Ripley’s has enthralled audiences for more than nine decades with its dedication to revealing odd and unexplainable rarities from around the globe. But it all began with one man: Robert Ripley, a wildly successful and eccentric character who rose to fame during the first half of the 20th century. After selling his first cartoon to Life magazine at age 14, he set out on a quick-paced career of drawing sports cartoons for the New York Globe. During a slow day at the office, he sketched nine unusual sporting events and finished his work with a title: “Believe It or Not!” It became immensely popular, allowing Ripley to travel the world in search of more bizarre stories to put into his comic strips. While visiting relatively unknown areas in locales such as India, China, and the inside of his neighbor’s chimney, he picked up a slew of unbelievable souvenirs that later became fixtures in several of Ripley’s museums, or as they’re affectionately called today, Odditoriums. Ripley’s now encompasses publications, attractions, a television show, and a blog, all of which carry Ripley’s tradition of reporting on the world’s curiosities.
Exuberating the Elizabethan, The Improvised Shakespeare Company curates an epic evening of history-defying comedy quips. With Shakespeare's worlds open for interpretation, the company may dabble in the themes of kings, queens, political prowess, pranksters, and knee-slapping tales of heart-crushed lovers. With nary a script to nip from, the Chicago-based improv crew invents new tales of guffaw and jest each time they take the world as their stage.
A nonprofit corporation, Texas Family Musicals helps launch the careers of talented young stars to the benefit of local family audiences. America the Beautiful is an uplifting spectacle that celebrates the excitement and wonders that make contemporary America great. This musical journey is a positive reinforcement of all things patriotic set to the sounds of catchy tunes and choreographed dancing. Cats holds the record for longest-running Broadway show with 7,485 shows in over 18 years. Enjoy the local adaptation of T. S. Eliot's classic collection of poems where eclectic cat costumes blend with sincere storytelling to entertain the human audience. The final performance option is The Sunshine Boys, which explores the 40-plus-year dichotic relationship between Al Lewis and Willy Clark, a vaudevillian team who enjoy professional success on stage but loathe each other off stage.
?It all starts with an idea and block of wood,? John Hopkins, founder of Le Theatre de Marionette, marvels on his website. While that may be true for marionette-theater productions ranging from Hansel and Gretel to The Wizard of Oz, it took a little more for Le Theatre itself. John began the operation in a defunct bus station in Arlington, drawing in families with just the skill of his hands and voice, before achieving enough success to move to Dallas and expand from one theatre to three. He also brought on a skilled team of puppeteers and voice actors. Yet despite the company's growth, John remains hands on, helping to shape those ideas and blocks of wood into puppets, sets, and smaller blocks of wood.
Every staff member at Shoot Smart attends NRA Range Safety Officer training, and each instructor passes a rigorous certification program. Only then are they ready to take students through Shoot Smart's proprietary training path. That curriculum encompasses five levels of firearms classes, starting with a New Shooter I session for complete beginners. From there, instructors cover more advanced skills, such as firing in the dark and operating an AR-15. Shoot Smart's team also includes a gunsmith, who is available to clean and maintain firearms Tuesday?Saturday.
Though the instructors at Dallas Concealed Carry recognize that some people want intense drill-sergeant-style training, they prefer the relaxed approach. The instructors maintain a light, friendly atmosphere with lively classroom training bolstered by multimedia presentations. They teach the basics of marksmanship and lead classes such as the certified concealed-handgun-license course, which includes classroom instruction taught by a certified instructor, range instruction with a certified firearms instructor, a range-proficiency test, and help filling out all the necessary paperwork to apply for a license.