Kim Yates's passion for the macabre spawned from a 1973 ride through the Haunted Mansion at Disney World, after which the child collected props and crafted monsters for her parents' front porch. Over the next several decades, Kim channeled her energy into drumming for a Baltimore metal band and building a sprawling Halloween attraction in her front yard and then watching it blossom into a full-scale haunted house in 1994. Despite various relocations, her indoor haunt has been growing ever since.
Featured in the Baltimore Sun, Kim?s Krypt sets Charm City teeth chattering with 25- to 30-minute adventures teeming with unexpected spooks and surprises in a show that adds new scenes annually. A terror-ridden tradition for more than 21 years, the indoor haunt invites brave patrons to test their nerve against killer clowns soliciting screams, zombies seeking fresh flesh, and blood-spattered apparitions recklessly searching for change for a $20 bill. Staffers fortify patrons for their harrowing journey with a range of concession fare as they converse at the covered waiting area after receiving their first shock of the night in the form of free parking. A force of uniformed and plainclothes police officers patrol the building to ensure visitors scare in safety.
Named Best Comedy Club by the Baltimore City Paper and blueprinted as a comedy club from day one, Magooby's newly built stadium of standup attracts a high-profile flock of TV-tested jokesters to its 240-foot stage and state-of-the-art sound system. The fully stocked bar lines up a joke-themed stable of specialty drinks, such as the Blind Pirate, with bourbon and coconut rum, or the Bearded Ballerina, with bourbon and Bacardi limon. The menu fuels laughing fits and juggling one-upmanship with burgers, chicken tenders, and a caesar salad.
Repeatedly deemed Best Rock Club and once voted Best Drunken Hookup Bar by City Paper readers, Ottobar hosts an ongoing calendar of local and touring bands, DJs, and comedians. With bars on both floors of the two-story venue, guests can sip on mixed drinks and beers while listening to live music or pumping quarters into an award-winning jukebox. The venue also hosts special nights including spelling bees and underground dance parties, wherein guests shake their hips to the sound of shoveling.
Eastpoint 10 Cinemas showcases the latest Hollywood blockbusters on screens that face sloped or stadium-style seating. Digital and 3-D projectors entertain audiences with high-resolution images that virtually pop out of the screen, making viewers feel like a part of the film without having to actually fight off bloodthirsty aliens, wicked witches, or Gerard Depardieu. The theater occasionally pairs screenings with special tie-in events, such as karate demonstrations to go along with martial-arts flicks.
"So You Think You Can Sing Opera" gives amateur aria-artists an opportunity to spread their lungs and take flight in front of a live audience. These open auditions for future productions by the Baltimore Concert Opera showcase the area's untapped operatic ability, with performers (hopefully) soaring their way through seminal pieces from the operatic canon—think American Idol, except with fewer power ballads and more Puccini. Dress code for the event is business casual, so dust off your opera glasses and opera Foam-Dome and enjoy an evening of high notes and high pressure with today's Groupon.
Strand Theater Company presents original, evocative plays with an emphasis on providing women opportunities for roles as actors, directors, playwrights, and set designers. Strand's upcoming 2010–11 season kicks off with the critically acclaimed The Glory of Living (October 7–23), which relates Rebecca Gilman's visceral and complex story of a 16-year-old girl married to an ex-convict twice her age. When the holiday season arrives and families start glazing their mistletoe with a mixture of eggnog and ham essence, you can get in the spirit with A Peppermint Patty Christmas (December 2–18), which portrays a character vowing to speak the truth when she heads home for the holidays. A dramatic adaptation of Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking (February 3–19) is a compelling one-woman play, written after the loss of Didion's husband and daughter. The season wraps up with the socially minded One Flea Spare (April 21–May 7), Naomi Wallace's sharp play based in seventeenth-century England and called "one of the finest works of dramatic literature" by playwright Tony Kushner.