Alongside with her accomplishments as a dancer and choreographer, Oanh Tretter always wanted to lead her own dance company. Ariel Dance Productions lets her realize her long-held passion, where she can create a fun and non-competitive environment for dancers of all ages. The studio's broad swath of classes run the gamut from the precise steps of ballet and show choir to the more fluid undulations of belly dancing. The family-oriented studio also bring parents and students together for frequent recitals and seasonal talent shows.
Owner Bethany Hooks’s dancing skills landed her in such Broadway shows as Grease, My Fair Lady, and Rent. Her impressive résumé also includes an assistant choreographer position for Holland America Cruise Line, which took her to Hawaii, Alaska, and Mexico. She now runs Just B... Dance & Fitness, where students as young as 2 years old can learn ballet, modern, tap, jazz, and hip-hop dance moves.
The silver screens at BlueLight Cinemas showcase second-run films every day in theaters with high-back chairs and DTS and Dolby surround sound. In the concession area, attendants provide a cornucopia of goods, including Dippin' Dots, Peet's Coffee, and Orville Redenbacher’s popcorn topped with real butter from actual tombs inside the food pyramid. The locally owned theater keeps in tune with the community by staging events throughout the year, offering theater rentals for parties, and allowing moviegoers to influence upcoming features by requesting a movie.
Peninsula Symphony, founded in 1949 with the goal of enriching communities with affordable musical productions, grew from a grassroots ensemble to a 90-plus-member orchestra of well-trained local musicians. Music Director Mitchell Sardou Klein leads the ensemble with a steady baton, a sharp ear, and the stamina to carry on through the inevitable triple encore.
A charter member of the MLS, the San Jose Earthquakes played their first four seasons as the Clash before claiming the MLS Cup in 2001 and 2003. Though the team moved to Houston in '05, the franchise was reinstated in '08, bringing professional soccer back to the Bay Area. Buck Shaw Stadium serves as the team's current home, though a new stadium will shoot skyward in 2014, complete with luxury suites for fans and exhausted referees alike.
Celebrating its 40th season, the nonprofit Lyric Theatre regales the public with extravagantly staged productions of classic light operas. Feast ear-buds on sweet sounds performed by a volunteer troupe of opera-trained actor-singers, a full chorus, a 24-piece live orchestra, and one extremely skilled conductor's baton. The Lyric Theatre's The Sorcerer begins the quartet by mixing Victorian comedic stylings with Bollywood-inspired staging. The Gondoliers, Gilbert and Sullivan's lively tale of royal mix-ups, makes a melodic mockery of the British social system. The nautical chuckle-fests H.M.S. Pinafore and season-closer The Pirates of Penzance tickle funny bones of all ages with peppy maritime music and historically accurate knot-tying jargon.