Apr 30, 2012

Journey Into Theatre Tours at the FAC

FAC docents make exploring the arts an interactive adventure! 
Most field trips to the FAC involve tours of the museum, but the docents are required to learn about the history and programs of the FAC, which include theatre as well.

Wendy Gray, former FAC Docent president and committee chair for Off the Wall loves the Journey Into Theatre Tours because students get to combine and compares the components of visual arts and drama. Students view paintings and sculptures to inspire the imagination, and then participate in improvisational drama games based on what they see and feel.

“It’s a rewarding way to combine the visual arts with the theatre arts, and actually, we cover a lot of the school standards, so it fulfills the state requirements in a completely unforgettable way,” says Gray.

Students bring art to life with characters and stories as they learn techniques of storytelling, movement, voice and characterization. The tour includes a visit to the FAC’s SaGJi Theatre. A 90 min. to 2 hr. tour, depending on age. Docents customize the tour to tie the experience to what's happening at the FAC and what teachers are covering in their classrooms.

For example, several years ago the docents offered a makeup tour to complement an upcoming production of CATS. Each of the students got to make up their faces like characters from the musical. Sometimes the tours go backstage to explore the costume shop and to meet the technical staff who manage the theatre, the scene shop, the lighting board. Teachers report back that students learned more about art with this type of interactive, creative approach than with traditional museum tours.

"This tour is special," says Gray. "It’s interactive—we use ekphrastic techniques to interpret art, depending on the type of art."

Ekphrasis is a Greek word which means "description" and is a vivid description of a scene or, more commonly, a work of art. Poets, playwrights, and choreographers all use the technique to interpret other forms of art for their audiences. Gray explains that ephrasis is what makes the tours so engaging and fun.

Busloads of kids arrive each month to explore art at the FAC
"We find inspiring characterizations, stories, and create movement inspired by the art. Students develop their own scenes. They want to get involved, participate, and create. They love it!"

Apr 27, 2012

S L O W Art Day at the FAC

This Saturday, the FAC's participating in Slow Art Day, a worldwide celebration of art that encourages people to look at art — SLOWLY — and thereby experience it in a new way. Besides bolstering appreciation for art, it also helps build community. After viewing art, people are encourage to meet for lunch and further discuss and engage with their slow art-viewing experience.

Join us for our first ever Slow Art Day — it's simple to participate!

1) RSVP online to let us know you're coming

You can also invite friends to this event on facebook.

2) Look at 5 pieces of art with us, slowly

Show up on Saturday, April 28 starting at 11 a.m., pay admission ($10 or FREE for FAC Members) and spend 5-10 minutes looking at each of the 5 selected works of art listed below. You're also encourage to enjoy the works currently on view.


3) Have lunch and discuss your experience

At 1 p.m., we'll meet in Café 36 to talk more about the art and our experiences. The FAC's Museum Director and Curator of American Art Blake Milteer will be hosting along with New Media Manager Nicole Anthony.

Selected Works of Art

Savor the art viewing experience with the following pieces:

Terry Maker's Ozymandian Tree

Eric Bransby's 75th Anniversay Mural

Isamu Noguchi's Mountains Forming

Ghost of a Dream's Dream Ride 5, 6, 7

Marisol's John Wayne





Saturday, April 28
Art Viewing: 11a-1p
Lunch and discussion: 1-2p at Cafe 36.

Apr 26, 2012

Catalog for Terry Maker: Reckoning

"Thrift Store Dog Extended" resides on Terry Maker's living room wall, with a flat screen television sandwiched in
the middle. The interesting story behind this is little diptych can be found in the Terry Maker: Reckoning catalog.

Here at the FAC we have put together yet another exhibition catalogue, but this time to accompany Terry Maker's show, Reckoning (The other exhibit this season with a catalog was Sandzén in Colorado, and what a big and beautiful catalog it was! Adding to why it is sold out).

This 44-page full-color catalog includes photos of Maker's artistic process and completed works, in addition to short essays by Museum Director and Curator of American Art, Blake Milteer and Terry Maker herself. There's even a fold out poster of Ozymandian Tree (one of Maker's most recent pieces) for you to hang anywhere! The catalog is broken up into six sections: Documents and Records, The Garden, Desire, Magic Marks, Ozymandias, and Suitcases -- just to give you an idea of the wide range of subject matter in Maker's pieces.

