Biz Buzz:
MAT name change honors Harrison, Freese

       The Manitou Art Theatre (MAT) has renamed itself the Millibo Art Theatre (also MAT).
       The new name honors Millie Harrison and Bo Freese, “two extraordinary members of the MAT family” who died in the past year, the new MAT 2011-12 season brochure explains.
       Harrison was a performer, stage manager and technician for MAT; and Freese was an acrobat and circus performer.
       Jim Jackson and Birgitta De Pree started MAT 10 years ago in Manitou Springs, then moved it to the Westside (1367 Pecan St.) in 2008. “We've been on the search for a new name for some time and “Millibo” speaks to what we hold most dear,” the brochure states.
       The new season starts Oct. 1 with “Poet in Motion,” featuring Peter Davison. For more information, call 465-6321 or go to

Three members of the marionette "cast" that were hand-carved by David Simpich and will be used for his adaptation of Charles Dickens' "Oliver Twist" are shown (from left) Oliver, the Artful Dodger and Fagin. The production will run from Sept. 23 to Nov. 6, with shows scheduled on Wednesdays and on Fridays to Sundays.
Courtesy of David Simpich

       'Oliver Twist' shows
       The Simpich Showcase Theatre will present “Oliver Twist,” an original puppeteering adaptation of the Charles Dickens' novel which contrasted corruption with innocence and integrity, in shows from Sept. 23 to Nov. 6.
       David Simpich wrote the adaptation and hand-carved the marionettes, which he will manipulate while playing the role of Dickens.
       He originally produced the play in 1996 and presented it in a cross-country tour.
       Admission prices are $12 for adults, $11 for seniors and $10 for children. Performances of “Oliver Twist” are Wednesdays as well as Fridays to Sundays.
       The Simpich Theatre is in Old Colorado City at 2413 W. Colorado Ave.
       For showtimes and other information, call 465-2492 or go to
       Skin and nail care salon
       About Face Skin and Nail Care recently opened at 2616 W. Colorado Ave, Suite 17.
       The business is owned by Kim Rosman, who has been working as a skin care and nail specialist for 6 years on the Westside, with 20 years in all in the beauty industry.
       “Moving into my new location on Colorado Avenue has allowed me to offer a more relaxing environment, away from the hustle and bustle of a typical salon,” she said. “Now my clients can receive more one-on-one attention.”
       About Face is open Tuesday through Saturday. Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments are suggested.
       For more information, call 719-200-8051 or e-mail
       Cupcake specialists
       A business specializing in cupcakes has opened at 2524 ½ W. Colorado Ave.
       Mya Bella Cupcakes makes and sells cupcakes to individual buyers and as caterers for weddings and other large events, according to owners Alexandra Elliott and Diane Sisemore.
       “These delightful cupcakes were inspired by my daughter, Mya Bella,” Elliott states on the business website, “My passion for these heart-warming treats is fueled by my passion for her.”
       The business is open Tuesday through Saturday, with consultations by appointment.
       The phone is 434-7710; e-mail is
       Jewelry 'trunk show'
       A “trunk show” displaying the entire Alex Sepkus jewelry line will be open to the public at the Squash Blossom Gallery, 2531 W. Colorado Ave., Thursday, Sept. 22 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
       The New York jeweler specializes in carving under a microscope, including the use of tools he's invented. His works are displayed in galleries in 42 states, and he employs 17 craftspeople at his New York office, a website states.
       For more information, call Squash Blossom at 632-1899
       Rack returns to store
       The Westside Pioneer is back at Albertson's.
       Because of business issues unrelated to the Pioneer, the grocery store at 4405 Centennial Blvd. in the West Wind shopping center had stopped offering a rack for free newspapers about two years ago.
       The situation changed recently when El Comercio de Colorado took over the contract to lease space for the rack from Albertson's. The Pioneer and other free publications in turn sublease “pockets” in the rack from El Comercio.
       The rack is just inside the entrance lobby to the store.

Editor's note: If you know any Westside locations not listed here, or you find that any of this information has changed, please let us know at 471-6776.

Westside Pioneer/press release