When Lazy Susan Dinner Theatre's doors open for each evening's performance, guests are greeted and escorted to their tables where they can order cocktails. Then, with thirsts parched and pocket watches swinging, they move onward to a hot buffet of made-from-scratch Pennsylvania Dutch dishes, including breads, roast beef, chicken, fish, and housemade desserts. But sweets aren't the only treat here. After dessert, the curtain opens to family-friendly Broadway-style shows that incite laughter, explore American history, or challenge theatergoers to discern which actors are real ghosts. And to tie the dinner and show together even tighter, the performers are the same people pouring the coffee. DC Metro Theater Arts notes that "the warm ambiance found at The Lazy Susan is indeed half of the fun of going."
For almost 50 years, Virginia Ballet Company and School has borrowed from the rich, centuries-old traditions of Russian ballet to mold fledgling tip-toers into strong, agile, and graceful dancers. Following the expertly adapted choreography of the studio's late co-founding artistic director, Tania Rousseau, a cast of professional dancers prepares students ages three and up to participate in school-run classical productions, granting them the opportunity to twirl into important roles such as The Nutcracker or The Helicopter Propeller. The company hosts classes of varying difficulties in a studio with raised, spring-loaded floors that reduce injury, fixed and portable handrails, and wall-length mirrors for checking and correcting posture.
Music director Emil de Cou takes listeners on a sonic journey that sails the Virginia Chamber Orchestra's sound waves to baroque and neoclassical shores, then back through the romantic and contemporary coasts of jazz. The featured piece of the program, Grieg's Holberg Suite of 1884, takes the charming string movement to the late 17th century, when the playwright Ludvig Holberg lived and when flimsy top hats had to be filled with stale oatmeal so that they could stay upright. Maestro Cou mines more neoclassical splendor as violins, cello, and a four-part string orchestra resonate throughout the hall during Handel's concerti grossi from Twelve Grand Concertos, Opus 6. The orchestra breaks 20th-century ground with a composition by Washington native Duke Ellington. His “Solitude” gently exposes listeners to a heartbreakingly simple tune that has stood the test of time better than hand-whittled watches.
André Rieu enchants all tastes as he leads his Johann Strauss Orchestra through an evening of virtuosic swooning and dancing in the aisles. A violinist since the age of 5, after a biochemistry degree and two divorces, André radiates his lifelong love of classical music into the audience, tipping the scales of fancy and footloose. Like an omnipotent marionette artist, he maestros both the orchestra and spectators into enticing bouts of ballroom dancing, taking breaks between his Pied Pipering to excitedly play his Stradivarius violin. As Rieu interacts with the audience, the air fills with the kaleidoscopic balloons, lilting tenors and sopranos, and special surprises, which may include a John Philip Sousa séance or a tuba-hole marshmallow toss.
Entering their 85th season, the Harlem Globetrotters have entertained millions of parents, children, and general basketball admirers with a unique brand of athletic precision and showmanship. For their latest “4 Times the Fun” North American tour, the Globetrotters will add a new 4-point shot spots located 35 feet from the basket, which is 12 feet further than the official three-point line but several thousand miles closer than the prime meridian. See the arch-nemesis Generals try to keep up as the Harlem hardwood sorcerers evade gravity’s oppressive clutches and court clairvoyants distribute unassailable alley-oops. Youngsters can learn about the benefits of teamwork while laughing along with the jovial jocks as they perform classic routines of unconventional passing and sudden transmutations of water into confetti.