If you’ve ever hiked the Incline or taken a journey up Pikes Peak via Barr Trail or the Cog Railway, you’ve passed by one of the most unique attractions in the region — the Iron Springs Chateau. This historic Manitou Springs treasure has come a long way from its 1880s origins as a candy and cigar shop or mineral water sales. Today, it is best known for serving up fun, family-friendly melodrama in the Iron Springs Chateau Theater.
Melodrama may have found its roots in Europe, but we like to think that it truly got its flavor in the U.S., where western flair made the larger-than-life theatrics truly shine with epic fun. Iron Springs Chateau has kept the tradition of melodrama alive and well in its mountainside locale, serving up the entertainment for families from all over the country season after season. In light of their newest show “A Precious Bit of the West…or…She Was Simply a Delight”, let’s check out a few reasons why you should make this quirky little theater your next must-visit attraction!
1. New Melodramas Multiple Times a Year
You never have to worry you’ll catch the same show twice in a season, because Iron Springs Chateau changes it up several times a year! Through August, you can check out “A Precious Bit of the West…or…She Was Simply a Delight!”. It’s the theater’s newest melodrama that tells the tale of Precious Delight, a gal from England who’s traveled to the Wild West to claim her inheritance, the Buffalo Chips Ranch. However, chaos soon ensues when she realizes she’ll have to fight local baddie Ralph Rancid for her rightful place as the lady of the manor (so to speak). The crew at Iron Springs puts on a stellar performance every time, so you won’t want to miss this exciting evening out to catch their latest show (and every show after). Keep an eye out for a special Halloween show and a Christmas show, too.
2. Audience Participation Strongly Encouraged
Most everyone loves the theater, but sometimes sitting in silence for two hours can feel a bit … stifling? There’s an antidote to that and we call it melodrama. At Iron Springs Chateau, you’ll get plenty of opportunities to join in on the fun, booing the truly despicable villains, cheering on the graceful heroes and heroines and generally having a grand ol’ time. Most performances include a singalong, vaudeville-style revues, comedy, skits and more — all with lots of good-natured audience participation. The regular performances are family-friendly, which means that you can totally bring your kiddos to check out the histrionics and hilarity of a different kind of theater performance.
3. Dinner is Served
If you’re of a mind to dine, Iron Springs offers a pre-show dinner featuring a hearty and home-style three-course meal. You’ll get your choice of pot roast or roasted chicken, traditional favorites like green beans and mashed potatoes, and, of course, dessert—a tasty fruit cobbler. You get coffee and tea included, too. The attraction also has a full bar that serves up standards like beer and wine, or cocktails that are a bit more fun and fancy, if that’s what you crave. The seatings for dinner begin about two hours before the show, so you won’t have to panic about finishing your meal in time to make the performance.
4. The Classiest of Casts
While melodrama performances are definitely exaggerated, they’re not easy. If you think it’s a matter of over-acting or being super dramatic, you’re wrong. There’s an art to the act and that’s why Iron Springs Chateau has put together a spectacular troupe of actors who have a knack for it. You’ll get a chance to follow your favorite regulars with each new performance as they shed and don their latest character, or meet new faces who have come to Manitou Springs to perform just for visitors. Some of the actors have been with the theater for 25 years or more! You’ll also get a chance to check out some of the actors’ special talents on the post- or mid-show performances.
5. It’s Close to Everything Cool
We think that a relaxing and laughter-filled evening of dinner and theater is the perfect cherry on top of just about any day. That’s why it’s just so darn cool and convenient that Iron Springs Chateau is in the heart of all the fun that the Pikes Peak regions has to offer. So go ahead! Hike the mountains, explore nearby Cave of the Winds, play at the arcade in downtown Manitou Springs or anything else your heart desires. The theater and its amazing cast will be waiting for you at the end with a cold drink and a killer performance!
“A Precious Bit of the West…or…She Was Simply a Delight” only runs through the summer, so we suggest you snag your tickets and dinner reservations soon. It’s an evening of fun that the whole family will enjoy!
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