The chefs behind Cravings American Bistro please palates and eyes with elegant arrangements of hearty American and seafood fare, escorted to tables atop simple china. Begin a night of lively discussion and synchronized digestion with a choice of six appetizers, including lobster mac 'n' cheese smothered in truffle oil, jumbo broiled crab cakes swimming in sweet-chili aioli, and house-rubbed ribs glazed with a mango barbecue sauce. Seafaring entrees such as the tropical, pan-seared Island grouper and the spicy, fettuccine-laced shrimp Diablo occupy tables with sunken-treasure-finding tips before succumbing to the white noise of chewing. Ravenous carnivores can opt for a 12-ounce new york strip steak—a choice cut of Montana strip loin accented with fingerling potatoes and asparagus stalks that double as stylish stirring sticks for a date's martini.
For more than 20 years, Carrie Heller's life has been a balancing act between honing her circus talents and helping others. Today, the licensed clinical social worker, a founding member of the American Youth Circus Organization, blends therapy methods with big-top techniques at the Circus Arts Institute, benefiting children and adults alike with mind- and body-benefiting acrobatics that send students swinging, twirling, and laughing through the air.
Carrie and her team of instructors acquaint students with circus-performance fundamentals using the trapeze, tight wire, Spanish web, and juggling balls. They bolster core and upper-body strength during Circus Arts Fitness workouts, which have been featured on CNN for their exciting approach to toning. For students with special needs, such as sensory challenges or ADD, they host Circus Arts Therapy classes. These sessions channel playful and positive energy as small groups learn to navigate circus equipment, enhancing their confidence, social skills, and physical coordination in a much more natural way than going on a handstand speed date.
The Hershey Theatre, conceived in 1933 by noted philanthropist and chocolatier Milton S. Hershey, stands as an opulent tribute to the performing arts. Taking architectural cues from Saint Mark’s Basilica in Venice, the foyer’s towering arches gleam with golden paint and crystal chandeliers. The blue-and-gold mosaic that leads to the main seating area is the masterwork of two German artists who spent two years on its construction. Once inside the theater, audiences might think they’ve stepped onto the streets of Venice thanks to the atmospheric ceiling, stonework facades, and gondoliers paddling them to their seats. ####Bethel Woods Center for the Arts Music has permeated the 800 manicured acres where the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts has stood since 1969, when farmer Max Yasgur agreed to let love, peace, and harmony grow wild at the very first Woodstock festival. These days, the renowned outdoor venue and cultural center continues to attract the biggest acts in music to its pavilion stage. The open-air design ensures ample ventilation on the natural sloping lawn, and a roof protects up to 15,000 fans from inclement weather and the prying eyes of Cessna pilots.
Since 2006, Academy Ballroom Atlanta's instructors have helped competitive and social dancers two-step toward mastery of ballroom and Latin dance styles. Their classes range in style from the fiery moves of salsa to the elegant steps of the waltz to the boisterous footwork of swing, all of which can be scaled to suit varying abilities. During private lessons, the teachers' personalized attention helps develop each pupil's dance floor skills before they improve their patterns and techniques among peers at group classes. Those lessons culminate in group practice sessions, during which guests review their newfound moves while making an effort not to dip their partner into another dimension. Along with in-studio training, Academy Ballroom Atlanta hosts monthly semiformal dance parties, and its performance company, Atlanta Ballroom Dance Theater, wows crowds with shows—up to 90 minutes long—performed by professional and pro-am dancers.
It's never too early to start making music. That's one of the core values at Georgia Boy Choir, an organization that encourages children as young as five years old to raise their voices, and provides them opportunities to harmonize through high school. Along the way, youngsters are continually motivated to strive for excellence. The choir's five-tier system, for example, helps participants continually develop their skills, such as music theory, sight-singing, and good posture. And they put their learning into practice during frequent performances. The Concert Choir?the group's hallmark ensemble?travels throughout the Atlanta region during the year, then swims across the pond to locales as far-flung as England's Oxford and Wells Cathedrals. Stateside, the boys join voices with singers from across the country at their Annual Georgia Boy Choir Festival and Grand Finale Concert, an event that welcomes vocalists of all experience levels.
One of the great surprises about Atlanta is its bustling local theater scene. Actor’s Express is one of the most reliable and innovative groups in town, always focusing on challenging, creative work. Located in the King Plow Arts Center in West Midtown, the theater itself is rather intimate. You can easily spot the actors in the lobby after the show to congratulate them on a job well done, but the quality is equal to that of Atlanta’s larger, haughtier venues. Founded in 1988, Actor’s Express has always believed in pushing the boundaries of the local theater scene, as evidenced by recent productions like the sexy drama Venus in Fur and the historical rock musical Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. They also incorporate classics like Equus and Kiss of the Spider Woman into their seasons. Annual subscriptions are available, which make for an inexpensive and interesting gift.