Contemporary art can be difficult for any viewer. Because Maker's pieces combine huge scale with literary references, new mediums depicting challenging subjects, among many other challenges, we hope the catalog helps enrich your experience of Reckoning. Photos and text alone do not make for a complete art experience though, so we hope you'll come down to see the El Pomar Gallery all decked out in Terry Maker's art.

Terry Maker: Reckoning is available for purchase at the FAC's Box Office; stop by in person or call 719.634.5583 for more information.
Reckoning will be on display until June 3.

Apr 25, 2012

Name That Voice

In the 1930s and 40s, the radio was the main source for American's news and enterainment. However, in today's  technological climate, many people check the weather, read the news, find out a sports score and watch the latest episdoe of "Modern Family" from their cell phones.

Still a powerful communication tool, the radio brings voices and ideas into people's living rooms, cars, schools, churches, businesses-- anywhere there's a signal and receiver. 

Listen to these historical moments that impacted individuals throughout the wold. Can you recogize the historical figure sharing their ideas over the airwaves?

Voice # 1


Voice # 2


Voice # 3


Voice # 4


Voice # 5

Voices in Order: Eleanor Roosevelt; Babe Ruth; Adolf Hitler; Amelia Earhart; Mohandas Gandhi.

If you're looking for more radio inspired entertainment, don't miss WYNOT Radio Theatre's upcoming performances.

WYNOT Radio Theatre | Buy Tickets

Thur. April 26, 7:30p
Fri. April 27, 8p
Sat. April 28, 8p

Apr 24, 2012

"In the Field" BORIS DEUTSCH biography

Boris Deutsch, Untitled, 1930's, charcoal on paper.

Lithographs and charcoal drawings by Thomas Hart Benton and Boris Deutsch comprise "In the Field", one of six museum exhibits for Resilience. Benton's regionalist style is no stranger to the FAC Permanent Collection (and Theatre!), but seeing Deutsch's works is new for FAC audiences.

Born in Lithuania, Boris Deutsch (1892-1978) directly experienced the effects of WWI in his daily life. Deutsch travelled all around the East, from Ukraine to Russia, China to Japan, and eventually settled in Los Angeles.

Deutsch enrolled in art school in Berlin, rather than LithuaniaBecause I was too much of an individual. I didn't follow the crowd.”

He was drafted by the Ukranian army upon his return from Germany: Yeah. I resented being a soldier. I had nothing to fight for. My life was interrupted. I had plans to do some work and my life was interrupted, but it was something I had to do. I made a very bad soldier, by the way. They discovered that I could paint and draw, so they gave me a special place where I could do artistic work.”

“I don't know whether I killed her entirely or whether I wounded her, or whatever it was, but it was a cow. That was my experience in the Army.”

He escaped the Ukrainian army by forging a note to go downtown for supplies. “[The train stewardess] saw that I was awfully (very) nervous and finally I told her point blank: ‘I just deserted the Army,’ and I asked her to send a telegram to my mother, and she did.”

He met another a deserter on the train, but “we were still afraid of each other.” 

He traveled to numerous places in East Asia while on the run: Harbin to Liaoyuan to Tiuehlin to Shanghai to Hiroshima

From Hiroshima, he was on a ship for 10 days to Seattle. All the people on board were taken to customs, and he was "so grateful for the prison food of porridge and coffee and bread.”

Quotes are taken from the American Archives of Art interview with Deutsch in 1964. Click to read more about his artistic career and vibrant journey to America.

"In the Field" | March 17 - May 27

West Gallery, 2nd floor
General museum admission $10

Apr 19, 2012


We hope you've enjoyed the rotating 75th Anniversary galleries for the past year, and this Friday, April 20, will be the FAC's 76th Birthday! The 75th exhibit will be coming down soon to make way for all the exciting upcoming exhibitions, which include:

Selections from the FAC's Permanent Collection of Native American Works
Opens April 21
  • on Turbulence
by Scott Johnson
July 14 - Sept. 30
  • Trace Elements: Light into Space
by James Turrell
July 14 - Sept. 30
  • Son of Pop
by Floyd Tunson
Oct. 27 - Jan. 20, 2013

As part of the birthday celebrations, Eric Bransby will be unveiling his NEW mural in the Glass Corridor, followed by Luciano Cheles' lecture on the Renaissance inspiration on New Deal Muralists.


