Bodies turn and twirl in the air, suspended from the rafters with colorful silks. Whether during a performance or class, the staff and students of Voler–Thieves of Flight Aerial Academy inspire awe with aerial dance and acrobatics. The academy’s professional ensemble includes ballet and modern dancers, along with circus artists, all of whom add their skills to lofty choreography on swings, silks, and hoops. The Voler ensemble has also performed at more than 30 notable locations including the Kansas city and Chicago fringe festivals and the Kansas City Renaissance Festival.
The academy’s primary purpose is teaching, of course, and three levels of classes instruct participants on the finer points of contorting on silks and practicing spirals, suspension, and falls.
The Chambers of Edgar Allan Poe transports brave souls into a house where Poe's macabre poetry and short stories come to life. Literature buffs and horror enthusiasts will both be enthralled walking into such cryptic Poe classics as The Raven, Rue Morgue, The Black Cat, and Cheerleader Motel. Enter Poe's nightmarish House of Usher and attempt to escape the ghoulish reverberated sounds emanating from the walls. Your morbid journey replicates the feeling of being buried alive, suffocating, claustrophobia, suffocating, and being buried alive. This deal also gets you a line pass, so you'll skip to the front of an often-lengthy queue.
An eclectic marriage between modern fare and saloon-style ambience, R Bar & Restaurant combines Americana tradition with award-winning recipes and innovative cocktails. Alex Pope, awarded by The Pitch as the best chef in Kansas City-2010 concocted a robust dinner menu of hearty dishes such as the house-made bratwurst and cheddar cheese, packed in fried mustard bread, smoked beet and pine syrup ($10). The braised turkey pot pie hogties a traditional favorite with brie, black truffles, celery root, grapes and truffle sauce ($19), and carb-toting cowpoke stock their 10-gallon GladWare with smoked egg noodles adorned with sweet potatoes, ricotta, walnuts, sage and brown butter ($17). Bend an elbow at R Bar’s bar, which has been voted one of Esquire's best bars in America, with a cocktail menu of potent, old-time favorites such as the Mule, a blend of Sobieski vodka, fresh lime juice, and ginger beer served in a copper mug ($8.50), and the Prescription Julip infused with rye whiskey, cognac, gum syrup, and sugar with a zing of mint ($11).
Natalie Smith needed some excitement in her life, which at that point merely consisted of performing as a professional ballet and hip-hop dancer, posing as a model, and balancing atop speeding motorcycles as a stuntwoman. After stumbling across a segment about pole dancing on the Oprah Winfrey show, she decided to spice things up a bit and dive headfirst into the fun yet demanding exercise form. She lost 25 pounds in two months, inspiring her to open her own studio—where she draws upon her experience in dancing and cheerleading to lead classes that span the sultry workout spectrum from pole routines to booty boot camp. The studio boasts 30 poles and 5,000 square feet of floor space, evoking the feeling of walking into a chrome forest—which is an experience similar to walking into the Redwoods after governor Schwarzenegger's controversial act to silver plate every tree. In the studio, Natalie and her team of certified instructors—twirling between exposed-brick walls that have been painted robin-egg blue—lead spins, climbs, and drops during lessons and private parties. They welcome ladies of all ages and builds to the women-only locale, which offers bed tanning to supplement its body-toning programs.
At the new Pole Worx location, classes are held in one of three new classrooms that house over 33 different poles. The new location also has two changing room and two tanning beds.
The Westside Local Restaurant & Beer Garden satiates ravenous diners by utilizing an extensive selection of beer and a dinner menu that suggests drinks to complement each entree. Barons of the brewski can start by guzzling down a European beer, with intercontinental selections including Belgium's Hoegaarden ($6), Germany's Henniger Premium ($4), and Canada's Unibroue Ephermere Apple ($6). Domestic craft brews such as Kansas City's Boulevard Dry Stout ($6) and Bell's Two Hearted Ale ($5) from Michigan are also available for patriotic palates, as is a wide array of wines. Pair your barley pop with one of Westside Local's large entrees—the grilled chicken breast unites its poultry with a jalapeño-infused sweet potato hash ($19), and the grilled cheese sandwich, a melty amalgamation of brie, emmentaler, and white cheddar, leads gourmands on a gondola ride through cheesy canals ($9).
Quality Hill Playhouse parts its curtains through October 23 for Noël and Gertie, devised by Sheridan Morley and featuring the words and music of Noël Coward. One of six musicals and cabaret revues the theater puts on annually, Noël and Gertie is based on Coward's own diaries and musical compositions and delves into the friendship of two former stage personalities, Noël Coward (Robert Gibby Brand) and Gertrude Lawrence (Melinda MacDonald). The witty and occasionally heartfelt performance celebrates the fun and sophistication of the roaring '20s without the drawback of state-mandated lessons to learn the Charleston. Quality Hill Playhouse's intimate 153-seat theater ensures patrons don't miss a single sight or sound, and the newly renovated lobby bristles with casual elegance. Multiple performances take to the stage each week in order to accommodate busy schedules and revisit important plot points for forgetful goldfish.
Associate conductor Steven Jarvi channels the combined melodious might of the Kansas City Symphony and Symphony Chorus, KC Brass, Allegro Children’s Choir, and Rezound Handbell Ensemble through an all-new holiday celebration of sound. Mobs of merry musicians, rumored to include 12 drummers drumming and a possible 11 pipers piping, will feed hungry ossicles symphonic arrangements of Christmas traditions. Families coasting on waves of Yuletide joy will yearn to sing along with timeless carols perfected by years of door-to-door focus testing. To complete each holly-jolly evening, Santa Claus himself will make an appearance to play a 30-minute free jazz solo on his signature fur-fringed soprano saxophone.