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. Clients who arrive to lessons partnerless will be paired up with other classmates as the instructors assess their current skill level and make recommendations on the most appropriate program. 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.
Theatre Harrisburg has always had community at its heart. Born in the "Little Theatre Movement" of the 1920s, the first place it called home was the basement of the Harrisburg Public Library. It was there that Mrs. Peters, president of the Women's University Club, gathered nine other women to discuss the creation of a volunteer-based company that could produce quality plays. And the women took action. For decades volunteers on and off the stage bounced from venue to venue putting on shows such as The Dover Road, until 1950, when it found its first home at Sixth and Hurlock in uptown. Then, in 1997, the Theatre made a commitment to be the resident company at the new Whitaker Center. Still, whether putting musicals such as The Rocky Horror Show or non-musical dramas, such as a version of Death of a Salesman with all the tap numbers taken out, Theatre Harrisburg relies on the talent of the community.
Carley's Ristorante and Piano Bar quells burning appetites for elegant flavors and family-style eating with an expansive dinner menu of shareables. Anchor incisors into The Meatball, a 12-ounce specialty studded with provolone cheese and three saucy dipping pools ($9.50), or prepare taste buds for scrumptious entrees with a variety of leafy delights, including the tuscan tossed salad with candied walnuts, goat cheese, and dried figs ($8.50+). Grain-grinding molars can chomp on mascarpone lasagna bolognese, built like an earthquake-ready skyscraper with secure layers of mozzarella, ricotta, and provolone cheeses ($13.50+). While soothing tongues with hugs of sophisticated flavors, enjoy live piano performances, including new-artist spotlights, open-mic nights, and group sing-along sessions of classic Beethoven sonatas.
Home to professional, regional theater, Open Stage of Harrisburg closes the curtain on its 25th season with a diverse quartet of one-person plays. This year's Flying Solo Festival opens with Pretty (June 2 at 8 p.m.), which tells an entertaining, tiara-driven tale of beauty pageants and society's preoccupation with pulchritude, written and performed by Jessica Bedford. Authored and acted out by Peterson Toscano, Transfigurations (June 9 at 8 p.m.) introduces the Bible's unsung gender-variant protagonists and recounts their stories with humor and heart, and Artificial Fellow Traveler (June 16 at 8 p.m.) stars playwright-performer Ethan Sandler and incorporates found texts to address fears, conspiratorial or otherwise, about the CIA's involvement in the Cold War and the invention of the Roomba. Lastly, Barbara Bates Smith slips on a gingham house-dress and wide-brimmed sassy hat to become the story-telling protagonist of Ivy Rowe (June 23 at 8 p.m.), a stage adaptation of Lee Smith's novel Fair and Tender Ladies.
Inside Cinema Center, moviegoers are enveloped in a state-of-the art film-viewing environment to enjoy the latest Hollywood flicks. Bring a friend or frenemy to catch a new release, such as The Dilemma, a comedy starring Vince Vaughn and Kevin James, or The Green Hornet, a quirky take on the superhero genre starring Seth Rogen. Indulge eardrums with the mellifluous luxury of digital surround sound while Cinema Center theaters’ stadium seating ensures clear sightlines and good angles for not throwing popcorn.
The Whitaker Center's Select Medical IMAX Theater dazzles moviegoers with 3-D adventures projected onto a six-story screen and piped through a six-channel, 16,000-watt surround-sound system. The 65' x 80' screen towers over the audience, immersing them in overwhelming three-dimensional visuals like a diorama built in Paul Bunyan's shoebox. Swing from the trees with Born to be Wild 3D, a heartwarming documentary narrated by Morgan Freeman that introduces audiences to the lives of orphaned orangutans and elephants and their human care-givers. Hubble 3D follows the crewmembers of the space shuttle Atlantis on their mission to repair the Hubble Telescope, giving viewers a close-up look at such breathtaking galactic events as the birth of stars and the Quinceañera of planets. Check out the showtimes for all current films.