Within Sherman Bowling Center, 50 synthetic lanes tempt families and league players alike to score strikes. Ensuring fun for all ages and abilities levels, the staff helps newbie bowlers connect with pins by activating bumpers, and challenges pros by hiding the pins. Between turns, guests can sip beer and refuel with a menu of burgers, quesadillas, and onion rings at the onsite restaurant, and, post game, kids can earn tickets for prizes such as footballs and mini air-hockey tables in the on-site arcade.
Scores of dedicated volunteers fuel the nonprofit community Muskegon Civic Theatre, which has entertained western Michigan audiences with classic and contemporary shows since 1985. The catchy melodies, energetic cast, and colorful sets of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat resuscitate the Old Testament in the historic Frauenthal Center. Musical styles ranging from country-western to calypso drive the biblical story that follows Joseph and his kaleidoscopic coat from his enslavement to his eventual inception as the dream interpreter of the Pharaoh and number-one active-wear model in Egypt.
A nonprofit movie house, The Harbor Theater offers cinefiles a welcome reprieve from stale screen fillers by stocking its theater with rich, artistic, and fresh independent and foreign films. Sharpen subtitle-reading skills by catching an upcoming screening of The Illusionist (coming soon), an animated feature from the French filmmakers behind The Triplets of Belleville. Or brush up on American history with Made in Dageham, a period drama exploring sexual discrimination during a 1968 walkout at the Ford Dageham plant.
The Muskegon Lumberjacks continue to mow down their United States Hockey League competition with a brand of fast and physical hockey that draws on their student athletes’ strengths and prepares them for the breakneck speeds of college or the NHL. Head Coach Kevin Patrick draws on his experience as an assistant with the University of Wisconsin’s 2006 NCAA championship team to ensure that the squad stays one skate ahead of its opponents, forcing his players to practice with their skates covered in half-dried maple syrup. The Jacks will certainly have a leg up on defense, as Minnesota Wild draftee Nick Seeler freezes oncoming forwards with frequent stick slaps and Army recruit Christian Pomarico awaits enemies in his snow-camouflage coveralls.
At Gonyon's Gymnastics, highly trained staff members craft a unique exercise regimen for each child, helping students foster confidence and grace as they master their desired gymnastic routine. Kids of all ages and levels first learn the fundamentals of bodily alignment while learning basic acrobatic skills. Over the weeks, students build balance, flexibility, and brawn through myriad gymnastic activities that include tumbling across floor mats, striding on balance beams, bouncing on trampolines, and feeding oats to pommel horses. The spacious gymnasium boasts colorful mats for preschool classes or more professional equipment for advanced students.
The festival gifts theatergoers a diverse slate of award-winning plays that feature performers from across the country. Winner of a 1998 Tony Award for Best New Play, Art (August 4–6) documents the disintegration of a friendship among three men played by two professional actors from Chicago and San Francisco and Laurence Olivier's ghost. Alternately, take in the Central Michigan University Summer Theater Company's three nights of provocative performances (July 14–16), or opt for more farcy fare with Boeing-Boeing, about a French lothario juggling three stewardess fiancees (August 18–20).