Veteran ballet dancers Lauri-Michelle and Benjamin Houk run a duo of prominent dance academies designed to aid children in the pursuit of toe-tapping excellence. Five four-hour days of dance camp break up the drudgery of summertime like an ice-cream truck breaks up a cul-de-sac water-balloon fight. Jazz Contemporary Hip-Hop workshop and the Ballet Summer Intensive offer various age-specific seminars for young hoofers all the way up to older teens, and the Mary Poppins Musical Theater Camp trains the starry eyes and limbs of Broadway-bound 6- to 12-year-olds. The academies' Dancing Princesses camp teaches 4- to 6-year-olds how to gracefully sway with any glass footwear or beast dance partner.
Hewing to the artistic vision of director Leslie Craig-Foxworth, the international cartel of stage-trained rug-cutters at Performing Arts Workshop lead dancers of all ages in ballet, tap, and jazz classes. Scan the schedule courses suiting tap-ready toes attached to child or adult feet, with new classes including Vaganova-style adult beginning ballet, modern dance for the 45+ crowd, and the Mommy & Me sessions, which set tots as young as 2 spinning while they're still small enough to hide inside a jewelry box. Children aged 6–12 as well as full-grown adults can click shoes in respective beginner tap classes, while Starlets and Twinkle Toes classes impart the foundations of classical ballet in children 3–5 years old. The Performing Arts Workshop puts on twice-yearly performances, including The Nutcracker in December, which, unlike the cliques of haughty real-world wooden dolls, remains open to all students.
The stars of the Great White Way traverse time zones to shine upon San Diego in Broadway Then…and Now!, a whirlwind sing-along travelogue that whisks audiences through the greatest hits of Broadway history. Artistic Director Jung-Ho Pak and Associate Conductor Dana Zimbric pave memory lane with eye-popping video backdrops and ear-salivating sounds, leading a boisterous orchestra and a cast of Broadway ringers through golden-era melodies mixed with modern pearls. Susan Egan, acclaimed as Broadway’s longest-running Sally Bowles in Cabaret, graces the stage with her Fosse-fueled charisma to belt out beloved ditties alongside fellow master thespians Doug LaBrecque of Phantom fame and Victor/Victoria veteran Rachel York. From the razzle-dazzle of Irving Berlin’s “There’s No Business Like Show Business” to the abba-zabba of Mamma Mia, Broadway Then…and Now! leaves no show tune unturned, allowing families to taste all of Manhattan’s yummiest fruits without having to ransack Tammany Hall for tickets.
Throughout its 12-acre arts complex, with more than 9,000 feet of performance space, the California Center for the Arts intersperses a variety of mediums and disciplines with the overarching aim of promoting community building. The museum's three visual-art galleries and sculpture court have housed more than 75 exhibitions since 1994, including interactive exhibits on going "green" that feature tips from crocodiles and the Wicked Witch of the West. Currently, Patricia Patterson's exhibition Here and There, Back and Forth mystifies museum-goers with theatrical installations and painted snapshots. Along with free admission to the museum for two adults and up to four children, family memberships include priority seating and presale tickets to performances, invitations to preview events, and free admission for two adults to the Art & Intrigue show.
Eschewing the over-the-top costumes and writing that typify many other murder-mystery dinners, The Dinner Detective San Diego’s cast of improvisational actors blends in with audiences, holding secrets tight to their chests while steering each night’s tension-filled storyline. After a diner is found murdered, a resident detective helps lead the investigation, allowing guests to interrogate one another with Tickle Monster tactics to distinguish the culprit among the crowd of fellow diners and dissembling thespians. Multicourse meals keep bodies well fueled during spurts of crime-solving intuition, and a prize basket awaits the gumshoe who comes closest to solving the case.
Renovated in 2011, the Museum of Making Music showcases a permanent display of hundreds of unusual and vintage instruments charting the progression of song-crafting from 1900 to modern times. Five museum galleries present popular music, innovations in instruments and their manufacture, and marketing and distribution techniques in five eras throughout the 20th century. Racks of gleaming instruments line the cases, as well as more eclectic pieces such as double-neck guitars, the crossbreed GuitarViol, and an ancient, forgotten instrument whose name is always whispered: the "clarinet." The museum is dotted with interactive exhibits, giving visitors the chance to craft their own tunes on the exhibit's drum kits or keytar.