The first Improv comedy club had virtually nothing to do with comedy. Broadway producer Budd Friedman founded the now legendary franchise in 1963 as an intimate spot for performers to eat, drink coffee, and sing along to piano ditties after their shows. Soon after, the club?s first comedian, Dave Astor, performed on a whim to try out new material. The stand-up set was a hit and led to the venue?s eventual transformation into a full-blown comedy club. New York?s hottest comedians would do nearly anything to be featured on the Improv stage; for instance, it's rumored that Lily Tomlin hijacked a parked limousine in order to make a stunning entrance when first meeting Budd.
A recent addition to the respected chain of Improv comedy clubs?where comedic heavyweights such as Andy Kaufman, Jay Leno, and Jerry Seinfeld first started working the stand-up circuit?Denver Improv lives up to the reputation set by its preceding locations by hosting a full calendar of well-known comics and promising up-and-comers. Audience members can fuel laughter with pub grub such as potato skins and pulled pork sandwiches, all while sipping a cocktail to avoid eye contact with the giant rubber chicken sitting at the next table.
Every performer has a different goal. Recognizing this, the teaching staff at Academy of the Arts-Denver (each a professional in his or her respective field) designs all of their lesson plans around their students' individual goals. These highly personalized plans shape the approach to the school's age-specific, professional and recreational group acting and vocal classes. The teaching staff also uses their 75 years of accumulated experience to focus on talent development, whether students want to break into the business, or perform for the joy of it. Private lessons help build proficiency in guitar, bass, drums, and music production. Though lessons focus on specific technical training, the teachers encourage creative experimentation no matter the genre. Former students have established careers in TV, Broadway, Film, and Music. As they learn, Academy of the Arts-Denver's students are also encouraged to take part in rehearsals and performances.
The Denver Center for the Performing Arts is situated in the center of downtown’s thriving theater district. As the second largest performing arts center in the world, the Performing Arts Complex is a drama queen’s (or king’s) nirvana. There are many dazzling spaces within the dramatically designed, glass-roofed complex, including Boettcher Concert Hall, home to the Colorado Symphony; the Temple Hoyne Buell Theatre, which showcases many Broadway touring companies; and the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. In addition, you’ll find a Tony Award-winning theater company, the Seawell Grand Ballroom and many more performance stages. The Denver Center for the Performing Arts also holds events in the Complex’s outdoor Sculpture Park, and hosts community acting classes and educational events at next door’s Newman Center for Theatre Education. The Complex boasts more than 10,000 seats, with exceptional acoustics in every theater, and is a first-class theatrical emporium for cultured audiences.
Arthur Murray Dance Studios has been a leading name in social 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 certified instructors. 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.
Jessica Mason developed an interest for dance in high school as a member of her school's nationally ranked varsity pom team. That interest eventually evolved into a passion, which helped her launch a professional dancing career that includes strutting as a Colorado Rapids cheerleader and a Denver Nuggets dancer. Today, she is the director of Studio 21 Dance, where she uses her 19 years of dance instruction experience to oversee a team of instructors with more than 75 years of combined dance instruction experience. The dance instructors, who've worked with prominent clients including Olympic athletes and So You Think You Can Dance participants, lead classes that cover dance styles ranging from ballet to hip-hop and belly dance. Students as young as 2 years old can partake in the classes, teaching their bodies how to bust a move or bust open an unsuspecting piñata.
The Dinner Detective's renowned troupe of talented actors engages audiences with an evening of laughs, intrigue, and suspense as mock murder accompanies a four-course meal where everyone in attendance is a suspect. A dressed-down cast of professional Hollywood- and Chicago-trained sleuths circulates through the crowd, sniffing out phony alibis and asking the hard questions to solve the mystery of each whodunit. Before the night is over, the fictional criminal is cuffed and the most accurately detecting diner takes home a prize package.
The Dinner Detective leases out its gumshoes to clean up crime during private events such as fundraisers, family reunions, or embezzlement hearings. The thespians have sharpened their entertaining chops by performing for such Fortune 500 companies as Universal Studios and Walt Disney Imagineering.