Birmingham Children's Theatre aims to mint pint-sized playwrights, actors, and audience members. It has pursued this goal since its inception in 1947, impacting more than 170,000 children and their 170,000 imaginary friends annually. The theater's kid-friendly programming not only introduces kids to the theater, but also initiates them into the production process. Since 1982, its New Voices Project has yielded upward of 50 original scripts, stories, musicals, and adaptations for young audiences, all while celebrating artistic experimentation and supporting promising new playwrights.
Magic City Ballroom Dance Studio's experienced instructional feet ignite the dance floor with a variety of lessons that demystify the art of rhythmic motion for dancers of all skill levels. Dance styles such as the tango, mambo, and samba infuse hips with infectious Latin rhythms while the Viennese Waltz, the fox trot, and the lindy step add pizzazz to wedding dances or an expressive trip down the produce aisle. Not content to only host energetic classes, the studio also supports one-day dance competitions, inviting dancers to show off their hard work for a chance at prizes and statues of bronzed jazz hands.
Whether training to become professional dancers or exploring ballet as a hobby, students at Huntsville Ballet School hone their craft under the guidance of seasoned dance experts. Artistic director Phillip Otto taught master classes in ballet at Yale and Vassar College, and school director Rachel Butler danced and taught across the world in places like China, Australia, and Turkey. The school operates in tandem with the Huntsville Ballet, giving dancers an opportunity to audition for performances alongside the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra. Former students have gone on to study at prestigious dance schools across the nation, while others have become mirror models for bedroom danceoffs.
When Mudtown Eat and Drink owner Dave Horn returned to Birmingham after a stint in Atlanta, he remarked to Bob Carlton of the Birmingham News that there was no place "where you can just get a burger." He decided to build exactly what he sought: The Ridge Eat & Drink, a casual, neighborhood eatery that serves classic pub fare such as 100% Hereford beef burgers and upscale dishes ranging from steaks to seafood. The menu’s Asian and southern influences emanate from starters such as grilled tuna tataki and fried green tomatoes. To make diners comfortable, the pub greets them with drink specials, flat-screen TVs, and daily dares scrawled on a chalkboard above the dark-wood bar.
Stomp has thrilled audiences with mind-blowing percussive pieces for more than 20 years, touring 350 cities and 36 countries across the globe. Kinetic dance numbers incorporate ubiquitous everyday objects, using brooms, sheets of newspaper, and Zippo lighters to fashion intricate beats and sterling examples of what children should not do. The current tour revamps the classic show, phasing out old numbers and adding in exciting set pieces involving paint cans and tractor tires. The BJCC's capacious concert hall provides plenty of room for airborne harmonies to stretch their wings while orchestra- and tier-level seats provide enviable views of onstage numbers and chimpanzees capering in the catwalk.
Positively Funny Inc.'s troupe of talented actors fully improvises each of its energetic shows, heeding audience suggestions to fuel an ever-changing roster of family-friendly laughs. During performances, attendees and sentient mad-lib books proffer comedic proposals, then watch as the skilled jokesmiths swiftly spin submissions into a slate of completely new material. The ensemble's performance schedule includes a weekly Tuesday-evening show at The Rare Martini.
Positively Funny Inc. bestows its chuckle-producing wisdom upon nascent comedians during frequent classes and workshops and helps celebrate special events with mobile performances that, like most kids' first birthday parties, include a roast of the guest of honor. All of Positively Funny Inc.'s performances support Perform-4-A-Purpose, a division of the organization that produces educational programs geared toward youth and teenagers. The programs deliver positive social messages about such topics as bullying, self-esteem, conflict resolution, and tax laws on lunchroom trading.