Trapeze School New York’s expansion west meant Angelenos no longer had to cross the country to join the circus. At their outdoor studio on the Santa Monica Pier, highly trained instructors teach beginner, intermediate, and advanced maneuvers during classes on the flying trapeze, aerial silks, lyra, trampoline, and Spanish web. All of Trapeze School New York’s countrywide facilities in New York, Boston, Washington, DC, Chicago, and LA hold themselves to high safety standards that account for everything from equipment to instructors and safety belts. In an effort to bring their flying-trapeze instruction to surrounding communities regardless of funding, the school also gives lessons through their nonprofit branch of operations.
On Friday nights at Extreme Dancesport, the floorboards heat up under the swinging steps of students, regulars, and teachers cutting a rug at Boston Swing?s Central?s weekly social dances. Sometimes it?s pre-recorded tunes and sometimes it?s a live band inspiring the boogiers, but either way, it?s a rollicking good time for all ages and skill levels and no partner is required.
The weekly party, which starts with a group class from 8-9 p.m. and then transforms into a free-for-all from 9 p.m. ? 12 a.m., is the focal point of the non-profit dance organization. Boston Swing Central also offers classes and boot camps where dance instructors teach you how to do the east coast, lindy hop, and Charleston.
It's one thing to sit down to a perfectly nice three-course meal, surrounded by your close friends and loved ones. It's quite another thing to sit down to the same meal surrounded not only by your friends, but by a slew of shifty-eyed murder suspects. Such is the situation guests find themselves in at Mystery Caf?, America's original murder mystery dinner theater.
Like the perfect crime, the idea behind Mystery Caf? is equal parts simple and brilliant. The line between dinner guest and audience member is blurred as a crew of potential murders attempts to evade suspicion by serving a delicious three-course meal. All the while, guests answer a series of questions based on their observations; at the end of the meal, the individual with the most correct answers wins.
Popular though it may be, the mystery dinner is only one of several gut-busting comedy acts sponsored by Mystery Caf?. Another is ComedySportz Boston, a lightning-fast improv competition in which two teams vie for points by playing in a series of goofy improv games. Regularly held at the Davis Square Theatre in Somerville, ComedySportz has all the elements you'd look for in a more traditional sport: breakneck speed, a rowdy audience, and a referee who governs the action and decides if the losers get to live.
Not all live comedy is contained to Boston’s Theater District. Just ask the folks at Improv Asylum, located in an underground spot in the North End, where local actors perform different sketch and improvisational comedy shows nightly. The subterranean space on Hanover Street hosts 90-minute shows with up to six different actors in each show, performing skits that touch upon family humor, current events and even some adult topics (suggested minimum age for shows is 17 years due to the content). There are nine different shows held here each week, with a cast that interacts with the audience to ensure the authenticity of each show. Best of all, military and student discounts keep the already-low prices at rock-bottom levels.
Celebrities from Busta Rhymes to Gisele Bündchen have visited Limelight Stage & Studios, a karaoke lounge designed to give every guest—even ones who have not joined Hollywood’s ranks—a chance to shine onstage. Performers can belt out their favorite tunes on a general stage while an emcee waits in the wings; alternatively, groups can retire to private karaoke studios that accommodate up to 30 for a more intimate vibe. The studios’ Mixr technology allows singers to personalize their sets by choosing their own songs, videos, lighting, and foreign accents. As stars show off their vocal cords, a team of waiters delivers platters of cocktails and finger food such as egg rolls and chicken tenders.
Orchestral aficionados and note neophytes alike will rejoice in the production of two of the most famous classical works of all time. Patrons who attend Beethoven's Symphony no. 5 will be treated to a diverse program, beginning with the overture to Mozart's opera Don Giovanni, followed by two baroque pieces by Haydn, and concluding with Ludwig van Beethoven's notorious Symphony no. 5 in C Minor, the saddest and most classical of all keys. Those hearkening to Mozart's Requiem may enjoy an entertainment beginning with Handel's Dixit Dominus, featuring mezzo-soprano Phyllis Pancella in her society debut. After the performance, artistic director Harry Christophers will conduct Mozart's haunting and mysterious Requiem, providing a poignant note on which to end the program.