Although it’s the oldest continuously running theater in Michigan (and the third oldest in all of the United States), Croswell Opera House has more vibrancy than most venues half its age. Renovated over the last two decades with a new stage floor, an enlarged orchestra pit, and burgundy and gold medallions atop a fresh coat of paint, the historic venue has lost none of its old-fashioned charm as it continues through its second century.
Originally constructed in 1866, the downtown epicenter of Lenawee County arts and culture has played host to a rich timeline of American entertainment. The 1800s featured vaudeville acts, musicians, and orators such as Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass, and the early 1900s saw silent movies swallowed by the next wave of cinema: loudies. Although it was nearly demolished in 1967, the opera house persevered with the loving care of its staff and patrons, and today continues to host a wealth of musical acts, Broadway shows, and children’s theater.
The youthful romanticism of Juliet. The raging jealousies of Othello. Richard III's outsized villainy. All are found in the pages of Shakespeare's works, and all are brought to vibrant new life at the Michigan Shakespeare Festival, the official Shakespeare festival of the state. With characters so rich, it's not surprising that the company exclusively staged the Bard's works for 19 years. But, recognizing that Shakespeare's reach extended far beyond the end of his own quill, the Festival now showcases one piece from an additional playwright each season. But whether the curtain opens on a comedy or a tragedy, a dramatic history or a tender romance, the organization aims to move audiences with timeless stories.
PJ's and Gracie's join forces on a nightly basis to saturate Southeastern Michigan with rotating genres of live and recorded music. Travel between the establishments without paying double cover, enjoying Gracie's eclectic mix of acts and PJ's spacious dance floor. Depending on the night, you may swing to a big band, sway to a rock group, or juggle the rave ball to the sounds of a DJ. Check the website for upcoming ear enticers. With your bucket of beers, you can raise a glass to a gleeful guitar solo or toast to a toe-tapping tympani roll. Scoop up this side deal for a cover-charge-less jaunt through two of Ann Arbor's most aurally aware bars.
Caring for oneself is a necessary part of caring for others, according to Joe Sparks, the former triathlete who helms Hot Yoga With Joe. To encourage others to devote more time to their health and loved ones, he and his staff of certified instructors fill fitness classes with both fun and restorative relaxation. Joe channels more than 10 years of teaching experience to lead hot-yoga workouts featuring gentle yet powerful poses that aim to forge cast-iron muscles capable of hurling a paper airplane into orbit. The 95- to 100-degree temperatures unspool tight ligaments and encourage sweat glands to flush toxins out of the nearest pore. New students prepare for their first sessions by completing a mandatory waiver and hydrating themselves thoroughly beforehand.
Voted No. 4 in the Top 10 Birthday Chains for Kid Birthday Parties in 2010 by Parents magazine, Pump It Up pulses with inflatable play sets and actually encourages kids to bounce off the walls. Within the indoor playground, a stalwart staff oversees the neighborhood of bounce houses and air-filled playthings, such as a classic bounce castle and slick inflatable slide that cushions children's heartfelt reenactments of Cool Runnings. Throughout the week, families can pop in for open play, or tote along their own mini entourage for birthday-party packages complete with private rooms and complimentary invites. Parties come as straightforward packages or as themed events that place the birthday child in structured story adventures where they take on the role of a mighty and clever superhero or pirate captain that drank too much saltwater.