In 1947, on New York City's Park Avenue, the first Fred Astaire Dance Studio—cofounded by the eponymous toe tapper himself—opened its doors to the public. More than six decades later, now boasting schools across North America, the dancing institution still adheres to the legendary Mr. Astaire's curriculum and instruction techniques.
Specializing in social ballroom and competitive dances, the schools' current consortium of professional instructors shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through dance lessons that span from classic ballroom and foxtrot romps to the modern steps of salsa, swing, or mambo. In addition to classes, the studio hosts social practice parties where up to 40 students hone newly acquired rug-cutting capabilities. As foot-charming music blares from the speakers, instructors work to cultivate a lively social setting where each guest can dance, mingle, and surgically correct their second left foot without fear of embarrassment.
Ho-Chunk’s 60,000-square-foot gaming facility contains more than 1,100 Class II bingo slot machines and a state-of-the-art poker room. A rewards-club card preloaded with $25 worth of play lets jackpot seekers set out for an e-poker table, where digital cards are dealt to personal screens, allowing poker play to proceed exactly as it would with a paper deck and the cheesy vest of a monotonous dealer. Slot jockeys can head on over to bingo slot stations, such as the Penny Frenzy, Mystic Lamp, and Double Blazing 7’s, where betting denominations range from a single cent to $5 per play line.
Madison's experiential comedy show takes place at the eastside Glass Nickel Pizza Company on Atwood Avenue and begins at 8 p.m. (doors open at 7:30 p.m.). The Monkey Business Institute features no sets, props, or scripts, which allows the hilarious ensemble to craft improv hilarity off the spur of their cufflinks. With decades of improvisational cosmonaut experience and interactive audience participation, each show is distinct and spontaneous. This simian comedy collective features improvisers such as Matt Sloan and Aaron Yonda, who have received more than 70 million YouTube hits for viral video sensations such as "Chad Vader." Keep a third eye peeled for other local favorites Brad Knight, Jason Stephens, Sheila Robertson, and more.
In addition to helping support the Union, a completely self-supporting, non-profit organization, a community membership to the Wisconsin Union grants card-carriers access to grand opening events, hotel discounts, specialty classes, and more. During summer, the Terrace on the shores of Lake Mendota hosts live music five nights a week, and the Lakeside Cinema screens films on Monday nights. Throughout the year, members can take advantage of renting rooms for events, purchasing food from the Union’s 21 eateries, campus-wide WiFi access, and a connection to the heart, soul, and sweaty date-night palms of the University of Wisconsin student body.
Based on George Bernard Shaw's classic Pygmalion, My Fair Lady has charmed countless theatergoers since debuting on Broadway in 1956. Conceived by acclaimed composer Frederick Loewe and lyricist Alan Jay Lerner, the tale revolves around a stodgy professor who uses speech lessons and motivational office posters to turn an unrefined flower girl into an elegant debutante. Guests will chuckle as the bloom-loving lass sheds her Cockney accent to the tune of “The Rain in Spain” and swoon to the romantic melody of “I Could Have Danced All Night.”
Dance Wisconsin is composed of young, nimble-footed dancers from across southern Wisconsin, many of whom have gone on to professional careers. This deal will get you a close-up view of the company’s performance of Nutcracker Fantasy, with more than 70 local dancers joining two guest performers from New York’s prestigious American Ballet Theatre to present a contemporary adaptation of Tchaikovsky’s famous ballet. Last year’s performance was lauded by the Isthmus for its crowd-pleasing dance moves. Audience members of all ages will feel warm inside Uncle Drosselmeyer's toy shop, where toys come to life and lead children on quests to other worlds and fourth-dimensional convenience stores. This production breathes youthful imagination into the ultimate dream story by juxtaposing the traditional ballet and score with original costumes, music, and plot elements, such as a ballroom dance performed to “Carol of the Bells.”
Actor and comedian Russell Brand frees chortles from belly prisons with his unique style of manic, irreverent humor. Riffing on the nature of fame and celebrity, Brand regales audiences with edgy observations and outsized characters to delight audiences grown bored with tamer comedians and telephone time-of-day services. Visiting a series of colleges, the tour filters the eccentricities of American universities through Brand's singular wit. George Mason University's recently renovated Patriot Center contains the glee in arena-style seating, ensuring everyone has a clear view of both Brand and the cricket whispering jokes in his ear.
