508 E. Bijou St., $25-$120, ages 21+,

This massively popular festival is probably the biggest you’ll find south of Denver. Enjoy a headline performance by recording artist Lil’ Flip, with Whispers, Peezy & LaLa and Gorgangutang supporting.

The Greenest White Party

9 p.m. to 2 a.m., Club Q, 3430 N.  Academy Blvd., $5 for ages 18+, no cover for ages 21+ before 9 p.m.,

Dress in all white for this weed-themed drag show, where Luscious Divine Banks will emcee and tons of the town’s best queens will take the stage.

“We Want All the Smoke”

9 p.m. to midnight, The Temple of Higher Consciousness, 805 W. Garden of the Gods Road, $10-$15, ages 21+,

For a full-service celebration, head up to the Temple and enjoy live hip-hop music by folks like Bleezus Khrist, Sparrow House and many more, along with raffles, giveaways and competitions.

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Thursday, April 11, 2019

It's Mad Hatter Saturday, because we all love Alice in Wonderland

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

10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Bancroft Park, 2408 W. Colorado Ave., - TERI ISENBERG
  • Teri Isenberg
  • 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Bancroft Park, 2408 W. Colorado Ave.,
Who — kid or adult — doesn’t love Alice in Wonderland? Old Colorado City is so fond of the story of Alice and her looking glass that they’ve created an annual celebration around it, with costumed characters for kids to meet and greet, an opportunity to make your own Mad Hatter hat, ice sculpture demonstrations and more activities for all ages. You’ll have to get tickets in advance for the Red Queen’s Tea Party, but it’ll be worth it for the tea and cookies, and a story told by the queen herself.
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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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