Eric Bransby Mural

Fri., April 20 | 5:30 p.m.
FREE and and open to the public
Invite friends

Luciano Cheles, Piero della Francesca's Impact on New Deal Muralists

Fri., April 20 | 6 p.m.
Non-members $7.50 (FAC Members $5)
Tickets online or call the Box Office 719.634.5583

Cultural History of Broadcast Radio

There was a time when radio broadcasters were not regulated—anyone could receive a broadcast license—and between 1920 and 1925, the airwaves were a mess. With only two broadcasting frequencies and endless individuals with a broadcast license, this chaotic situation led many Americans to distrust the radio system.

Congress finally ratified the situation by signing the Radio Act of 1927 and creating the Federal Radio Commission; a five-person committee that could ultimately deny licenses and assign different frequencies for various licenses. The commission also ensured that no vulgar language was broadcasted. Since the FRC could regulate the airwaves, radio broadcast became less chaotic.

In 1928, the commission told 164 stations that they need to justify why they should continue to broadcast or they would be taken off air. 81 stations remained, while the rest retired from the airwaves. The commission chose certain stations to eliminate, communicating to the nation the power it welded to decide which information could be broadcasted.

Even though the radio became more regulated in the 1920s, its golden age was the 30s. Home radios grew from 12 million to 22 million even during the depression, from 1930 through 1935. In 1934, the Communications Act created the Federal Communications Commission. The commission’s duties involved regulating interstate and foreign radio and promoting safety of life through the Emergency Broadcast System. Because radio’s regulations became more recognized, more shows aired. From The Ed Sullivan Show to Bob Hope, radio achieved more entertainment value, as more shows aired.

By 1955, radio was no longer the number-one medium for entertainment and news. With its visual component, television became a leader in advertisement and entertainment.

Though television remains the dominant medium for entertainment today, there is something romantic about sitting around a radio listening to voices and music. Old time radio’s romanticism is what WYNOT Radio Theatre invoke during performances. This show transports us back to the 30s and 40s, where the radio is the crucial object in each American’s home for be transported to other worlds.

WYNOT Radio Theatre

A Case of Mail-Order Murder
April 19-28 | $15 | Buy Tickets

Apr 18, 2012

We're looking for Carpenters

The CSFAC Theatre Company has immediate need for temporary carpenters for the upcoming production of Hairspray. Some theatrical carpentry is a plus! Please send resume and/or contact Chris Sheley at csheley@csfineartscenter.org.


May 10 - June 3, 2012

FREE Family Adventure Day: Reduce, Reuse, Recyclart

After witnessing oil spills and anti-war movements in 1969, Gaylord Nelson, a Wisconsin senator, came up with the idea to protest for a better environment. On April 22, 1970, a year later, 20 million people across the nation joined together to fight against Earth’s rapid deterioration. The success of Earth Day resulted in many different acts to protect the environment, and is celebrated internationally.

Kick off Earth Day early by creating recyclart at Family Adventure Day: Recycle and Reuse. Egg cartons, paper, string, and cork may seem like useless household items taking up space, but this Saturday, learn how to transform those objects into recyclart.

Recyclart is the art of creating new and meaningful uses for items considered "trash." This green artform helps cutback on the actual amount of material sent to landfills, not to mention the process helps jump start your brain's creative side as you explore artistic and innovative new uses for old items.

Show your appreciation to the earth and enjoy a day with Bemis School of Art instructors filled with creative, hand-on projects. As an added bonus, there's a free tour at 12:30 p.m. of the FAC galleries.

Family Adventure Day: Recycle and Reuse
Sat., April 21, 2012
10 a.m. -2 p.m. | FREE
Invite Friends

Apr 17, 2012

Resilience lecture: New Deal murals

Piero della Francesca's Hercules, fresco,
1470 source.
In the second of four Resilience lectures, Luciano Cheles will discuss the influence of Italian art, primarily during the Renaissance period, on American artists working during the Great Depression.

