Located inside Malarkey’s Pool and Brew, Grit City Comedy Club’s intimate, 150-seat venue stages close encounters between audiences and local and national comedians. The tables run right to the edge of the stage, allowing performers to riff back and forth with close viewers, and allowing close viewers to politely clean performers’ glasses after spit takes. While watching rib-tickling sets, guests can order from Malarkey’s full menu of food and draft beer, and wind down after the show with a game of pool.
Within the century-old confines of Uptown Glassworks' warehouse, furnaces melt handfuls of kaleidoscopic frit into malleable shapes manipulated by a team of professional glass blowers. But these tradesmen don't just create works for the gallery; they also share their secrets with students in a variety of activities, from introductory courses on making beads and paperweights to advanced instruction that can be applied toward college credit or used to fix the pockmarked walls of glass houses.
During the shop's Blow-Your-Own sessions, participants apply color to clear, molten glass that has recently emerged from a 2,000-degree furnace, then blow their mixture into 1 of 20 different shapes. The next day, patrons can pick up their cooled and packaged creations, comparing their handiwork to the gallery's collection of products, which are made by more than 90 local and regional glass artists.
Based on the documentary A Well-Founded Fear and true stories from real-life refugees, Take Me America examines the plight of refugees seeking asylum in America through the lens of musical theater. Audiences sway to melodies by Bob Christianson and lyrics by Bill Nabel as seven refugees from China, Sudan, Haiti, and other countries realize their destinies depend on the actions of three American agents. Projections immerse viewers into the story with globetrotting visuals, propelling them across national boundaries without the hassle of bringing their theater snacks through customs.
Arthur Murray 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. 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.
To fly, one needs space—especially when flying indoors. The aerialists and performance artists of Emerald City Trapeze Arts turned to the turn-of-the-century foundry that once housed Canal Boiler Works. It took some renovation, though. While keeping the vintage industrial feel, the artists created a performance space that stretches for more than 10,000 square feet, including a 600-square-foot stage. Strobe lighting and projections, meanwhile, illuminate rough-hewn beams and columns, weathered iron accents, and an elegant mezzanine that overlooks it all.
Founded by movie-industry veterans Scilla Andreen and Carlo Scandiuzzi, IndieFlix culls a massive collection of independent and festival-selected films from across the globe into a convenient online streaming-video library. Filmmakers can submit their comedic, dramatic, or documentary masterpieces to the site, which fairly distributes movies of all genres and lengths, with artists fully retaining their films' rights and action-figure tie-ins. Audiences delve further into IndieFlix’s arsenal of cinema gems with Film Festival in a Box game—lauded by the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, and Seattle magazine—which allows cineastes to display their knowledge without having to stroll through the local megaplex with a megaphone.