Back in January, Millibo Art Theatre co-founder and executive director Jim Jackson had the idea for a good, old fashioned cabaret. With the aim of giving Colorado Springs a late-night entertainment option for the younger crowd, he patterned his concept after Cabaret Voltaire, named for a Swiss nightclub founded in 1916 by Hugo Ball and the French philosopher Voltaire. The performances there started the Dada movement, in which artists challenged artistic norms in reaction to the politics that led to World War I.
Millibo put out the call for artists and aerialists, poets, musicians, opera singers and magicians were among those who responded.
"It was a cool mix of Colorado Springs and the whole community," said Anna Faye Hunter, one of the hosts of the evening. "It's an opportunity to give a voice to your idea, for people who don't always have a place to perform."
January's cabaret was such a hit that Millibo decided to give it another go on Friday and Saturday, as Cabaret Voltaire 1.2. The best part, said Hunter: "It's entirely local; It's entirely Colorado Springs. Performers are just putting it out there. People who have never performed before want to be a part of it."
Just as Voltaire wrote in his 1759 novella "Candide," "We must cultivate our own garden," Millibo's cabaret offerings must continue to be tended, according to Hunter.
Each night kicks off at 7:30 p.m. with cafe hour, highlighted by a free whiskey tasting from Axe and the Oak Distillery and organic, gluten- and dairy-free chocolate by Blushing Goddess Chocolates. There will also be Bristol Brewing Co. beer, wine and desserts and "all the concessions The MAT usually offers," Hunter said.
The wide-ranging show hosted by Hunter, an actress who has appeared in shows at Millibo and other local theaters, and RiP Improv comedian Mark Rantal, starts an hour later, at 8:30 p.m. It will include burlesque (hence the age restriction) from Trifecta the Collective, aerialists, spoken word poetry from Hear Here poetry, an improv guitarist, comedians from RiP Improv and more.
Hunter says as a host she will make sure the audience is quite engaged. And she's hoping to see some new faces in the theater.
"We really just want to get people out. It's a younger entertainment option. It's affordable. And they have two days to check it out," she said.