Cheles will focus on Piero della Francesca's influence on New Deal artists -- which include Broadmoor Art Academy figures such as Boardman Robinson, George Biddle, Frank Mechau, Ethel Magafan and Eric Bransby (who is unveiling his new FAC mural this same day at 5:30 p.m.!). Cheles is best known for his book on The Studiolo of Urbino: An Iconographic Investigation. He is a Professor of Italian Studies at the University of Poitiers (France).

Here are some of Piero della Francesca's works... Try to find any similarities between this 15th century Italian Renaissance painter and 20th century American artists during the New Deal:

(left to right, top to bottom) Legend of the True Cross: Exaltation of the Cross, fresco, 1466, source. Legend of the True Cross: Constantine's Dream, fresco, 1455, source. Death of Adam from the Legend of the True Cross Cycle, fresco, mid 1450s, sourceSaint Peter Martyr, fresco, 1452, sourceSigismondo Malatesta Venerating Saint Sigismund, fresco, 1451, source.

Luciano Cheles, Piero della Francesca's Impact on New Deal Muralists

Fri., April 20 | 6 p.m.
Non-members $7.50 (FAC Members $5)
Buy tickets online or call the Box Office 719.634.5583

Eric Bransby Mural Unveiling and Dedication

Fri., April 20 | 5:30 p.m.
FREE and and open to the public

Public FREE Day — TODAY

Terry Maker's Garden of Nineveh Bitter, currently on view at the FAC

Public Free Day — Tues., April 17
10 a.m. - 8 p.m.

Admission: FREE!

Despite the closing of two dance performance/installations over the weekend — Ormao Dance Company's Within/Without, and Dolo McComb's Madam and Evening: A Living Dream Installation — the FAC still has a ton of fun stuff left in store for you. Especially on today's PUBLIC FREE DAY! Here's everything you can still catch in the galleries:

Guided tours with FAC docents will run throughout the day, starting at: 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 6 p.m. Also, demos by Bemis School instructors from will happen from 4-7 p.m. in the Glass Corridor. We welcome groups, but for 10 or more, we would still appreciate advance notice of your visit! Please call ahead: 719.475.2444. Every eight students high school and under must be accompanied by one adult chaperone.

Apr 16, 2012

Happy [belated] Birthday to Thomas Hart Benton!

Thomas Hart Benton image source
Thomas Hart Benton would have celebrated 123 years on a day most people dread, tax day (April 15, 1889).

During the Depression, Benton believed in showcasing Americans that reflected the real heartland of our country; rural USA. With this idea in mind, Benton and other artists such as Grant Wood and John Steuart Curry pioneered the Regionalist movement. Regionalism depicted images of rural life in America. His involvement in the regionalist movement landed Benton a color cover of Time Magazine.

Some of Benton's drawings are currently on display as part of the Resilience exhibits.

Closing May 27, 2012

Below is a video highlighting some of Benton's most famous works.

Apr 13, 2012

Isamu Noguchi's inspiration

Architect Buckminster Fuller developed the "Dymaxion House"
to address shortcomings in contemporary architecture. Noguchi
met Fuller in the late 1920s and they collaborated on preliminary
models for Fuller's Dymaxion series. 
One of Noguchi's earliest inspirations was
dancer Michio Ito. He was a Japanese dancer
and choreographer working in New York,
and encouraged Noguchi to pursue the arts.
Ito was eventually interned and deported from
the United States during WWII. Noguchi himself
asked to be placed in an internment camp.
Constantin Brancusi, "Bird in Space"
Onorio Ruotolo, "Betsy Ross 1940"
Alfred Stieglitz, "Hand with Buttons"
Qi Baishi's traditional brush paintings
Alfred Stieglitz pioneered avant garde photography,
elevating the medium to fine art.
Constantin Brancusi was born in Romania but
worked in France. His sculptural work is very
geometric and abstract -- many call him the father
of modern sculpture.
Constantin Brancusi, "The Newborn"
Constantin Brancusi, "La Negresse Blonde"
Constantin Brancusi, "Mademoiselle Pogany"

Constantin Brancusi's studio in Paris -- where Noguchi went
to study in the 1920s with a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Isamu Noguchi & Martha Graham

Noguchi's experimentation with form and design is apparent from his very first introduction to art (primarily through sculpture) under the apprenticeship of Onorio Ruotolo. Noguchi began as a pre-med student at Columbia University, but soon realized that art was his passion. While in New York during the decades leading up to WWII, Noguchi was influenced by the growing abstractionism scene, which included Stieglitz's photography and J.B. Newman's sculptures. After winning the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, he was able to travel to Paris and study with one of his greatest role models, sculptor Constantin Brancusi. He returned to the states and began making busts of Martha Graham and Buckminster Fuller -- which attracted Graham's attention. Noguchi and Graham began their artistic partnership with Noguchi as Graham's set designer in 1934 during the performance of Frontier (video), making over 20 sets for Graham's performances.

