Established in 1954 and having garnered the Birmingham magazine 2010 award for Best Dance Classes, Dale Serrano Dance Inc. and its troupe of talented instructors lead children of all skill levels, aged 2–18, in classes ranging from jazz and ballet to hip-hop, tap, and cheer. Budding ballerinas gracefully plié and gallivant about the class, and musical-theater mavens learn the ins and outs of stage performance. Dancers who commit to additional months of vigilant rehearsal and practice can showcase their talents at the year-end recital or opt for impromptu performances at nearby weddings and city-council investitures.
Whether amongst the cantina's chandeliers, the saloon's rustic surrounds, or the outdoor patio's crackling fire, guests at Fuego Cantina can savor a bevy of Mexican cuisine seven days a week—and until 2 a.m. on Monday through Saturday. Seasoned chefs cover hand-rolled enchiladas in house-made sauce, mix house-marinated meats into fajitas, and fill quesadillas with fixings such as grilled Portobello mushrooms and caramelized onions. Along with Mexican items, the inventive kitchen captains also smother half-pound hot dogs with relish and sauerkraut and top burgers with house-made chili and sharp cheddar cheese.
To wash down feasts, bartenders at Fuego Cantina's two bars keep 14 beers on tap and pour more than 30 wines by the glass. They also mix up specialty mojitos, margaritas, and martinis, such as the combined chocolate ganache and Godiva liqueur of the Death by Chocolate. In addition to tasty treats and drinks, Fuego Cantina enlivens evenings with karaoke on Tuesdays, pin-the-tail-on-the-cacti on Thursdays, and live music throughout the week.
As part of the Alabama Symphony's Sounds for Summer series, both shows bring contemporary musical entertainment to the ornately gilded, classy venue. The Act of Congress and Three on a String show tickles tiny earhammers with modern bluegrass and genre-spanning hits. Or hear Country's Hit Makers: Behind the Hits, which packs a 15-song set with recent country billboard toppers such as "Cowboy Casanova" and "American Honey." Both shows are conducted by Christopher Confessore, the ASO's principal pops conductor.
Rave Motion Pictures screens the summer blockbusters in 20 auditoriums outfitted with stadium seating. The theaters' digital projectors allow projectionists to easily play such gripping tales as Scream 4, a documentary about Sidney Prescott's return to Woodsboro, where Ghostface threatens the townspeople's safety (movies playing subject to change). Stretch out while watching as rows are spaced 48 inches apart from one another, one for each of the states recognized by most public-school systems. Check showtimes online for all the movies screening throughout the summer.
Voted Best Theatre Company in Birmingham magazine’s 2010 Best of B'ham survey and winner of the Birmingham News Best Live Theater in 2009, Red Mountain Theatre Company transports audiences into compelling worlds of theatrical fantasy. Five Guys Named Moe tells the tale of Nomax, down and out in classic blues fashion, abandoned by his girlfriend and the contents of his wallet. Trying to console himself in the bleary hours before dawn, he is surprised when five guys named Moe emerge from his 1930s-esque radio and entertain the misery out of him with songs, cheers, jeers, and a recipe for duct-tape pie. Celebrating the music of Louis Jordan, one of the most successful African American musicians of the 20th century, the Moes croon such hits as “Let the Good Times Roll,” “Caldonia,” and “Messy Bessy.”
Stone's Throw Bar & Grill serves contemporary American cuisine made with fresh and locally sourced ingredients. Daily menus reflect offerings from regional farmers, including the watercress salad, bursting with a harvest of avocados, corn, citrus supremes, goat cheese, and toasted cumin-lime vinaigrette ($7). A plate of fried green tomatoes ($8) works as a home-style opening act for the simple grilled fish, which is served on a bed of caramelized-onion-basil mashed potatoes ($23). Sides such as cheese grits and braised collards ($4 each) sing backup for the Meyer Ranch burger's ($9) protein-packed rock ballad. Splitting desserts of white-chocolate bread pudding ($6) and chocolate truffle tart ($7) prevents hurt feelings on the side of the delicious dessert menu.