Arthur Murray has been a leading name in franchise dance since 1912, when the entrepreneur began selling mail-order dance lessons. Expanding his reach, he enlisted teachers to spread his signature dance lessons on first-class steamships and skyrocketed to fame in the '30s after introducing the public to such dances as the Lambeth Walk and The Big Apple. By the 1950s, Arthur and his wife, Kathryn, were hosting their own highly popular TV show on ABC, The Arthur Murray Dance Party, which ran for 12 years. Today, Arthur Murray's team prepares students for rug cutting at special events and weekend nightclub jaunts. Throughout lessons, instructors teach the foundations of two to four dances from a long list of styles that range from Latin to country-western, helping students to learn basic step patterns, timing, and the ability to lead or follow.
Founded in 1924 as a vaudeville palace and movie house, The Strand Theatre harks back to the cinematic havens of yore with its homey auditorium space and vintage marquee. Groups enjoy recent releases and classic films while seated at tables, which grant unimpeded legroom and preclude fistfights over whose cup holder is whose. The tables are placed in a staggered and tiered arrangement that ensures every audience member has a clear sightline. The in-house restaurant shares a full-service menu of appetizers and entrees from the grill, as well as craft beer and wine, all of which can be enjoyed inside the theater.
In his first design for 5 Wits, Mathew DuPlessie channeled the fedora-wearing, whip-cracking swagger of Indiana Jones. Called Tomb, this interactive entertainment experience threw its participants into ancient Egypt to solve riddles and clues from a supernatural pharaoh. Since then, DuPlessie, a graduate of MIT and Harvard Business School, has opened up two new adventures that combine the immersive special effects of a Hollywood movie with the interactive role-play of a video game. "It's hands-on entertainment," the former designer for Disney World and Universal Studios told the Patriot Ledger, "that forces people to get off their rear end."
Thus far, all of his adventures have worked to immerse the mind and the senses—the Shakespearean origins of the company's name. Taken from Much Ado About Nothing, "five wits" refers to the Bard's nod to memory, imagination, fantasy, common sense, and estimation. Though the scenarios are meant to thrill and challenge players, none are meant to frighten, nor are they designed to be beyond the reach of those with average physical ability and psychic powers.
Jump Trax's menagerie of inflatables plays host to kids of all ages for parties and open-play sessions. Sock-footed youngsters can explore two climate-controlled arenas filled with bounceable attractions, such as Spongebob’s pineapple house and a prehistoric obstacle course overseen by a tyrannosaurus rex. Other activities abound, such as tyke-sized push cars, a slide shaped like the Batmobile, or an inflatable Scooby Doo Mystery Machine. To prevent the inflatables from becoming vitamin D deficient, Jump Trax's location is used for block parties, barbecues, and birthday parties. Their menu consists of pizza and sodas, as well as goodie bags. Check out their FAQ for more info.
Four evenings a week between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m., the interior of BJ Eyebrow Threading transforms into Bollywood Dance. The space becomes lively as instructors guide students through flashy, rhythmic regional Indian routines, many of which emulate the song-and-dance entertainers in Bollywood films. Students can also learn dances set to folk and Western Indian music or opt for dance-aerobics classes that increase heart rates and help people shake off any parrots that have landed on their shoulders.
Founded by Eric Bickernicks, Velma's Wicked Delicious Kettle Corn serves up fresh kettle-cooked popcorn at stands and farmers' markets throughout New England. The staff also brings its salty snacks to private events and parties.