Recipients of Northshore magazine’s 2010 Best of North Shore award for Best Movie Theater, CinemaSalem fills four screens with first-run, art, and documentary films. Evening flicks after 6 p.m. offer stargazing opportunities for adults ($9.50) and kids ($7.50); 3-D films levy an additional $2 to compensate the hardworking technician who throws props and actors at the audience. Take in a morning movie before 12:30 p.m. ($6), or escape incessant summer sun by ducking into a matinee ($8 for adults, $7.50 for children). While you watch, crunch popcorn or traipse to the café for movie-minded concoctions such as the Vanilla Sky, a froth of espresso, vanilla, and clouds of foam ($3.50–$4), or the Holy Grail ($4.50), a peanut-butter-and-banana milkshake.
The Histrionic Academy follows the enduring footprints of America's first steps, bringing to life the iconic men, women, and events that helped forge the United States into existence during the Revolutionary era. Throughout the extended, 90-minute Tour the Freedom Trail walking tour, groups weave across the first 1.2 miles of Boston's Freedom Trail behind the proverbial torches held by guides dressed in colonial garb. Up to 16 of the city's historical landmarks along the tour's route act as links to the past, enabling tour takers to see the actual locations where Paul Revere famously hung out and memorized the horse alphabet.
In addition to Freedom Trail adventures, The Histrionic Academy also swings open its vault of knowledge during school field trips and a variety of other tours. The Plymouth Night tour raises hairs by shuffling visitors through haunted locales beneath the eerie glow of the moon while hunting for ghosts and ghouls in their paranormal hangouts, learning about the dark shadows cast by the city on a hill and the proper safety gear needed for attempting to climb to the moral high ground. The Salem's 1692 tour relives the hysteria of witch hunts by sailing through city streets atop gas-powered brooms.
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is a musical comedy based on the 1988 film of the same name starring Steve Martin and "wild and crazy guy" Michael Caine. The stage adaptation follows competing con men Lawrence and Freddy as they scheme and swindle their way through the French Riviera. After failed attempts to team up, the suave Lawrence and the not-as-suave Freddy make a bet on who can steal $50,000 from a young heiress—the winner keeps the cash, and the loser has to leave the Riviera. The show boasts a Tony Award–nominated score by David Yazbek, the songsmith behind the similarly adapted-from-a-movie The Full Monty, as well as a pyramid scheme's worth of laughs from the capable cast.
As eventgoers perch under the stately domed ceiling inside Lynn Auditorium, they can take in a show against an elegant red-curtain backdrop and sleek wooden accents. The distinguished interior of the event center augments the caliber of performances available in the form of concerts and holiday specials such as Kenny Rogers and The Vienna Boys Choir. The entertainment unfolds amid newly renovated elements such as updated seating and high-tech lighting that’s capable of illuminating the next line in an actor’s head.
Menopause the Musical has painted a vivid, rib-tickling portrait of four women confronting the troubles of middle age for audiences in hundreds of cities all over the world. The show tells the story of four strangers, meeting by chance at a department-store lingerie sale, who begin to commiserate on the travails of menopause, including hot flashes, mood swings, and spontaneously breaking out in song-and-dance routines. Parodying a suite of hits from the '60s, '70s, and '80s, the musical's jaunty tunes encourage dialogue about women's health while eliciting copious chortles of recognition from guests.
The working cornfield at Marini Farm embraces the festive spirit of autumn by wearing a different mask each Halloween season. The corn maze has featured farm-themed shapes, a giant bald eagle, and a pirate design that was featured in the Wicked Local Ipswich in 2010. The maize maze is designed to be both educational and interactive, with about 20 clue stations strategically placed throughout the labyrinth to help adventurers conquer the nearly 10 miles of paths. The maze is open during the day and remains open Friday and Saturday night for flashlight-lead escapades.
The smaller, less complex Finger Fortune maze delights younger adventurers, as do the apple cannon, jumping pillow, pumpkin patch, hayride wagon, and separate play area. For parents or guests staging a corn coup, the third-generation farm serves up a cornucopia of fresh veggies, bakery treats, and plants for purchase or for hurling at scarecrows creepily staring at them in the distance.