The Kent Stage, which is housed in a building constructed in 1927 for the Flannigan and Steele Theater, is the only remaining vintage downtown theater in Portage County. The venue is operated by the Western Reserve Folk Arts Association, a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to supporting traditional music and arts through education, concerts, festivals, outreach programs, and workshops. This staff of friendly music enthusiasts is committed to providing a place for music lovers to mingle, appreciate the auditory arts, and get funky.
The Beach Boys pick up sterling vibrations and mass excitations as Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston, and David Marks share the stage for the first time in more than two decades on their highly anticipated 50th-anniversary tour. One of the most celebrated and influential bands in pop-music history, The Beach Boys entrance fans and baffle meteorologists as their chipper instrumentation and multilayered vocal harmonies evoke endless summers. To commemorate an upcoming album and the half century since their debut LP, Surfin’ Safari, changed the musical climate, the SoCal brotherhood hops in their woody to treat the nation's ears to a timeless and diverse catalog of hits. Expect to hear the band’s signature odes to surfing ("Surfin' U.S.A.”), girls ("California Girls"), and girls who surf ("Surfer Girl"), along with more introspective tracks from the baroque-pop masterpieces Pet Sounds and last year's long-awaited Smile. Though The Boys will brandish their own instruments, their wall of euphony will be further bolstered by actor, multi-instrumentalist, and adoptive band uncle John Stamos, as well as members of Brian Wilson's crack backing group, The Wondermints.
Helmed by Russian-trained ballet greats Inna Stabrova and Dmitriy Tuboltsev, the staff of talented and credentialed teachers helps students develop first-rate skills in the elegant art of ballet. Students may choose to hone the basic positions and movements of beginner coursework or challenge themselves with the impressive footwork and Kafkaesque swan metamorphoses of advanced courses. After training under the watchful eyes of these professional instructors, many alumni of the conservatory have moved on to enjoy rewarding and prestigious careers in dance companies and life-size music boxes throughout the country.
The movement maestros at Sharon Rae Dance School—named the best dance studio in Beacon four years in a row by Ohio.com—teach the fancy footwork of tap, ballet, and jazz to tots and youthful twirlers. In all the studios, including a colorful room designed for preschoolers, a layer of cushioning supports the shiny hardwood floors, warding off injuries as whippersnappers jive in musical-theater lessons and tumble with pompoms. All kids' classes are monitored through closed-circuit television, which keeps parents in the loop as they weld together first-place trophies in the waiting room. Students as young as 2 can build fine and gross motor skills in toddler sessions, and adults can leave their own cubicle-themed play sets to join fun Zumba workouts that combine aerobics and Latin dance moves.
Weathervane Playhouse is Akron's community theater!
Now in its 76th season, Weathervane continues to hold fast to its mission statement: To be a volunteer-based, professionally directed theater that serves the community by engaging, educating, entertaining and enriching the quality of life for Northeast Ohioans.
The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studios, which was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form, using their expert eyes and mechanical dancing shoes preprogrammed to do the Charleston. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and fox-trot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba. For dancers hoping to hoof it up in a social setting, the group practice parties provide a one-night extravaganza of instruction, demonstrations, and amateur firewalking.