Budding artists of all ages can begin to imprint their creative legacies in two-hour printmaking workshops that consist of stamp-making and hands-on card-making with cards on colored paper stocks. Professional artist Aliza Rand draws on more than 10 years of teaching experience to guide small groups of students through the creative process, demonstrating how to whittle stamps with finesse and strap them securely to feet before using monkey bars to cross gooey fields of ink. Holiday-themed workshops spread the season’s cheer with step-by-step instructions for fashioning festive Christmas cards or stamps in the shapes of fir trees to remind Santa of home during his circumnavigational blimp ride.
In their 85th season, the Harlem Globetrotters have entertained millions of parents, children, and general basketball admirers with a unique brand of athletic precision and showmanship. For their latest 4 Times the Fun North American tour, the Globetrotters will add new 4-point shot spots located 35 feet from the basket, which is 12 feet farther than the official 3-point line but several thousand miles closer than the prime meridian.
Kicking off their first full season in the Independent Women’s Football League, the Madison Cougars dodge blitzes and throw precision passes to overcome their opponents and entertain scores of Wisconsin football fans. Each game offers the usual thrilling combination of bone-undoing tackles, courageous catches, and silent end-zone dances that reference the end of Swan Lake.
The Crystal Grand Music Theatre allows audiences to get up close and personal with top performers in an intimate 2,000-seat setting. Night Ranger—’80s arena-rock legends and sellers of millions of albums—takes to the recently renovated stage for one night only, treating fans to their signature melodic fusion of hard-rock intensity and radio-friendly hooks. Rock out to the band's beloved epic power ballads including “Sister Christian” and "When You Close Your Eyes," as well as ripping guitar-driven hits such as “(You Can Still) Rock in America,” a pointed response to the Regan administration's brief ban on scissors and paper. The Crystal Grand Music Theatre's size ensures every concertgoer has a clear view of the stage, and its innovative design and updated acoustic technology ensure that every chord, beat, and "motoring" evokes the appropriate head-banging response.
Watertown Bowl's sprawling lanes play host to up to six players during each two-hour outing. After lacing up complimentary kicks, parties can pluck neon-hued balls from orderly racks and snag a lane with or without bumpers. After striking down all 10 pins or splitting sibling pins from their perennial feuds, each player can sip pop or beer and munch a pizza slice decked with such toppings as cheese, pepperoni, bacon, and ground beef. Themed bowling events add excitement to each outing, and groups can schedule their trips to coincide with alley happenings such as Family Thunder Alley, which charms clans with glow bowl, festive lighting, and tot-suitable music. During Weekend Thunder Alley on Saturday nights, orb-slingers can bowl in the dark as music blasts, lights flash, and balls moonwalk down the runway.
Girls Night: The Musical will bring to the stage of the 14th Street Theatre a heartfelt, comedic story of five friends celebrating their history and future together while embarking on an epic night of karaoke. Actresses belt out renditions of such female classics as "It's Raining Men," "I Will Survive," and “Lady Marmalade” amid vibrant set pieces. Theater seating harkens back to intimate cabarets of yore, with up to four seats and a Dean Martin wax figure adorning each table. Groupon holders receive the best non-VIP seats possible (any table other than tables A-G) upon the redemption of their vouchers at the theater's will-call station.
We are the Rockford Rage Women's Roller Derby. We are a group of strong, passionate, athletic, dedicated, and empowered women (and some men). We are determined to bring the sport of roller derby back to the Rockford area and we strive to support our community in any way possible.
With more than 450 stores throughout the globe, TCBY has become synonymous with high-quality frozen yogurt since its humble inception in Arkansas in 1981. Known as The Country’s Best Yogurt, TCBY serves up frozen treats packed with benefits such as live active cultures and vitamin D while remaining lower in fat and calories than traditional ice cream. New additions to the menu include frozen greek yogurt, which swirls with twice as much protein as the regular frozen yogurt, giving customers a treat to look forward to after strenuous routines of bench-pressing dairy-farm equipment. Revamped store designs infuse each space with modern, colorful touches, such as bright-green chairs and hanging orange lights, reflecting the dessert emporium’s dedication to happily moving into the future with its customers.