Measure for Measure
Wednesdays-Sundays, 7 p.m., through July 21, no show on July 4, Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site, 3105 Gateway Road, $20-$39.75, uccspresents.org
While theatergoers may be comfortable with Shakespeare’s more well-known works (the Juliets, the Hamlets, the MacBeths, and so on), there’s a certain joy in discovering or rediscovering another of the Bard’s works — maybe one you didn’t read in sophomore English class. Artistic director of TheatreWorks, Caitlin Lowans, describes this year’s Shakespeare at the Ranch production as “a Shakespeare play where people are going and don’t always know the story. ... With Measure for Measure, there’s actually a degree of surprise and wanting to see how the story is going to unfold.”
And what a story it is. In true Shakespearean fashion, Measure for Measure features such beloved tropes as royalty in disguise, sudden betrothals and mistaken identities, and a cast of characters as complex as their problems. The story begins when the Duke of Vienna leaves a man named Angelo in charge of the city, which is suffering a bit of moral decay. Angelo, drunk on power, imprisons a man whose fiancee is pregnant, and tries to convince the man’s sister, a nun, to sleep with him in exchange for her brother’s freedom. But it’s not as black and white as it seems. “When you go through the story,” Lowans says, “the play doesn’t have a villain. It has a bunch of people making really poor decisions on the best available information, and that’s what life is.”
But while the play deals with heavy themes, it is not exactly what one might consider a tragedy. “[It is] so much more funny than anyone knows, than we even do a good job of telling people about. It’s a very funny show. But it’s a very funny show about very big, serious stuff,” Lowans says.
The play runs through July 21, but be sure to check out the informal scholar chats before Thursday evening performances, plus post-show conversations with the cast on Sundays. Before the show on June 30, TheatreWorks will host a special discussion about ethics, leadership and gender in Measure for Measure, with Dr. Michael Kim of Colorado
College and Dr. Patrick Yarnell of UCCS.
Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Fan Fest
June 28, 5-10 p.m., Downtown Colorado Springs, free, facebook.com/pikespeakhillclimb
Whether or not you’re a fan of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (and why wouldn’t you be, with some of the coolest cars in existence tackling the peak at breakneck speeds?) you should definitely be a fan of the Hill Climb’s Fan Fest. More than 30,000 people pack the streets of downtown each year to enjoy vendors, food, entertainment and — most exciting — live stunts performed by the Red Bull Motorcycle Jumpers.
Throw Down Axe Festival
June 28-30, Bad Axe Throwing, 3506-3536 N. Academy Blvd., free,
I mean, there are weirder hobbies out there than axe throwing, an activity that has taken the Springs by storm since Bad Axe Throwing opened up its doors on Academy Boulevard in 2018. If you want to watch some of the best axe throwers in the nation line up to compete, if you want to try your hand at hitting the target, if you want to drink beer and embrace your inner lumberjack, you’ll want to pop by Bad Axe Throwing for this free-to-attend inaugural festival.
June 28-29, 9 p.m. and June 30, 4 p.m., Zodiac Venue and Bar, 230 Pueblo Ave., $10, facebook.com/THEATREdART
For 11 years now, local company THEATREdART has been providing us with some of the most interesting theatrical experiences in Colorado Springs, including this annual showcase of short plays by local playwrights, TheatreGasm. This year’s theme is ‘Murica. Not “America,” but ‘Murica. How have these eight playwrights interpreted the distinction? We don’t know yet, either, but the show should enlighten us all.
Circus Foundry: Sonder
June 30, 7:30 p.m., Ent Center for the Arts, 5225 N. Nevada Ave., $25,
Denver-based Circus Foundry may be a new company, but they’ve already found a recipe for exciting performance art. Far more than your typical spectacle circus, Circus Foundry combines the talents and interests of all of its members, from acrobatics to music to theater. Their touring show, Sonder, is meant to be a thoughtful examination of human connection through movement, music and more.