In support of her high-decibel new album, Rihanna kicks off her hotly anticipated LOUD tour with emphatic gusto and a sizzling roster of special guests. Like an art show at a sundae bar, the LOUD tour floods the senses, enchanting audiences with lavishly designed sets, myriad costume changes, move-busting dancers, and Rihanna's songbook of Grammy magnets. Crooner Cee Lo Green augments the songful offerings with his own vocal talents, and Roc Nation rapper and rhythm scientist J. Cole further helps resuscitate ear drums traumatized by the outside world's blaring car horns and shrill howler monkeys.
Theater of the Stars, an Atlanta–based regional theater company, has entertained audiences around the globe with more than 700 family-friendly productions. This season, the players travel to the Sandler Center to present the Tony–winning musical Fiddler on the Roof, which explores a Jewish peasant's efforts to preserve old-world traditions as his daughters adopt modern ways of life and massive quantities of kittens. Groupon buyers enjoy seats within 100 feet of the stage, tearing up as the cast sings "Do You Love Me?" and the theater's top-notch acoustics render each sound exquisitely clear. A complimentary Fiddler on the Roof poster helps visitors to ponder their own cultural conundrums, such as whether to say "bless you" or "stop that" to sneezing strangers.
THEARC Theater was created out of necessity. The first theater in Ward 8 in Washington, DC, it was founded to provide residents living east of the Anacostia River with expanded cultural opportunities and hide-and-seek spots. Constructed by local nonprofit Building Bridges Across the River, the theater aims to improve the lives of children and adults in southeast Washington through educational, health, and social-service programs such as free theater workshops and youth internships in technical theater management. Noting the tower of glass windows that crowns the entrance, the Washington Post called it "a veritable lighthouse of learning—a $27 million, 110,000-square-foot campus set on 16 beautiful green acres."
Owner Jessica Jones-Healey founded Tidewater Studios for the Arts Inc. in 2009 as a noncompetitive forum for kids to practice performing and visual arts. Winner of a 2011 Virginian-Pilot Reader's Choice Award for Best Dance Studio and Best Performing Arts Academy in Portsmouth, Western Branch, Churchland, and North Suffolk, the facility inspires children with engaging explorations into the joys of hand-made art, hand-played music, and hands-free dance.
Since opening in 1974, The Jewish Mother Backstage has hosted the likes of Dave Matthews, Hootie & the Blowfish, and Ice Cube. But despite its famous visitors and the media frenzy surrounding Ice Cube's melting accident, the New York–style deli still maintains a neighborhood atmosphere. Local and regional music acts fill the stage with groovy tunes, and the menu of hearty comfort fare is rooted in tradition, inspired by the owner's own Jewish mother. More than a dozen delicatessen sandwiches boast family names such as the Mother's Son reuben and the Mother's Sailor Friend, a split knockwurst with gooey swiss cheese and pastrami. Aromas of meatloaf fill the eatery at dinner, and breakfast service sates guests' early-morning hunger and desire to crow onstage.
The fun vibe in Mambo Room’s dance classes and weekly socials isn’t a coincidence. The studio’s instructors hope that by sharing cultural dance in a pressure-free environment they will create a community that genuinely loves to bust a move without feeling self-conscious. With these passionate teachers at the helm, students hone fancy footwork in classes that range from salsa and bachata to Afro-Cuban to Zumba. At weekly socials, students can showcase their newly acquired moves to get comfortable leading and following with partners of all skill levels, giving their poor broom a well-deserved night off.