A former vaudeville performance space and movie palace built in 1928, the California Theatre of the Performing Arts hearkens back to a bygone era with its majestic Wurlitzer organ, which is played during silent-film programs, and a time portal linked to the childhood home of Alexander Pantages. The theater?s deep-red stage curtains and ornate, vaulted ceilings also steep the senses in a vintage ambiance. Thanks to this comforting nostalgia, as well as the heartfelt scenes that unfold onstage, the space seems much cozier than a 1,718-seat auditorium has any right to.
Little Shop of Horrors, Center Stage's latest production, revisits Alan Menken's famed dark comic musical about an insecure floral assistant forced to serve human lunches to a man-eating plant with a Juilliard-caliber singing voice. Bear witness to the expressive acting of Center Stage Theatre's best as actors bring to life the terrifyingly humorous story of love, desperation, and maniacal dentists. First-timers will discover the epic roots of the botanical horror-comedy genre, and longtime fans can return for a 20th viewing to rehear favorite notes of mind-sticking standards like "Skid Row (Downtown)."
When the lights flicker on and off at The Gourmet Detective, there's no cause for alarm?it's all just part of the show. The interactive murder mystery dinner theatre injects a three-course meal with whimsical performers who blend comedy and drama into a vintage whodunnit. Each show transports its captive audience to the era of film noir, wrapping them into a dark, twisting narrative scored with live music from a lounge singer. The scene is set as guests mingle with the characters at a pre-show cocktail hour, then step into the seedy restaurant those characters run. When the first players are bumped off at the start of the meal, everyone in the crowd becomes equally gumshoe, witness, and suspect. Throughout the dinner, guests can either sit back and enjoy the show or gather clues by talking with the characters who serve each course between the scenes. The evening culminates in a reveal of the real culprit, as well as the audience's most inaccurate guesses.
UltraStar Cinemas cossets moviegoers in cushy seating as they enjoy Hollywood hits alongside buttery servings of popcorn. Film buffs can peruse the current showtimes to handpick an action-packed flick, romantic comedy, or chilling thriller featuring inexplicably aggressive hamsters. The concession stand outfits moviegoers with snacks, drinks, and buckets filled with warm kernels, keeping stomach grumblings to a minimum during showings and providing crunchy projectiles in case of sudden younger-sibling attacks.