Though they operate more than 200 locations in upwards of 30 states, the team behind U.S. Baseball Academy aims to make each young athlete's experience a personal one. Their four- or six-week camps are taught by local instructors who are current or former coaches at the high school or college level, and typically offer a 6:1 or better player-to-teacher ratio for intense, professional-style training. The Academy's proven itinerary of hitting, pitching, fielding, and baserunning drills was developed by an advisory board of college coaches and Major League players, including Cy Young Award–winner and ace pitcher Brandon Webb.
Voted About.com’s Best Haunt in Memphis for two years running, Hauntedweb of Horrors ushers guests through two winding walk-throughs filled with gruesome scenery and ghoulish live denizens. The Tormented haunt plunks guests into Dr. Hacker's asylum, where they encounter frenzied inmates in macabre hospital locales. Eluding the doctor deposits patrons in the Dark Bayou—a quagmire beset by bloodthirsty locals and the vengeful ghosts of catfish dinners past. Feet can also tiptoe past psychedelic terrors in The Dark Matter haunt's labyrinthine tangle, navigating a surreal landscape of 3-D visuals that baffle the senses. Each frightful journey lasts approximately 15–20 minutes or 20–40 high-pitched screams. Although Hauntedweb does not recommend that children tour its spooky innards, its proceeds help Youth Villages to reach kids in need. While this Groupon is valid any day through October 31, customers attending the Hauntedweb of Horrors October 29 through October 31 should expect long lines and possible delays.
One of the oldest community theaters in the country, Theatre Memphis has been putting on high-quality productions for 90 years. The 2010–2011 season features six highly acclaimed plays and musicals fit for auditory and sensory feasting. Tony Award nominee for Best Book of a Musical, [title of show] (January 14–30), is a love letter to the musical theater that follows two struggling writers in a race to craft an entry to a musical theater festival. Amadeus (February 4–20) traces Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart as he rises to become the number one ranked composer in the eyes of Austrian Emperor Josef. March 11–April 3, the stage and its reddest curtains dance to Cabaret, along with a charmingly carefree nightclub performer. Richard III, the third in William Shakespeare’s acclaimed three-part Richard series, appears April 8–24, preparing the stage for Picnic (April 29–May 15) and Crazy for You (June 3–26).
Instructor Lynn Givens knows from experience the kinds of dangers lurk in the world. After an experience with a stalker who threatened her and her son, she started training in armed self-defense, going on to earn a state instructor's certification in less than a year. Wanting to help prepare others for such threats, she joined the instructional team at Rangemaster, where today she and several other instructors lead more than 30 training courses.
Understanding that all clients have unique training needs is what drives the staff at Rangemaster. The team operates under the direction of owner and chief instructor Tom Givens, who previously spent 25 years in law enforcement and security. Applying training standards compliant with organizations such as the NRA, Tom's team-teaches classes from the Level I – Basic Personal Protection Course to advanced classes such as Low Light Skills and a three-day Dynamic Marksmanship course. When not leading classes, the instructors oversee a range that welcomes the general public and members, who enjoy perks such as class discounts and their own entrance music played at every visit.
The Memphis Symphony Orchestra has been breaking strings and the hearts of screaming fans since its inception in 1952. This year, the orchestra will once again resonate throughout the elegantly crafted Cannon Center, sending seasonal shivers down the tickled spines of all audience members. The Home for the Holidays performance includes vocal joys from soprano Ashley Brown, best known for her portrayal of Mary Poppins on Broadway, in addition to a medley of carol-worthy classics performed by the Memphis Symphony Chorus and the University of Memphis Concert Singers. The evening's combination of power and cheer will cause many to be moved to tears, which will likely form puddles in the theater, making exiting nearly impossible without an inflatable raft.
Dexter Tenison knows how to lose weight. Weighing nearly 300 pounds after college, Tenison decided it was time to make a change. Throwing himself into martial arts and personal training, he discovered a healthier lifestyle that he realized was inspiring others to reach their own goals. With that, he decided to open Memphis Adventure Boot Camp. Voted Best Health Club by Memphis Most in 2011, Tenison’s all-female boot camps combine the group vibe he found in his martial-arts classes with the personal attention and drastic results from personal training. Camps span several weeks at a time, aiming to whip frames into shape with ever-changing fitness regimes that spice up traditional exercise, such as jogging and resistance training, with fresh add-ins, including obstacle courses, lunging, and building body bridges across quicksand. To cater to all conditioning levels, every workout is easily modifiable, and no participants will ever be pushed to overexert themselves.
What kid doesn't dream of owning his or her own playground? David Zorn grew up storming the fields of Paintball Park, falling in love with the game. In college his childhood pastime turned into a semiprofessional career that took him to cities such as Chicago and Miami, where he made his television debut on ESPN's airing of the Campaign Cup tournament. Shortly after college, David jumped at the chance to purchase his old stomping grounds, where, across 18 acres of pigment-spattered fields, shooters settle good-natured scores as a trained staff ensures safety.
Colorful projectiles tear a zipper-like sound through the air across Paintball Park’s seven paintball fields, which have varying themes. In Paintball Canyon, players hunker down alongside a gorge, stashing themselves inside log forts or under bridges. The simulated nuclear-waste site at Ground Zero provides hiding places in the form of stacks of barrels and pipes; Dodge City simulates an Old West town, complete with a saloon and animatronic tumbleweeds; and players can find tournament-style play among the inflated blue obstacles of the airball field. Between games, paintballers refuel at the snack shop or at the grill pits and picnic tables scattered in the courtyard. At annual events, the staff sets up a scenario that spans all seven fields for an all-day game, designed to re-create battles from history, video games, or the time Sun Tzu’s lunch was missing from the fridge.