For the better part of a century, Spartan Stadium has been a cornerstone of San Jose State athletics and university life, hosting more than 300 home football games since 1933, as well as soccer games and concerts packed with more than 30,000 fans. Open during home football games, the Jeff Garcia Hall of Champions pays tribute to more than 300 former athletes and coaches, including pro football stars, golfers, and judo experts. Beyond the football team's keep, the other bastion of SJSU athletics, the Event Center, opened its doors in the late '80s to house men's and women's basketball contests as well as a weight room for students and a take-a-foam-finger, leave-a-foam-finger depository for fans. Spartan athletics maintains a high pedigree throughout their programs, including recent WAC championships for their men's and women's golf teams.
The Ives Quartet's musicians—violinists Bettina Mussumeli and Susan Freier, violist Jodi Levitz. and cellist Stephen Harrison—wash two intimate venues with unexpected selections. One of Haydn's famous Prussian quartets opens the program with rich interplay between instruments and instantly accessible melodies before Quincy Porter's String Quartet no. 6 spotlights a 20th-century take on the classical form. To help perform Tchaikovsky's energetic Souvenir of Florence sextet and feed the metronomes during the earlier pieces, violist and co-founder of the Moab Music Festival Leslie Tomkins wields her bow alongside guest cellist Tanya Tomkins of the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra.
At San Jose Improv, comics lure laughs from bellies in the hopes of following in the footsteps of standup legends such as Ellen DeGeneres, Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld, and Dave Chappelle, all of whom have graced the Improv club stages. The club's calendar schedules comedians as often as six nights a week, alternating between big-name headliners and up-and-coming funsters who tickle funny bones with fresh material, abundant energy, and feathered reflex hammers. Though special shows are excluded, Groupon holders may attend sets from a diverse lineup of certified funnymen, including In Living Color veteran Tommy Davidson, whose spot-on impersonations and hilarious expressions have appeared in Spike Lee's Bamboozled, Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, and three Showtime specials. Audience members munch on their choice of a savory appetizer, such as spinach-and-artichoke dip or fried calamari, while sipping a cocktail to avoid eye contact with the giant rubber chicken sitting at the next table (drinks not included with this Groupon).
ComedySportz’s troupe of all-star laughletes is considered to be not only comedic, but also to have good sportsmanship, since there’s no swearing allowed and the subject matter is suited for all ages. Take a friend, relative, significant other, or the relative of a friend’s significant other to see two teams of expert improvisers fight for laughs through scenes, games, and songs based on audience suggestions.
Andrew Jackson, the United States' seventh commander-in-chief and founder of the modern Democratic party, who still smirks on the $20 bill, receives a makeover as one of the nation's founding rock stars during the musical comedy Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. The rollicking rock opera, which split sides on Broadway two years ago under the tagline "History Just Got All Sexypants," induces contagious guffaws with its sharp wit and unyielding satire that "oozes political relevance," according to USA Today. At roughly 90 minutes, the same time it takes to train a doorbell to ding-dong in French, the musical blares its first chords during Old Hickory's early days on the Tennessee frontier. The guitar-driven production then follows the charming leader as he woos his wife Rachel and then the nation with a populist campaign that reaps an eight-year term in the White House.
Celebrating its 40th season, the nonprofit Lyric Theatre regales the public with extravagantly staged productions of classic light operas. Feast ear-buds on sweet sounds performed by a volunteer troupe of opera-trained actor-singers, a full chorus, a 24-piece live orchestra, and one extremely skilled conductor's baton. The Lyric Theatre's The Sorcerer begins the quartet by mixing Victorian comedic stylings with Bollywood-inspired staging. The Gondoliers, Gilbert and Sullivan's lively tale of royal mix-ups, makes a melodic mockery of the British social system. The nautical chuckle-fests H.M.S. Pinafore and season-closer The Pirates of Penzance tickle funny bones of all ages with peppy maritime music and historically accurate knot-tying jargon.