When Victory Theatre opened in 1921 as part of the Main Street Hotel Sonntag complex, the denizens of Evansville were fed a daily diet of high-class vaudeville: a silent movie, comedy skit, organ music, and then a 10-piece orchestra. In 1928, that dependable formula changed when ?talking? pictures arrived, and the venue remained a Loews movie theater until 1971. Having survived a late ?70s stint as a teen-oriented nightclub and a site for Partridge Family reunions, the Victory emerged triumphant after an extensive 1999 renovation. Now with room for 1,900 audience members, the entertainment mecca hosts top-tier musical and comedic touring acts and plays home to the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra.
For 40 years, Spectrum Sound has livened weddings, proms, and company parties with a wealth of music, photo-booth, and AV services. Technical experts set up projectors and huge flat screens for slideshows and presentations, or specialized lighting for dance floors and stages. DJs crank out catchy tunes and hits across a variety of genres.
Comedy Caravan corrals chuckles into a singular locale with a lineup of professional comedians performing in the Historic State Theater. This summer, the show will regale theater-goers and inconspicuous phantoms of the opera with such line-punchers as Rich Ragains, a hard-working standup and regular on The Bob and Tom Show. WLEX-TV feature reporter Lee Cruse, who has performed alongside such notable funny-bone ticklers as Jon Stewart and Bill Engvall, will also take the stage in a flurry of guffaws. Ohio native Kelly Collette, a comedienne as lauded as her name is alliterative, will emcee this year's event.
The Vernon Club, nestled in a historic building dating back to 1886, rolls out eight gleaming lanes with automatic scoring, a new Internet jukebox, and tasty comestibles for fueling competitive appetites. Players don borrowed footwear and the letterman jackets of league-player ghosts before hurling three-holed spheres toward pins poising themselves for the welcomed whack of a spare or strike. Bowlers can rest their pin-striking biceps of fury with a gooey 12-inch pizza or maintain concentration while grasping a bratwurst in non-bowling hands. On select nights, rock bands set up shop beside the lanes and churn out foot-tapping ditties until 1 a.m. or 2 a.m.
Founded in 1963 in New York as a meeting place for Broadway performers, the Improv ascended over the years to become a go-to spot for burgeoning comedians such as George Carlin, Lily Tomlin, Chris Rock, and Ellen DeGeneres. It now enjoys a slew of locations across the country, including the popular Louisville locale, which has hosted a bevy of renowned comics in the form of Margaret Cho, Jay Mohr, and Finesse Mitchell.
The Louisville Ballet prides itself on a commitment to dance education within its community, highlighting its dance school as an ideal place to provide movement instruction for toddling tots and graceful grownups alike. Hoofers ages 15 and up can boogie down, up, or backward in time in the adult-division classes, which span all levels of ballet, Zumba, jazz, hip-hop, and tap classes. Classes are held six days a week in the morning, afternoon, and evening. These fun, low-pressure classes present an excellent opportunity to learn new skills, dust off old gym or toe shoes, and meet new people, putting an end to awkward dance battles with your cumbersome coat rack.