When: Sat., Nov. 5, 7-8:30 p.m. 2016
Depending on who you're talking to, the phrase "musical theater" can either invoke enjoyable memories of unique arts experiences or remind you of those high school theater performances where you were forced to sing in the chorus. Whatever the case, an existential, feminist, rock/soul musical is usually not the first thing to come to mind. That's why Broadway fans and skeptics alike can get into Born Blue, an unconventional musical written by Caren Tackett, mentor at the Colorado Springs Conservatory.
Originally written in 2003 and performed more than 10 times off-Broadway since then, Born Blue follows the interconnected lives of three women and explores themes of reincarnation, racism, sexism, sexuality and organized religion. The setting is a kind of purgatory in the form of a club, the Atomic Bar & Chill, where souls go between lives. While here, the audience (which becomes a single collective called The Blaze) follows some of these characters' many lives, from the Salem witch trials to a slavery plantation in the southern U.S.
At its core, the show is experimental, with a non-traditional narrative structure and different actors playing the same characters in different lifetimes. It can be a little hard to follow for first-timers, which is why tonight's performance is a good introduction to it, or a good reprise if you managed to catch it at The Mezzanine last year.
Rather than putting on the full play, Tackett has organized a concert performance with minimal theatrics. There will be a few scenes, but mostly you'll get to enjoy the fascinating, genre-bending musical numbers that have earned Born Blue critical acclaim, all performed by a healthy mix of local talent and folks from New York City.
Oh, and since it's in an atypical venue, SunWater Spa, you can treat yourself to a post-show soak. Given all the above, you may need that quiet time to think about the show's myriad messages. 7-8:30 p.m., SunWater Spa, 514 El Paso Blvd., Manitou Springs, $20 admission, $30 includes a soak, facebook.com/infinityblioux.
Price: $20 admission, $30 includes a mineral soak