Established in 1965 by patrons of the Forward Arts Foundation, The Swan Coach House warmly hosts charming Southern lunches for leisurely ladies who wish to unwind, entertain, or outshine their table with tales of their grandchildren's triumphs. The menu preens with delicate offerings such as the Swan's Favorite, which tucks the house's signature chicken salad into blushing handmade pastry timbales as a creamy, frozen fruit salad clings to its plated skirt ($11.95). The salmon cakes stir Southern nostalgia and hushed pride into a boastful blend of salmon, celery, onion, and tarragon with dijon dill sauce on the side ($13.25). As conversation turns from friendly chatter to intense debate over the cultural prophesies espoused by Mother Goose, cut the tension with a traditional mint julep served in a frosted silver cup and sweetened with a pinch of sugar and fresh mint to contest the romantic wiles of a Mr. Jim Beam ($7.75).
The masterful instructors at the Spruill Center for the Arts soak students’ brain sponges in creative know-how via a diverse selection of 90-minute art classes, ranging from digital photography to blacksmithing. Basic or watercolor painting classes stoke the flames of inner van Goghs, and screenplay-writing lessons provide the trade secrets necessary to write distinguished works such as The Magna Carta: Live. A brief foray into ceramics puts participants on the right path to spun-clay enlightenment, and skills acquired in jewelry crafting and portrait drawing may pay dividends in future romantic courtships. No class will exceed 26 pupils, ensuring that each attendee will receive ample instructor attention to ask questions about postmodern art or create intricate student-teacher secret handshakes.
Created by the Lookingglass Theatre Company from Chicago, Lookingglass Alice offers an acrobatic and dizzyingly playful take on Lewis Carroll's double-dose of Victorian childhood wonder, Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass. As Alice falls, floats, and flies across Wonderland's chessboard on her way to becoming Queen Alice, chairs pop up from the floor, Tweedledee and Tweedledum tweedle-tumble across the stage, our heroine voyages across a swirling sea of blue, and much more. The remarkable cast of five often seems like a bursting circus of 40 as they switch costumes, juggle, ride unicycles, walk on stilts, and defy logic as often as they defy gravity.