Not many actors can say they've performed in a production directed by a 12-year-old, but Erin Coley has always had an instinctive sense of how to put on a show. Years later, she and her husband, J.R., founded Standing Ovation Performing Arts, assembling eight other experts in the field to encourage kids to get on the stage as early as possible. Improv comedy, puppetry, and playwriting help students express themselves while giving them the skills to deliver confident class presentations and rousing monologues on the futility of naptime.
It's 1980-something. Glen, a young boy, dons a pair of glasses with one blue lens and one red, excited by this new technology that's supposed to make things on the screen pop out at you. During the next two hours, Glen ducks swooping avians during the revival of Alfred Hitchcock's ¬The Birds in 3-D, terrified, yet thrilled. This is one of Glen Gray's earliest memories about the theater his father built more than 30 years ago. Today, Glen lives out those moments each day as the proprietor of Movies of Delray, where the projectors roll a medley of Hollywood features, and foreign, art-house, and independent films.
Gold walls and burgundy curtains lend to the lobby’s art-deco air, and a large chandelier illuminates more than 60 pencil drawings of movie icons of yore, such as John Wayne, Elvis, and Marilyn Monroe. This old-fashioned lobby disguises the updates within: brand-new bathrooms, granite countertops at the concession stand, and in the theaters themselves, digital surround sound and updated seating. Rows of black leather seats cushion moviegoers with high backs and wide benches so cozy that Glen claims guests have fallen asleep in them, only waking up at the end of the picture or when Bruce Willis turns out to have been a metaphor all along.
In celebration of film, professor Shelly Isaacs graces the theater with screenings of obscure Oscar-winning or Oscar-nominated foreign films. After each screening, he discusses the film with audiences, dissecting and analyzing the cinematography, characters, and plot.
For two weekends every October, the sounds of laughter and German folk music echo across a field in Lake Worth. The American German Club's traditional Oktoberfest celebration, which sprawls across 10 acres under an open-air pavilion and a tent, has been going on for 40 years now and doesn't show any signs of stopping. Each day kicks off with the parade of flags and, sometimes, a ceremonial keg-tapping. Afterward, indoor and outdoor kitchens perpetually sizzle up authentic German bratwurst, leberkäse, and pastries. Meanwhile, bartenders pour four styles of Hofbräu Bier, as well as imported liquors and domestic brews. While vendors display traditional German crafts, the festival's stages erupt with folk-dancing, choral singing, and Bavarian tunes from two German groups, Heldensteiner Band and Die Lustigen Bayern.
At Visual Eyes at Mizner Park and Real Eyes on Atlantic Avenue, licensed optometrist Aaron Evans oversees full-service optometry centers and an inventory of more than 1,500 designer frames from makers such as Gucci, Ray-Ban, and Chanel. The staff uses state-of-the-art technology, including the optomap retinal scan, to examine eyes. The optomap produces full-color, high-definition images of the retina without dilating the eye, which can help reduce blurriness and sensitivity to light after the exam. The doctors prescribe appropriate lenses such as single-vision, bifocal, or progressive, with available add-ons such as Transitions lenses or scratch-resistant coatings. They also stock more than 400 varieties of sunglasses, enough for a gang of 50 spiders protect their eyes and look uniquely cool at the same time.
A nationally sourced all-star roster of professional singers, Seraphic Fire weaves complex vocals and dynamic performance into a shimmering audio-visual tapestry. Their popular Christmas program features English, Spanish, and American carols, sung with classical poise and seasonally appropriate gusto. Patrons can fill their ears amidst flickering candlelight, and enjoy sweeter sounds than those produced by well-intentioned but atonal door-to-door carolers and traveling reindeer choirs.