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

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COURTESY AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL CHORUS
  • 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, ATBChorus.com

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
  • Kemper Simpich

Simpich Showcase 10th Anniversary Celebration

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



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, rmpbs.org

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
  • Richard Gill

Cirque du Monument

June 1, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., downtown Monument, free, gallery132.com

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, americantheatreguild.com

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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