Simpich confronted his own ‘Beast”
The David Simpich version of “Beauty and the Beast” - his first marionette show, written before the Disney movie of 1991 - will be the next presentation at the Simpich Showcase Marionette Theatre.
Featuring puppets made by Simpich, performances will be June 18 to Sept. 7 (shows are typically on Fridays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays) at the Showcase, 2413 W. Colorado Ave.
Ticket prices for “Beauty and the Beast, A Celebration of the First Simpich Show” range from $10 to $14 and are available online at simpich.com or by phoning the box office at 465-2492.
Simpich developed “Beast” in the mid 1980s while he and his wife Debby were living in Seattle. “This project was what led me into the art of puppetry nearly 30 years ago,” he recalls in a press release. “In reviving it for our theater, I decided to present the story on two levels: my original pre-Disney adaptation based on the old French fairy tale; and the unique set of circumstances that impelled me to venture in and commit completely to this theatre medium. As the fairy tale unfolds onstage, I also take the audience back to my early years of experimentation; the difficulties of building the characters, designing a portable stage; and my gamble and hunch that clay and cloth string puppets might really 'have what it takes' to perform as effective and affecting actors.”
In the show, he dialogues with the story's heroine, Beauty, about their own “Beasts.” “So many things fed my insecurities as I was first starting out,” Simpich relates, “it's amazing this show was ever realized.”
Simpich has gone on to design 15 more marionette productions, each taking nearly a year to develop.
Coffee house construction
Construction has begun on a drive-through coffee house at the southwest corner of Lower Gold Camp Road and Eighth Street.
It will be a Kangaroo Coffee, the second one in Colorado Springs. The owners are local residents D.J. and Rou Lyon, who opened their first shop at 434 W. Fillmore St. in 2011.
According to Rou Lyon, the hoped-for opening for the new site is sometime in July. Noting that cooperation is already taking place with the Norris-Penrose Event Center (just west on Lower Gold Camp), she said, “I think it will be a great spot. It's pretty fantastic in that location.”
The project on the three-quarter-acre property will feature a 400-square-foot retail shop, parking, drive aisles and landscaping.
Westside Pioneer/press release