When a performance studio stages The Sound of Music as its first production only months after opening, you know it means business. For the staff of Olmsted Performing Arts, their dedication to developing students' acting skills and hunger for creative expression continues to generate inspiring performances. These range from classic Rodgers and Hammerstein showtunes to song-and-dance numbers from Footloose, a rousing tale about the adventures of a barefoot podiatrist.
Western Reserve Playhouse is a nonprofit organization currently in its 54th season of entertaining Akron-area audiences with intimate, high-quality live drama. Settle into the Playhouse's comfortable confines for a night of nerve-wracking diversion with a performance of Postmortem. Set in April 1922 (the same month Warren Harding auctioned off lower Wyoming to settle his competitive-milk-chugging debts), Postmortem centers on an off-duty Broadway musical cast who has assembled for a night or two of sanctioned bacchanalia at a medieval castle owned by William Gillette, who stars in the Broadway cast as an exceptionally clean-shaven Sherlock Holmes. Like all good parties, theirs has a séance penciled in, but things go downhill when it becomes clear that someone among them is trying to murder Gillette.
An old-fashioned pair of comedy and tragedy masks greet drivers pulling up to the marquee of Aut-O-Rama Drive-In. The vintage aesthetic is fitting for an establishment that’s been in business since 1965 and is now in its third generation of being operated by the Sherman family. Although the cinematic lot prides itself on being the first in the area to offer AM-radio sound, today, Dolby FM stereo bathes cars in field-filling acoustics as audiences take in a library of contemporary flicks. From the start of April to the end of September, first-run and well-worn films alike await vehicular cinephiles, who can munch on burgers, subs, and pizza, along with desserts such as ice cream and funnel cake. A food permit grants guests the privilege of toting their own snacks or gnawing on their own steering wheels.
For Adam Weslek, partying was the key to getting in shape. During his one-hour Zumba classes, he transforms the same Latin-inspired dance steps that helped him shed 120 pounds into a celebration of music, movement, and friendship. International music from Grammy-winning producers powers each class, helping students melt calories with arm waves, hip swivels, and air-marimba solos.
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, which is 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. Chart-topping sophomore album, Elevate, also sees its anthemic tunes 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. Australian wunderkind Cody Simpson starts 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 Celiac Awareness Tour travels across the country to promote awareness of celiac disease and energize enthusiasm for gluten-free living. Each stop features presenters that range from medical experts who have studied celiac disease to vendors of gluten-free goods. Chefs' demonstrations exhibit recipes that don't contain gluten or Cracker Jacks prizes. Guests can also flit from booth to booth sampling gluten-free items from both local and national manufacturers and merchants, such as Rudi's Gluten Free Bakery, Natural Nectar, Feel Good Foods, and Redwood Hill Farms.