All veterans of the entertainment industry, the instructors at Ovation School for the Performing Arts don't believe in just instilling acting, singing, or dancing skills into their students. Instead, they impart all three, turning students of all skill levels into triple threats of stage and screen. Designed for kids and teens aged 5–18, the nonprofit's twice-weekly sessions are divided into 45-minute blocks whose subjects include acting, singing, and dance styles such as hip-hop and tap. Ovation also hosts private lessons focused on voice, piano, and guitar.
With a history stretching back more than 40 years, Circus Vargas wows audiences with dazzling acrobatics and rib-tickling clowns under a giant big-top tent. The show eschews animal performers for human-costumed spectacles, showcasing dazzling feats that only a few dexterous humans and short-circuited cyborgs are capable of. The circus's big top, hand-fashioned in Milan from 90,000 square feet of fabric, holds up to 1,500 show-goers in classic, blue-dyed elegance. Early-arriving guests can take part in an interactive preshow, jumping in the ring with ringmaster Jon Weiss as he leads audience members through tutorials that show how to perform stunts such as juggling, feather balancing, and balancing checkbooks with quill pens.
• For $10, you get two general-admission tickets (a $20 value). • For $18, you get four general-admission tickets (a $40 value). • For $30, you get two VIP tickets to seats near the ring and a meet-and-greet autograph-and-photo session with the stars (a $60 value).
The Dinner Detective's renowned troupe of talented actors engages audiences with an evening of laughs, intrigue, and suspense as mock murder accompanies a four-course meal where everyone in attendance is a suspect. A dressed-down cast of professional Hollywood- and Chicago-trained sleuths circulates through the crowd, sniffing out phony alibis and asking the hard questions to solve the mystery of each whodunit. Before the night is over, the fictional criminal is cuffed and the most accurately detecting diner takes home a prize package. The Dinner Detective leases out its gumshoes to clean up crime during private events such as fundraisers, family reunions, or embezzlement hearings. The thespians have sharpened their entertaining chops by performing for such Fortune 500 companies as Universal Studios and Walt Disney Imagineering.
For the past five years, the Ontario Reign have dominated opponents as the ECHL affiliate of the Winnipeg Jets and the 2012 Stanley Cup champions, the Los Angeles Kings. Formerly the Texas Wildcatters, and before that, the Huntington Blizzard, the Reign rose to existence in 2008. And, rather than naming the team the old-fashioned way of letting a raccoon pick random letters from a bag of Scrabble pieces, the newly spawned organization turned to its fans with a name-the-team contest. That contest kicked off what has been a thriving relationship between the Reign and Ontario hockey fans. In fact, the Reign led the ECHL in attendance during their first three seasons. In 2012 and 2013, the team rewarded its loyal fans with back-to-back Pacific Division championships, and in coming seasons, hopes to be a perennial contender for the Kelly Cup.