For the past five years, the Ontario Reign have dominated opponents as the ECHL affiliate of the Winnipeg Jets and the 2012 Stanley Cup champions, the Los Angeles Kings. Formerly the Texas Wildcatters, and before that, the Huntington Blizzard, the Reign rose to existence in 2008. And, rather than naming the team the old-fashioned way of letting a raccoon pick random letters from a bag of Scrabble pieces, the newly spawned organization turned to its fans with a name-the-team contest. That contest kicked off what has been a thriving relationship between the Reign and Ontario hockey fans. In fact, the Reign led the ECHL in attendance during their first three seasons. In 2012 and 2013, the team rewarded its loyal fans with back-to-back Pacific Division championships, and in coming seasons, hopes to be a perennial contender for the Kelly Cup.
There is no typical climb at Urban Ascent. With the help of a belaying partner to safeguard their ropes, visitors can scale up to 43 feet of weathered rockface on endurance climbs, or they can stick closer to the ground in the ropes-free bouldering area. Urban Ascent’s team challenges climbers by regularly revamping the 14,000-square-foot gym’s routes, rearranging footholds and installing pop-out boxing-glove gags to add an element of unpredictability to climbs. During private climbing lessons, instructors fine-tune veteran climbers’ techniques or teach newbies basic fundamentals. The staff also imparts climbing-safety basics to first-time belayers in 20-minute tutorials. Urban Ascent hosts summer camps, afterschool climbing activities for students, and corporate team-building workshops.
Hoisting championship trophies and high-stakes competition comes second nature to the Idaho Steelheads. Since joining the ECHL in 2003, the team has qualified for the playoffs every season, and in 2004 and 2007, the team conquered all opponents to take the ECHL Kelly Cup, the league's most prestigious cup other than that coffee mug Wayne Gretzky once touched. An affiliate of the NHL Dallas Stars, their players take to the ice at CenturyLink Arena, where fans routinely fill sections to cheer their team on against Western Conference foes.
Stage Coach Theatre has entertained audiences for 29 consecutive seasons, shining a flashlight on the human spirit in a variety of genres, including thrillers, comedies, dramedies, and comedramlers. With the 2010–11 season in full bloom, theatergoers can pick its contemporary stage-fruits and slurp up its performance-juices. Darwin in Malibu, a comedy opening October 15, features a living Charles Darwin, 120 years after he died, engaging in a spirited debate with Thomas Huxley and the Bishop of Oxford about science, God, and lesser-known benefits of flossing. For a holiday family outing, A Christmas Twist (opening November 26) stirs the story of A Christmas Carol with a comedic straw, adding a dash of Oliver Twist and Little Orphan Annie. On April 22, Always…Patsy Cline will begin regaling theater-goers with 27 of her tunes, including memorable songs like "Crazy," "Sweet Dreams," and "That Ain't My Medical Chart, Doctor Franklin."
Ever since it premiered on NBC on Christmas Eve 1951, Amahl & the Night Visitors has become one of the most frequently performed holiday operas in the world, far surpassing The Flying Elf Man, Wagner's epic eight-opera cycle chronicling the life of Santa. Boise mezzo-soprano Tiffany Calas stars in the one-act opera, which tells the story of a crippled boy who meets the Magi on their way to visit the birth site of Jesus. Showtimes are at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, and Sunday, Dec. 5, and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 4.