"Everything is sculpture...Any material, any idea without hindrance born into space, I consider sculpture."

"The essence of sculpture is for me the perception of space, the continuum of our existence."

Martha Graham, one of the foremost influences on modern
dance, especially in America. Noguchi designed many of the
Graham sets. In this picture, Graham is wearing a dress
inspired by Noguchi's design was for Graham's ballet,
"Cave of the Heart."

Gazette's 2012 Best of the Springs winners

Congrats to all of the award-winners from the Gazette’s Best of the Springs issue that was unveiled last night at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. Hope you had a chance to stop by ...

GOLD                    Best Museum                     Fine Arts Center
It was neck-and-neck with the Pioneers Museum this year, but the FAC — and museum director Blake Milteer’s often-inspired programming — won again. As always, Milteer’s genius lies in his keen sense of balance: international names with regional up-and-comers, the historical with the contemporary, out-and-out beautiful with the head-scratching curious. He’s ambitious as well: His summer exhibition of South African artist William Kentridge, who also saw a Museum of Modern Art retrospective earlier that year, was a coup for the museum and the city.

GOLD                    Best Exhibit                        Sandzén in Colorado
It was impossible not to fall in love with this sprawling exhibit of Post-Impressionist Birger Sandzén’swork, the largest ever seen in Colorado. His way with color, texture and an almost poetic sense of place created exquisite picture postcards that were so vibrant they seemed to shimmer in the frame.

GOLD                    Public Art                            FAC Sculpture Garden
The museum and theater are big draws to the FAC, but you don’t have to go inside to get a little culture. There’s a lot to look at, including “Portal,” one of several works by local artist Christopher Weed, “Fiesta Dancers,” a larger-than-life-size work by internationally known artist Luis Jimenez, and above the entrance, Boardman Robinson’s gorgeous deco mural.

GOLD                    Best Musical                      Assassins
Since taking the position last summer, director of performing arts Scott RC Levy has blazed new programming trails at the Fine Arts Center. This problematic Stephen Sondheim musical kicked off his first season with flawless production values, layered acting and voices to envy.

BRONZE               Best Musical                      A Year withFrog & Toad

BRONZE               Best Actress                       Sally Hybl (The Women)

BRONZE               Best Gallery                       Fine Arts Center

EXPERT PICK       Restaurant Encore           Café 36
Garden of the Gods Gourmet is back, managing this elegant art deco café and serving dishes that are nearly works of art. Try the gourmet steak quesadillas.

And from the Denver weekly entertainment publication, Westword ...

GOLD                    Best Historic Show          Sandzén in Colorado
For decades during the first half of the twentieth century, Birger Sandzén, a Swedish painter based in Kansas, spent his summers in Colorado recording the celebrity scenery in photos, drawings and, most famously, paintings. His signature style — characterized by wild flourishes of brushwork carried out in cotton-candy shades of thick paint — created a bridge linking post-impressionism to abstract expressionism, and in the process brought that heroic moment in the development of modernism right to our front door. Taking advantage of the fact that the Sandzén Memorial Gallery in Kansas was closed for remodeling, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center museum director Blake Milteer organized Sandzén in Colorado, using pieces from the Kansas facility, along with loans from important Colorado-based collections, to put together the largest show ever devoted to Sandzén.

Apr 10, 2012

"Madam and Evening" Q&A

Last month, Colorado College dance majors Dolo McComb and Arob Dickerson's live dance installation "Madam and Evening" (closing this Sunday, April 15) opened in the Hybl Screening Room. It combines visual, video and choreographic arts. Inspired by personal experience, Surrealism, Antonin Artaud among others, McComb and Dickerson seek to make the personal space of one’s dream into “a spectacle."

