The Kent Stage, which is housed in a building constructed in 1927 for the Flannigan and Steele Theater, is the only remaining vintage downtown theater in Portage County. The venue is operated by the Western Reserve Folk Arts Association, a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to supporting traditional music and arts through education, concerts, festivals, outreach programs, and workshops. This staff of friendly music enthusiasts is committed to providing a place for music lovers to mingle, appreciate the auditory arts, and get funky.
The defending Mid-American Conference champion Kent State Golden Flashes men’s basketball squadron looks to continue their run of success during 2010–2011’s challenging slate of home games. Two upper reserved seats at an upcoming home game afford views of the whole court as head coach Geno Ford—last year’s MAC coach of the year—leads a team with NCAA tournament ambitions. High-flying forward Justin Greene and speedy guard Rod Sherman will lead the Golden Flashes as they take on teams such as the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks, the South Florida Bulls and their deadly 3-point shooting centaur directed by former coach Stan Heath, and the Youngstown State Penguins. Don a poodle skirt and Cold War fears for the Dec. 2 game’s ’50s theme night, or simply immerse yourself in the school songs, boisterous student section, and monster jams of Kent State basketball.
Cleveland Ballroom Company's owner and principal instructor Nichy Vegas imparts graceful dance techniques to singles and couples in a variety of ballroom styles. Lessons range from beginner to advanced, allowing tyro twirlers and experienced foot-movers alike to learn new techniques and enjoy the fun of ballroom dance. Classes such as beginning and intermediate rhythm teach the importance of well-timed movements, a critical element of any basic two-step, foxtrot, or bullet-dodging routine. Alternate styles include tango, cha-cha, salsa, and the classic waltz—call ahead for information on future scheduling.
With more than 60 years of combined rug-cutting experience, La Danse Cleveland's co-owners, Esther Rehm-Cohen and Tim Brown, have helped untold numbers of students twirl, hop, and belly slide across the dance floor. Certified as a ballroom instructor in 1981, Esther has won national awards for her teaching skills and has had the distinct honor of training couples who have gone on to rank in competitions. She garnered the position of head coach of the Case Western Reserve University ballroom team before fate's two-step led her to a partnership with Tim to run La Danse Cleveland's ample 6,000-square-foot studio. Boasting a background that includes competition in professional arenas as well as work as a dancing judge and a choreographer, co-owner Tim delights in crafting group classes and private lessons that excite and challenge students.
Included on the studio's roster of lessons are styles from Viennese waltz to nightclub two-step, along with sessions tailored specifically to children and to adult fitness goals. In classes and dance parties open to the public, students and social dancers alike rendezvous with Esther, Tim, and their impressive stable of instructors, whose resumés include stints with such world-class companies as the Boston Ballet and Gene Kelly's gutter-cleaning company.
Boy-band juggernaut and Nickelodeon sensation Big Time Rush shines like the sun’s sons as its hotly anticipated Big Time Summer Tour enraptures flocks of fans with pop bliss. The fab foursome, known as BTR to fans and preteen stenographers, first snatched the hearts of millions with its eponymous TV show, recognized as the most-watched live-action series in Nickelodeon’s history. On the group's choreographed carnival of a tour, expert hoofer and crooner Kendall Schmidt leads the affable cast of personalities, which includes James (the ladies' man), Carlos (the joker), and Logan (the smarty warty), through hits from its gold debut, BTR. Their chart-topping sophomore album, Elevate, will also see its hooky anthems represented, such as “Music Sounds Better With U” and “All Over Again.” Expect elastic dance moves from the dapper quadratic and possible numbers from the just-released Big Time Movie, in which BTR covers tunes by obscure boy band The Beatles. Wunderkind Rachel Crow of The X-Factor fame and Australian heartthrob Cody Simpson start the show with peppy rallies and aural morality plays about how love can be tough and why stealing your dad’s head to sneak into R-rated movies isn’t cool.
The Beach Boys pick up sterling vibrations and mass excitations as Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston, and David Marks share the stage for the first time in more than two decades on their highly anticipated 50th-anniversary tour. One of the most celebrated and influential bands in pop-music history, The Beach Boys entrance fans and baffle meteorologists as their chipper instrumentation and multilayered vocal harmonies evoke endless summers. To commemorate an upcoming album and the half century since their debut LP, Surfin’ Safari, changed the musical climate, the SoCal brotherhood hops in their woody to treat the nation's ears to a timeless and diverse catalog of hits. Expect to hear the band’s signature odes to surfing ("Surfin' U.S.A.”), girls ("California Girls"), and girls who surf ("Surfer Girl"), along with more introspective tracks from the baroque-pop masterpieces Pet Sounds and last year's long-awaited Smile. Though The Boys will brandish their own instruments, their wall of euphony will be further bolstered by actor, multi-instrumentalist, and adoptive band uncle John Stamos, as well as members of Brian Wilson's crack backing group, The Wondermints.