A former vaudeville performance space and movie palace built in 1928, the California Theatre of the Performing Arts hearkens back to a bygone era with its majestic Wurlitzer organ, which is played during silent-film programs, and a time portal linked to the childhood home of Alexander Pantages. The theater?s deep-red stage curtains and ornate, vaulted ceilings also steep the senses in a vintage ambiance. Thanks to this comforting nostalgia, as well as the heartfelt scenes that unfold onstage, the space seems much cozier than a 1,718-seat auditorium has any right to.
Little Shop of Horrors, Center Stage's latest production, revisits Alan Menken's famed dark comic musical about an insecure floral assistant forced to serve human lunches to a man-eating plant with a Juilliard-caliber singing voice. Bear witness to the expressive acting of Center Stage Theatre's best as actors bring to life the terrifyingly humorous story of love, desperation, and maniacal dentists. First-timers will discover the epic roots of the botanical horror-comedy genre, and longtime fans can return for a 20th viewing to rehear favorite notes of mind-sticking standards like "Skid Row (Downtown)."
Arthur Murray Dance Studio 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 an instructor as the teachers 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.
Steppin Out Ballroom's dance masters bring worlds of experience, passion, and enthusiasm to every group and private dance lesson. Their goal is always to create confident, well-rounded dancers. By encouraging students to begin with private lessons, they can customize programs to the individual and put the twinkle in their toes before twirling them into group lessons. Group classes are needed to perfect steps learned during private sessions and give dancers a social outlet. They further nurture the social side of dancing with practice parties, which let students show off their moves, dance with others who are also still learning, and enjoy a comfortable environment that simulates a night out at the club. The instructors also apply that same dedication to teaching engaged couples their first dance and leading kids during lessons and competitive teams.
The Tony Award–winning musical Evita, by esteemed writers Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber, charts the rise of the world's first political celebrity, Argentine first lady Eva Perón. Peppered with familiar personages such as Che Guevara, nail- and toe-biting political maneuvers, and immaculate six-part harmonies, Evita reaches even the iciest heart with the fire of its emotional exuberance. Allow eager eardrums to savor the dulcet tones of the score, headlined by the famous “Don't Cry for Me Argentina.” In the intimate environs of the Lewis Family Playhouse, peepers can pick out every detail of the stage's goings-on, from artfully rendered emotion to the tragic parting of lovelorn curtains for the entirety of the play.