Here is an interview with the artists:

Question: What is the original premise for the show?
Dolo + Arob: We're creating four hours of a dream for people to experience, and playing with the idea of living and experiencing a dream together – which is not typical in dreams because they're usually so personal.

Q: What is so appealing about dreams?
D + A: We're both attracted to it because its surreal and grotesque. We view dreams as a representation of our subconscious. The creativity is subconscious in dreams – you don't have to cultivate it, it just happens to you. It's anything we can imagine because we are framing it in this absurd, other-worldly way. We're exploring different layers and complexities of beauty and the different ways it can be perceived.

Q: How do you describe your artistic partnership?
D: I really liked solo work and just being entirely independent. I finally found someone I got along with well and it made me re-evaluate the potential of collaboration. You can’t dissect parts that are Dolo-influenced or Arob-influenced [in our choreography]. It’s all just DoloArob because I do things with him that I’d never do on my own.
A: We are two in one. We’re like chianti! We like wine.

Q: Why did you want to perform at the FAC?
D: It was the upper echelon of where I wanted this installation. It's a perfect place for the bridge I'm trying to establish between performance and visual art. I liked the idea of an actual art gallery. I'm attracted to the idea of performance in a non-traditional setting.

Visit the artists' web site for more information, photos and fun media!

Apr 6, 2012


Couldn't make it to hear the big announcement for next season? Well here's a recap of what we have lined up at the Theatre and Museum. At Bemis, the new summer session starts June 4,  but download a PDF of the catalog now to browse classes (registration begins April 4 for members; April 23 for the general public).

Floyd D. Tunson, Coco (Remix H), 2009. Acrylic on canvas, 60" x 48"
Image courtesy of the artist.

In The Museum

Places Apart

by Scott Johnson
July 14 - Sept. 30

Trace Elements:
Light into Space

by James Turrell
July 14 - Sept. 30
Here's a video of Turrell speaking about his works.  

Son of Pop

by Floyd Tunson
Oct. 27 - Jan. 20, 2013

American Folk Art

from the Volkersz Collection
Feb. 15 - May 12, 2013

On Stage for the 2012/2013 Theater Season 

This upcoming season marks 25 years of theatre with the FAC Theatre Company, and in celebration, theatre subscriptions start at just $90 for all six mainstage shows!


Sept. 26 - Oct. 21
Music by Jule Styne
Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by Arthur Laurents

Often described as “America’s Greatest Musical” by theatre critics, this musical fable from the Golden Age of Broadway is based on the memoirs of burlesque star Gyspy Rose Lee.

A Christmas Story

Nov. 28 - Dec. 23
By Philip Grecian
Watch a trailer

Based on the motion picture A Christmas Story, © 1983 Turner Entertainment Co., distributed by Warner Bros., written by Jean Shepherd, Leigh Brown and Bob Clark;
and on the book In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash by Jean Shepherd.

“You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out!” The modern holiday film classic concerning Ralphie Parker’s quest for a Red Ryder B-B gun, becomes a live theatrical experience for the whole family.

Prelude To A Kiss

Jan. 30 - Feb. 17, 2013
by Craig Lucas

This romantic comedy, a freaky-Friday for the 21st Century, is a beautifully crafted story that touches our hearts, leaving us to ponder the wondrous promise of truly selfless love.

Other Desert Cities (Colorado Premiere)

March 14 - 31, 2013
by Jon Robin Baitz
Part of the Fine Arts Center’s 2013 multidisciplinary project centering on "Family"

Watch a trailer
See the show The New York Times has dubbed as "the best new play on Broadway" before anyone else in Colorado.  A family is pushed to the brink in Jon Robin Baitz’s scintillating new drama.  When Brooke Wyeth arrives at her parents’ Palm Springs mansion on Christmas Eve with the manuscript of her tell-all memoir in tow she unearths a devastating family secret—throwing her parents into a panic that threatens to rip the clan apart. With biting wit and razor-sharp insight, Other Desert Cities “has the appeal of a Broadway hit from another age” (The New York Times).

The Drowsy Chaperone

May 9 - June 2
Music and Lyrics by Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison 
Book by Bob Martin and Don McKellar 

Watch a trailer
Winner of 5 Tony Awards, this Musical inside a Comedy begins when a die-hard musical-theater fan plays his favorite cast album on his turntable, and the musical literally bursts to life in his living room, telling the rambunctious tale of a brazen Broadway starlet trying to find, and keep, her true love.

