Experience Maestro Michael Ching, the established artistic and general director of Opera Memphis, as he bids farewell to the fine city following his final performance conducting as General and Artistic Director for Opera Memphis. On stage, the pipes of Stephen Mark Brown, an Opera Company of Philadelphia/Luciano Pavarotti International Vocal Competition winner, will resonate throughout his performance as Pinkerton.
With more than 120 million records sold, more than 2,600 concerts performed, and a million faces seen and rocked, Bon Jovi has carved out a New Jersey–sized place in the rock pantheon. The band's current trek into the stadiums and arenas of the world, The Circle Tour, ups the ante on live music with an 800,000-watt sound system and a 4,300-square-foot, high-definition video screen. Bona fide Bon Jovi fans can expect to hear songs from the band's most recent album, The Circle, as well as classic smash hits like "Livin' on a Prayer," "You Give Love a Bad Name," and "It's My Life." Opening act Kid Rock is no slouch himself—the Motor City music maker has blended rock, rap, and country into a sonic smorgasbord that has earned multiple Grammy nominations and sold millions of records worldwide. Concertgoers may hear hits like "All Summer Long," "Cowboy," and "Bawitdaba," which is "Kid Rock" spelled backwards.
Canada's Classical Theatre Project shatters modern preconceptions about the dryness of Shakespeare by infusing the romantic tragedy of Romeo and Juliet with a potency and youthful electricity that snuffs reluctance in the Bard-averse. On an inventive chalk-circle set, the Toronto players whisk viewers to an Elizabethan marketplace in the 16th century, engaging the imagination without relying on cumbersome stage props. Hearts melt as Romeo, the Montague, and Juliet, the Capulet, fall in love against the odds, sweeping the audience along on their way to ghost prom. Shakespeare’s colloquies come naturally from the mouths of the virile acting talents, who translate the text for this generation’s ears without changing a word. Classical Theatre Project's rendition of Romeo and Juliet, intended for ages 11 and older, treats Shakespeare's tragedy like a rock concert, except with better enunciation and a higher mortality rate. A surviving artifact established in 1890, the historic and lovingly restored Orpheum Theatre adds majesty to the performance with its brocade draperies and crystal chandeliers.
Habits Tobacco, Internet, & Coffee Shop bills itself as an oasis from the world, where customers can simply kick back and indulge—and there’s plenty to indulge in here. Those who are of age can relax and suck down a hookah packed with fragrant, fruity tobacco flavors such as passion fruit, mango, and grape or light up a stogie and savor a hot cup of coffee. Roughly 10 breakfast cereals make up the cereal bar, and desserts such as cakes, cookies, and muffins round out the snack menu. Habits also offers free WiFi service for those who wish to plug in, get some work done, or just kill time surfing the web.
Experienced gymnasts twirl and flip at one end of Gymcats Gymnastics’ floor as they train for advanced events. At the other end, toddlers learn introductory rolls and coordination. That’s the studio’s philosophy at a glance: real gymnastics taught in classes designed to suit all students. Kids aged 3–4 learn the basics of tumbling while increasing attention spans, learning social skills, and practicing human pyramids to reach cookie jars. More-seasoned athletes can receive instruction on the vault, bars, balance beam, and floor. After they graduate, students can apply their skills toward other sports or practice to become a part of Gymcats’ competitive teams. The gym also caters to grownups by hosting parents’ nights out on select Fridays and overseeing birthday parties.
As the head trainer at Raintree Equestrian Center—and in previous roles—Shannyn Welsh has worked in riding disciplines including Western pleasure, hunter/jumper, and barrel racing with horse breeds ranging from all types of top-bred warmbloods to arabians, andalusians, and tennessee walkers. Equestrians from all over the country and from Europe trust Shannyn’s experience so much that they routinely send her their own horses to help with problem solving, preparation, and training. Students of all riding levels also seek out Shannyn’s expertise to improve their skills. While practicing within the 60-foot round pen or the 100’x200’ lighted arena, or experimenting with a Fosbury flop on the full-jump course, students learn to exhibit the hallmarks of good riding technique, including center balance, soft hands, and firm legs.