A bastion of family-friendly arts and entertainment since its curtain first rose in 1983, Ruth Eckerd Hall demonstrates its commitment to the community through concerts, movie screenings, and all-ages education at the Marcia P. Hoffman Performing Arts Institute. Graduates of the school go on to star in musical and theater productions on the stage, overlooking 2,180 sloping seats arranged continental style for great sightlines and impeccable acoustics.
The State Theatre was saved, as its website states, from "the ravages of time." Built in 1921 as a vaudeville and silent-film palace, the venue fell on hard times in the 1970s. In 2003, however, a $3 million renovation restored the State Theatre to much of its original glory, as crews painstakingly rehabbed the ornamental plaster, terracotta exterior, and actor holding cells. Inside the theater, a stunning chandelier sparkles more brightly than ever below the venue's signature dome.
Nearly a century ago, the Hippodrome opened as a combination movie palace and vaudeville theater, spending more than 70 years hosting big names such as Bob Hope and Frank Sinatra. Following a double-decade period of slow business and bad hairstyles, the Hippodrome closed down in 1990. Now, however, after an exhaustive restoration project that reanimated the theater’s chandelier-lit arches, the mural above the proscenium stage, and the grand-theater boxes that hearken back to opera’s heyday, the Hippodrome reopens to the delight of Baltimore’s cultural landscape.
The School of Russian Ballet may be relatively young, but it trains dancers according to time-honored traditions.?Founders Darya Fedetova and Sergiy Mykhaylov espouse the Vaganova Method, the same whole-body process that helped mold the talents of such icons as Baryshnikov, Nureyev, and Zakharova. The school teaches students ages three and up, from novices just learning first position to advanced dancers who have sprouted their own pointe shoes. Many pupils get the chance to perform alongside professionals in the studio's seasonal productions, which include classic fairy tales such as Snow White and the holiday favorite, The Nutcracker.