Having tamed Redman's farmers'-market frontier with their patented brand of slapstickery, the script spurners of Split 2nd Improv now tend to hatching a twice-weekly staging of off-the-cuff comedy. Like snowflakes or facial tattoos, no two of the audience-directed shows are the same. Friday nights are rated PG-13, suitable for tickling family funny bones, and Saturdays paint the stage blue in adult humor. Track the ever-shifting feature players on Facebook, and bring your blank screenplay for them to autograph.
Something strange happens as soon someone steps through the gates outside of Camlann Medieval Village. The past seven centuries of human existence instantly disappear, and that same person—who once existed in a world of smart phones and talking fire hydrants—now finds his or herself in living history museum of the medieval era. A narrow street winds through a rural village, where villagers make their artisanal goods in full view.
Another attraction inside Camlann Medieval Village is The Bors Hede Inne Restaurant, which keeps its doors open year-round. An innkeeper greets guests and welcomes them into the dining room, which is usually warmed by a roaring fireplace. There, glasses of mead accompany rotating monthly entrees made using authentic recipes right out of the 14th century.
Arthur Murray has been a leading name in franchise dance since 1912, when the entrepreneur began selling mail-order dance lessons. Expanding his reach, he enlisted teachers to spread his signature dance lessons on first-class steamships and skyrocketed to fame in the '30s after introducing the public to such dances as the Lambeth Walk and The Big Apple. By the 1950s, Arthur and his wife, Kathryn, were hosting their own highly popular TV show on ABC, The Arthur Murray Dance Party, which ran for 12 years. Today, Arthur Murray's team prepares students for rug cutting at special events and weekend nightclub jaunts. Throughout lessons, instructors teach the foundations of two to four dances from a long list of styles that range from Latin to country-western, helping students to learn basic step patterns, timing, and the ability to lead or follow.
Lyric Light Opera's professional productions of classic American musicals send Broadway actors and top-flight local performers singing and dancing over the stages of beautiful venues around Seattle. Meredith Willson's Tony Award–winning musical The Music Man follows dapper con man Harold Hill's attempt to sell band instruments to a gaggle of school children, leave town with the cash, and purchase a lifetime supply of soda pop and pomade. Romance gets in the way, and soon Harold must choose between the charms of a local piano teacher and his hard-swindled money. Broadway actor Greg Stone and Seattle starlet Megan Chenovick lead the production's lively cast, supported by a full orchestra, dazzling costumes, and musical notes scraped straight from the yellowed pages of the score and dripped through pipettes into patrons' ears.
In the 74 years between the Paramount Theatre's opening night, when people used to line up to see “talkies” for 50 cents, and 2002, when it was voted Best Mainstage Theatre in a Seattle Weekly Reader's Poll, the palatial venue faded and decayed alongside its Roaring Twenties brethren throughout America. Luckily, former Microsoft Vice President Ida Cole saved it from the rubble heap in the mid-‘90s when she established the Seattle Landmark Association and vowed to render the Paramount "kissable" once again.
Over the course of seven months, the renovation crew expanded the size of the stage wings to accommodate more ambitious live productions. They also cleared decades of grime from the french baroque plaster reliefs, uncovering long-forgotten designs and causing only one long-dormant horror to snap open its eyes dramatically. They also replaced the gold leaf in the floral designs of the wall medallions, repainted all the surfaces in their original 16 colors, and scrubbed each of the 1.6 million crystal beads in the chandelier by hand with a toothbrush. The original Knabe Ampico player piano was returned to its spot on the four-tiered lobby's lush carpeting, and a 21st-century sound system now shares sonic space with the thundering, luminous sonority of the Paramount's fully restored Mighty Wurlitzer organ. Though the Paramount's calendar runs the gamut from rock concerts to standup comedy to Broadway musicals on the scale of Wicked, its decadent Beaux Arts trappings transport audiences to the days when reality was still black and white.
Onlookers gasp as the graceful figure tumbles to earth in a slow-motion plunge. Her strong legs twist and spin down a billowing swath of deep-red fabric like a spider expanding its web. It is awe rather than fear, however, that draws the crowd's gasps, as the elegant descent is performed as a demonstration by one of Emerald City Trapeze Arts’ skilled instructors during a silks class. A dedication to teaching students of all ages and abilities the skills necessary to capture both the beauty and athleticism of the circus arts is the studio's main mission, upheld by a cadre of circus-grade instructors and a friendly staff.
Below the soaring ceiling of exposed old-growth beams, students leap and balance on well-maintained circus apparatuses as their instructors correct their form and ensure their safety. The staff welcomes aerial enthusiasts to experience the sky-splitting thrills of all manner of circus specialty, from the flying trapeze to acrobalance to hatha yoga performed on the top of an elephant's stiletto. Along with high-flying classes, Emerald City Trapeze Arts’ crew celebrates the circus arts via dances and parties held within the whimsical-yet-rustic venue, from merriment-packed Halloween festivities to energetic performances by staff and students.