The Long Island Puppet Theater amazes audiences with a cast of colorful marionette puppets, each with a story to tell. Its shows cater to audiences aged one and up and include familiar characters including The Little Mermaid. Special events encourage kids to play with Barbies or dance alongside Cinderella and Batman, whereas traveling shows bring interactive fun to the tristate area with pirates and jungle animals. In addition to performances, the theater also offers private themed parties for special occasions, such as a birthday or day you transform from a wooden puppet into a real boy or girl.
Cultural Arts Playhouse has been fostering the development of up-and-coming actors for more than 15 years. At its Musical Theatre and Acting Academy, students from 1st–12th grade hone their on-stage skills by taking classes on singing, acting, and improvisation under the tutelage of an experienced teacher. Kids get to show off these skills in full theatrical productions, with main-stage shows opening up auditions to the entire community so people can see their neighbors' acting chops and dusted-off fake skulls. Cultural Arts Playhouse alumni have found success in New York and throughout the country, appearing in HBO's The Sopranos, and such Broadway productions as Les Miserables and Aladdin.
In the evening, Grand Restaurant/Lounge caters to the foodie set, serving upscale bar food amid elegant minimalist decor. Later at night, an array of colored lights begins to glow beneath stairs, along windows, and in the eyes of visiting Terminators. DJs crank up the volume while bartenders sling cocktails below supernova-like chandeliers, but intimate clusters of armchairs provide a respite from the carnival on the dance floor. As they lounge, diners can savor dishes such as lobster ravioli or burgers topped with deviled eggs or fig-balsamic glaze.
Currently led by musical director Eckart Preu, the 60-piece Stamford Symphony appeals to both classical connoisseurs and orchestral novices with its exciting blend of professionalism, intricate musicality, and pure entertainment. Featuring cello virtuoso Jan Vogler, "Romantic Souls" will touch on the emotions of passion and repression with performances of pieces by Schoenberg, Tchaikovsky, and Schubert. Creating music that's described as "rapturously heartfelt" by the Washington Post, Vogler comes to the Stamford Symphony after having performed with the New York Philharmonic and premiered English composer Colin Matthews’ Berceuse for Dresden. Hear the exquisite sounds of Vogler's 1721 Montagnana Ex-Hekking cello, an instrument known for its age and for its foreboding "Lute is Dead" engraving. Check Stamford Center for the Arts' website for available seating.
As a native of the Dominican Republic, Claudette Munné loves merengue beats—but as classical pianists, she and her husband Massimiliano Facchini also cherish traditional piano pieces by European composers. To celebrate these dual passions, the pair arranged a series of fresh, merengue takes on old classics, a project that resulted in a sold-out two-piano show at Carnegie Hall and an interview with NBC.
Revamping traditional piano music isn't the couple's only collaboration, however. They also worked together to found Belle Arti Center for the Arts, a music school that caters mainly to children. Their toddler classes focus on training young ears and building a sense of rhythm that moves beyond freestyle clapping. During private lessons, they train students on instruments from the guitar and violin to woodwinds. Their classes follow a semester schedule, with each semester session culminating in a recital for family and friends.
Famous for their riotous revelries throughout the country, most notably at the New York, New York casino in Las Vegas, NYC Dueling Piano Show churns out keyboard-clanging comedy in a boundless bar sing-a-long replete with rock 'n' roll hits and audience requests. The pair of professional rock pianists, newly joined by Billy Joel saxophonist Mark Rivera, displays an encyclopedic repertoire, performing almost any request from Bon Jovi's iconic "Livin' on a Prayer," to Beethoven's traditional "Sonata at the OK Corral." An array of appetizers and craftily concocted cocktails keep vocal cords crooning as merry-making melodears mill about the theater's ample cabaret-style seating. Enjoy the show as a drink-bearing superhero duo, or fly solo as a tee-totaling comic book villain.