The most popular films at the Alaska Experience Theater covers a monumental moment in area history: the devastating Good Friday Earthquake of March 27, 1964. After learning about the quake's massive power in the adjoining museum, viewers enter an earthquake simulator, shaking along with hydraulic tremors as a brand new documentary drives home the quake's destructive scale.
The Alaska Earthquake Experience is just one of the various short documentaries on Alaskan history and lifestyle screened at the theater throughout the year. In the 96-seat main theater, a 40-foot screen commands attention. The theater displays longer documentaries along with cult classics, independent films, and wide release blockbusters. In addition to hosting these screenings, the theater can also be rented out for use in weddings, conventions, or other memorable events.
The Alaska Experience Theater's dedication to lively historical learning also extends outside of its walls. Out in the marketplace, two permanent exhibits reveal more information about the earthquake and display the full collection of prints by Alaskan artist Fred Machetanz.
The skilled dancers at Anchorage Classical Ballet, recipient of the 2010 Outstanding Arts Organization Award, lead pintsize pirouetters in daylong camps that introduce them to the disciplined grace of classical dance. The one-day workshops partition girls and boys into theme-based programs catering to three separate age groups: 3- and 4-year-olds, kids ages 5–6, and youngsters ages 7–9. Students can plié, jeté, and electric boogaloo in Ballerina for a Day camp, jump to their feet in Can’t Sit Still, or commit to sanctioned insanity in Crazy 4 Dance. Each course incorporates music and song with dance instruction and includes the creation of crafts, such as macaroni portraits of Mikhail Baryshnikov. Camps run July 26 to August 27 on Tuesdays and Saturdays, with occasional Thursday sessions.
South Pacific—a story originally brought to life by Broadway greats Rodgers and Hammerstein—presents a titillating and tangled web of love lines, country allegiances, and tetherball death matches, set against the backdrop of World War II. Power-ballad seeking patrons will swoon as they're swept away by the melodies of "Bali Ha'I," "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair," and "Some Enchanted Evening," resounding within the sonically engineered Discovery Theatre. With its two-tiered seating area, swooping curved walls, and a ceiling of silver-saucer acoustic disks, the theater treats earthbound ears to an out-of-body experience unknown since Killer Klowns From Outer Space: The Musical .
The all-ages Rock the Countdown concert series ushers in 2012 on a stage that becomes a magnet for fist pumps and uproarious applause during sets by nationally renowned tunesmiths. Riff wizards Vertical Horizon headline the ear-rattling bill of performers, inciting crowd-wide sing-alongs with international hits such as "You're a God," "Everything You Want," and "Best I Ever Had (Grey Sky Morning)." Punk rockers Alien Ant Farm, meanwhile, discharge an equally energetic set of chart-topping tunes, including a clamorous cover of Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal," which earned the band rampant praise for its powerful guitar work and complete disdain for walking forward.
Revel in the power of boxers and their damage-dispensing punches dealt during Thursday Night at the Fights. Boxers hustle in the ring, where pairs of muscle-bound pugilists can settle their scores while remaining in constant flux between underdog and overdog status. With seven fights per night, onlookers can nestle into their seats and roar to a number of matchups approved by numerous world wonders and mythologies. Though not included in this Groupon, fight followers can migrate to Chilkoot Charlie's for postfight parties, including ring-girl contests, video recaps of the game, and the opportunity to toast swollen-face victors.
The longest-running regular-season college basketball tournament in the country, the Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout invites eight men's and four women's teams from across the country for an intense tournament packed into Thanksgiving weekend. In the 34th edition of the men's field, the Seawolves host such formidable foes as Murray State, who dribbled and dunked their way into last year's NCAA tournament, as well as New Mexico State and Southern Mississippi. Gents battle to climb the brackets in four days of play so fast-paced that games must be announced by professional auctioneers.