Voted the best place to see live theater in the Valley Advocate's 2011 readers' poll, the Majestic Theater envelops audiences in compelling stagings starring local thespians. In the midst of the Majestic's summer season, Two by Two juxtaposes the dramatic and comedic sides of Massachusetts playwright Steve Henderson by showing a pair of his enthralling one-act plays back-to-back. Theater-goers get a peek at the ins and outs of the fictional Morse brothers' complex relationship in Morse Code—a case study of universal truths about fraternity, such as the fact that it's more entertaining for others when siblings argue in public. The Gravedigger's Gift riffs on two grave-digging characters from Shakespeare's Hamlet, extracting comedy from the dour business of burying the deceased.
For two decades, New Century Theatre has provoked thoughtful postshow discussions with a mix of new works and fresh renditions of familiar classics. "Distracted," a new play by acclaimed playwright and screenwriter, Lisa Loomer, follows the parents, teachers, and doctors of a rambunctious 9-year-old boy as they try to determine whether he has ADHD. By turns hilarious and poignant, the action unfolds within Smith College's Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts, a performance hall built in 1964 and recently renovated to add modern comforts and chase Banquo's ghost from the wings.
Hosted by owner and former Funniest Comic in Boston winner Dan Smith, the laughmasters at Wisecracks Comedy Club mine for chuckle deposits in funny bones throughout Worcester County. Wisecracks's professional acts engage errant guffaws with new looks at evergreen topicsm, including love, life, and the ethical implications of the Large Hadron Collider. Groupon holders can fly solo or flock in V formation with up to nine wingmen to any show in 2011, including appearances by Tonight Show veterans such as Gary Gulman and Dwayne Perkins.
With an agile army of acrobats from groups such as Cirque du Soleil and the Moscow Circus twirling and spinning along old-time-inspired machines, Boom Town ponders the connection between humankind and its manufactured labor assistors. Audiences are teleported to the old frontier mining town of Rosebud in 1865, where two shrewd, business-minded saloon owners hope to take advantage of the influx of gymnastically gifted gold-seekers. The battle for riches sparks a musical adventure full of pole-climbing prospectors, dancers atop swinging chandeliers, and authentically flipping cowpokes swathed in colorful costumes.
Professionally schooled in the art of ballroom dancing, Fred Astaire Worcester's certified instructors have trained tapping toes in boogying basics since 1984. Based on each student's desired style, such as ballroom, Latin, social, or competitive dancing, staff members tailor two 30-minute private lessons around each individual pupil's or couple’s needs, aspirations, skill level, and number of past appearances on Soul Train.
At Summit Studios, aspiring singers and musicians can learn to play a variety of instruments and sing under the tutelage of experienced instructors. During the private, 30-minute lesson, students can saturate their brains and portable chalkboards with the theory behind guitar, piano, saxophone, clarinet, trumpet, or drums. Meanwhile, in the voice lessons, expert warblers can train croaky cords to emanate mellifluous vibrations through a focus on breath support, intonation, and sight-reading.