When he’s not collaborating with Debbie Allan or with director Marty Thomas on music videos, Tamarr Paul stars as one-sixth of Rhythm Dance & Fitness Studios’ decorated staff. Mirrored walls reflect the studio’s honey-colored floors and the funky moves that emerge in dance classes. Beginning Hip-Hop pairs prancers with a new song and full choreography in each session, and Cardio Hip-Hop promises to elicit sweat droplets from the most advanced dancers. Urban Burlesque sends students sauntering through jazz moves. If the full schedule of drop-in dance classes isn't enough, experienced hot-footers can enlist in the Rhythm Dance Company, whose performers use their energetic shimmies to power the county's schools.
Success as a child actor depends almost as much on parents' managerial knowhow as it does on a kid's acting skills. During three-day weekend excursions at The Acting Camp—held at the more than 300-acre El Capitan Canyon—aspiring performers and their guardians develop their respective roles in each youngster's career. Under the tutelage of John D'Aquino – a veteran of hits like Seinfeld and _Hannah Montana_ – kids refine techniques such as auditioning on camera and improvising.
These sessions culminate in prepared scenes that groups of campers perform for casting directors, agents, and managers from networks like Nickelodeon and the CW. Beforehand, these insiders as well as parents of working child actors meet with parents to discuss the business end of the entertainment industry, where money and Beanie Babies exchange hands at a rapid rate. Amid all these career-focused activities, The Acting Camp leaves plenty of time for families to relax and bond with fellow attendees.
Every Thursday, Comedy Hideaway ushers in a lineup of HBO– and Comedy Central–anointed performers, its stage still echoing with the bygone riffs of such national acts as Zach Galifianakis and Whitney Cummings. The club's founder, Andrey Belikov, often hosts and performs at the evening's revues, spinning impressions of his Ukrainian father and detailing his foibles in American society. Between sets, guests avail themselves of Petrini’s menu of Italian fare, sip laugh-loosening drinks, and stand in line for autographs from nationally touring microphone stands.
Santa Barbara Revels, a nonprofit performing arts group, celebrates autumn and fundraises with Oktoberfest, a German festival replete with a complimentary buffet of bratwurst, sauerkraut, and potato salad. Toast the Biergarten Musikmeisters' cheerful tunes and sentient mustaches with included glasses of light and dark Brewhouse pilsner, or salute crisp apple strudel with a glass of wine. Door-prize tickets (not included with this Groupon) promise a shot at one of 12 fun packages, including one that enlists specialists to map family genealogy and prepare tax returns. During the live auction, bidders dressed in lederhosen and dirndls compete for luxurious getaways to Beverly Hills or Santa Monica, or a chance to win back their confiscated street clothes. Though not required to attend, a 10% discount on costume rentals from Victorian Vogue encourages Oktoberfest attendees to flesh out the festive scene with vintage regalia.
A local institution for more than 40 years, Bakersfield Music Theatre pulls in patrons with a schedule of major Broadway musicals and other songful spectacles. Stop by on October 8 for a one-night-only performance of Direct from Vegas: Frank Sinatra, featuring Gary Corsello crooning un-remixed versions of Sinatra classics such as “Luck Be a Lady” and “Come Fly With Me” to the orchestral accompaniment of five full-sized musicians. The hit musical Chicago (November 13, 14, and 20) follows the exploits of a pair of femme fatales driven to murder by the stiff breezes of the Windy City, while "This and That: A Night of Song and Dance" (February 26) combines the mouth-powered melodies of Bakersfield Music Theatre with the legendary leggery of the Civic Dance Center. Hairspray (April 30, May 1, and May 7) caps the season with the tuneful tale of a teenage dance queen whose fancy footwork and well-kempt coiffure help her to defeat her enemies, the Philadelphia Eagles.
California Keyboards Music Center has sharpened the ears and tamed the wandering digits of the Southern Valley for more than 35 years. Each weekly 30-minute lesson is taught by instructors whose performance resumés include enlivening Carnegie Hall, marching in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, and treading alongside jazz greats like Ella Fitzgerald.