If you're all dressed up in chainmail with no place to go, today's deal is an excuse to wear grandma's mail hood and mittens out of the house. Today's Groupon to Medieval Times gets you a sensuous four-course feast and live show, featuring horse-mounted combat, falconry, and mace-wielding professionals, for $39, a $64.75 value for adults, including tax. Call Medieval Times to schedule your outing soon, as this Groupon expires on January 31, 2010, the centennial of the Blue Knight's battle against Chaucer's time-travelling sword. An expansive stone castle bedecked in flags awaits you in Shaumburg, where you can satisfy your New Year's resolution to spend more time with the other family you've secretly been keeping in Shaumburg.
Led by certified instructor Elaine Seidman, Turning Pointe Dance Academy aims to not only imbue exercises on students, but also to help them tone muscles and improve coordination and general fitness. Classes are designed to be accessible to guests of all fitness levels, and include Vinyasa-style yoga classes that focus on alignment, strength, and flexibility as well as dance fusion classes that get hearts racing while combining ballet, jazz, and modern dance.
The enthusiastic instructors at That's Dancing Ballroom & Dancesport Center guide students of all levels through an eclectic schedule of group and private classes. Fledgling hoofers shimmy to hip-shaking rhythms during the beginner rumba class, and the intro and advanced waltz classes beckon both novice and veteran dancers to glide across the ballroom floors while holding tightly to partners or imaginary friends. Build skills in the intermediate fox trot class or undulate midsections during belly-dancing sessions. Teachers dole out one-on-one instruction during half-hour private lessons, helping dancers to conquer difficult steps or instilling the ability to simultaneously dance the charleston while preparing a five-course meal at home.
Strand Theater Company presents original, evocative plays with an emphasis on providing women opportunities for roles as actors, directors, playwrights, and set designers. Strand's upcoming 2010–11 season kicks off with the critically acclaimed The Glory of Living (October 7–23), which relates Rebecca Gilman's visceral and complex story of a 16-year-old girl married to an ex-convict twice her age. When the holiday season arrives and families start glazing their mistletoe with a mixture of eggnog and ham essence, you can get in the spirit with A Peppermint Patty Christmas (December 2–18), which portrays a character vowing to speak the truth when she heads home for the holidays. A dramatic adaptation of Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking (February 3–19) is a compelling one-woman play, written after the loss of Didion's husband and daughter. The season wraps up with the socially minded One Flea Spare (April 21–May 7), Naomi Wallace's sharp play based in seventeenth-century England and called "one of the finest works of dramatic literature" by playwright Tony Kushner.
In keeping with Everyman's tradition of ending a season with a contemporary play that deals with modern issues, David Harrower's Blackbird is a drama that premiered in 2005 and in 2007 won Britain's highest award for a new play, the Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Play. Derek Goldman directs Everyman's production, starring resident company-member Megan Anderson and David Parkes, in his first Everyman performance. The 90-minute play shows the gripping encounter between an older Ray and younger Luna, and the effects of their taboo relationship as it unfolds at Ray's office. There is no intermission.