Jaques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris 

June 20-30
Music and Lyrics by Jacques Brel

Production conception, English lyrics, additional material by Eric Blau and Mort Shuman
The poignant, passionate and profound songs of Belgian songwriter Jacques Brel are brought to vivid theatrical life in this intense musical experience. A powerful, intimate, bold and emotional evening of theatre, brimming with flair, attitude and European sophistication.

Apr 5, 2012

"Madam and Evening" GUEST POST!

This guest post is by a local musician and Colorado College senior, Juliet E. Gordon. She self-released an album in January and her music video, featuring Dolo McComb, can be viewed below. CC dance majors Dolo and Arob Dickerson's FAC installation, “Madam and Evening” will run from now until April 15.

There’s something Dolo and I talk about fairly often: how long did it take you this morning to become bipedal? Dolo’s excuse is usually better than mine. She dances eight hours a day, while I have an ill-fated love affair with platform heels. Our work, however, has frequently turned back to this question of decadence and its consequences. Sometimes it feels like we get all dressed up only to stick our heads in a toilet—or is it, stick our heads in the sand?

Dolo and Arob fight through “Madam and Evening” the way one fights their way out of a nightmare: they try to shoo away the baddies with grand gestures that quickly exhaust themselves and falter into minute, impotent mimes of what it would be like to truly exist in their surroundings (which include onion and saran wrap curtains, a few rubber toy pigs, a hairdryer and beta fish hung from the ceiling in not-your-average fishbowls). Arob beckons and questions, to no avail, phantoms that go unseen by the audience; Dolo collapses gently to the floor over and over again. Then they put Louis Armstrong on the record player, a lampshade on the head, and partner-dance, indulging in a moment of decadent unreality. This cycle of unnerved-strife-followed-by-slaphappy-moonraking continues throughout the piece as Dolo and Arob try every available prop and every motion to make sense of the strange world in which they’ve found themselves.

Dolo’s dancing is remarkable for any number of reasons, but the best part, the subversion, is in her face. She’ll engage the ballerina lobotomy-face only to twitch suddenly into an expression of deep anguish, or comic lust, or dumb curiosity. Not only is she flouting dance protocol, which commonly demands anonymity from the neck up, but she’s also working herself into a panic over a situation she might easily resign to enjoying. It’s something we could all stand to do more often, and it’s why her breaking out of the “CC bubble” to perform at the Fine Arts Center is more than just geographically unusual. She’ll kick, she’ll scream, she’ll bathe in milk. Let yourself get uncomfortable.

Q&A with musician Samuel James

Flying in today from Maine, musican Samuel James comes to Colorado Springs to prepare for his concert at the FAC this Saturday, April 7. Perhaps you've already read about the musicians who have influenced James' distinct sound and style, but here's a Q&A with the musical man himself.

Where did your love for music come from?
I had it since I was a child. My mother was dancer and my father was a musician. My father was a trombonist and a jazz pianist. So they brought it to me.  

When did you realize you wanted to make music your career?
Ten years ago.  I just started writing songs and started playing them.  I got something out of it that I never got out of something else I had done.  When someone does something that they love, and can make money out of doing it, they have won. 

What do you hope to communicate through your music?
It depends on the song. Some songs I write are political. Some are funny. Some are just genuine emotion. Some are hate songs.  Like everybody, I want to express my emotions. 

Where do you find inspiration for your music?
I think myself as songwriter. A trick of being a writer is to sit down and do it. Some days it comes easier. It’s just about working, some days it takes you two hours, while some days it literally takes 20 minutes. There is no telling which song is better.

What is your favorite song that you have written?
It’s always the next one.  I always say the song I have just written is the best and then will write the next one and take to that one too.

What do you hope listeners gain from listening to your music?
I think it depends on which song.  I hope you would stick around a little. They [lessons in songs] are too didactic for me. 

How would you describe your music in one sentence?
Song writing of Bill Withers and Tom Waits, and the music and style of say Sunhouse and Andy Mckee. OR Neo-soul, folk blues, percussive finger-style on acoustic guitar.

Samuel James in Concert
Saturday, April 7 | 7:30 p.m.
$15 | Buy tickets