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. Clients who arrive to lessons partnerless will be paired up with other classmates as the instructors assess their current skill level and make recommendations on the most appropriate program. 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.
Owner Steve Olson added Parlor Live to the Parlor complex in 2008 as a way to bring big city-caliber evening entertainment to suburban Bellevue. National comedians take the stage in a wide, shallow room with seating that wraps around three sides of the action as colored shapes produced by a sophisticated lighting system dance across the walls. A globally inspired menu introduces the agonizing dilemma of whether to laugh, fill one’s mouth, or mold little edible hearts to toss toward the performer with shareable dishes that include garlic-gorgonzola waffle fries and coconut prawns. The drink menu, too, aims to surprise with complex cocktails that range from a classic old-fashioned to a sparkling rosemary potion with Aperol.
As the go-to source for Americana and roots music, No Depression magazine curates its own festival to showcase both well-established and up-and-coming folk acts. This year's festival is headlined by the dulcet Dublin tones of The Swell Season, consisting of Irish musician Glen Hansard and Czech singer and pianist Markéta Irglová, who starred together in the Academy Award–winning 2007 indie-musical Once. Other acts include acclaimed singer-songwriter Lucinda Williams, Seattle indie-folk rockers The Cave Singers, and Alejandro Escovedo—winner of No Depression ’s "artist of the decade" for the '90s. Tickets are general admission, so arrive when the gates open at noon to secure a close-up spot on Marymoor Park's two enormous grass lawns, ensuring that the artists can pointedly ignore your request that they play the entire score of The Muppet Christmas Carol.
Within the century-old confines of Uptown Glassworks' warehouse, furnaces melt handfuls of kaleidoscopic frit into malleable shapes manipulated by a team of professional glass blowers. But these tradesmen don't just create works for the gallery; they also share their secrets with students in a variety of activities, from introductory courses on making beads and paperweights to advanced instruction that can be applied toward college credit or used to fix the pockmarked walls of glass houses.
During the shop's Blow-Your-Own sessions, participants apply color to clear, molten glass that has recently emerged from a 2,000-degree furnace, then blow their mixture into 1 of 20 different shapes. The next day, patrons can pick up their cooled and packaged creations, comparing their handiwork to the gallery's collection of products, which are made by more than 90 local and regional glass artists.
At Shuga Jazz Bistro, chefs whip up Southern, Cajun, and international comfort foods sourced from local ingredients, all while jazz musicians serenade the crowd. This eclectic menu comes from the mind of Chef Wayne Johnson, a Kentucky native who developed a taste for international flavors while traveling the world as an Army brat. Today he uses his refined palate and more than three decades in the restaurant industry?including an appearance on Iron Chef ?to perfect dishes such as cajun chicken linguine, filet mignon with a blue cheese demi-glace, and fried chicken. Diners pair these plates with expertly mixed cocktails, each garnished with a dash of smoothness. On top of that, live jazz is available on select nights; click here for information about performances.
Owned by a pair of married comedians, Laughs Comedy Spot draws on its owners' continent-wide comedy connections and restaurant-managing acumen to treat guests to top-rate rib ticklers and delectable food. Graciously arranged tables ensure clear views of the stage from every seat, backing up punch lines with a powerful sound system, and free, well-lit parking eases transit worries and preempts cars' fear of the dark.