Arthur Murray has been a leading name in franchise dance since 1912, when the entrepreneur began selling mail-order dance lessons. Expanding his reach, he enlisted teachers to spread his signature dance lessons on first-class steamships and skyrocketed to fame in the '30s after introducing the public to such dances as the Lambeth Walk and The Big Apple. By the 1950s, Arthur and his wife, Kathryn, were hosting their own highly popular TV show on ABC, The Arthur Murray Dance Party, which ran for 12 years. Today, Arthur Murray's team prepares students for rug cutting at special events and weekend nightclub jaunts. Clients who arrive to lessons partnerless will be paired up with other classmates as the instructors assess their current skill level and make recommendations on the most appropriate program. Throughout lessons, instructors teach the foundations of two to four dances from a long list of styles that range from Latin to country-western, helping students to learn basic step patterns, timing, and the ability to lead or follow.
Sharon and Norm Munsey founded Centerstage! Theatre in 1977 to help bring popular shows to their region. Decades later, their artistic ensemble keeps that mission in mind while staging a repertoire of new works. Family-friendly shows such as Shipwrecked!, heart-warming pieces including For All That, and tinsel-coated traditional English Christmas pantomimes take the boards at the intimate Knutzen Family Theater. That focus on feel-good entertainment has won Centerstage audiences and acclaim?several shows have proven popular enough to be transported to bigger venues such as Seattle's ACT Theatre and Tacoma's Broadway Center, and revues have been granted awards that include Best Actress, Best Director, and two acceptances of Best New Play.
Within the century-old confines of Uptown Glassworks' warehouse, furnaces melt handfuls of kaleidoscopic frit into malleable shapes manipulated by a team of professional glass blowers. But these tradesmen don't just create works for the gallery; they also share their secrets with students in a variety of activities, from introductory courses on making beads and paperweights to advanced instruction that can be applied toward college credit or used to fix the pockmarked walls of glass houses.
During the shop's Blow-Your-Own sessions, participants apply color to clear, molten glass that has recently emerged from a 2,000-degree furnace, then blow their mixture into 1 of 20 different shapes. The next day, patrons can pick up their cooled and packaged creations, comparing their handiwork to the gallery's collection of products, which are made by more than 90 local and regional glass artists.
In the 74 years between the Paramount Theatre's opening night, when people used to line up to see “talkies” for 50 cents, and 2002, when it was voted Best Mainstage Theatre in a Seattle Weekly Reader's Poll, the palatial venue faded and decayed alongside its Roaring Twenties brethren throughout America. Luckily, former Microsoft Vice President Ida Cole saved it from the rubble heap in the mid-‘90s when she established the Seattle Landmark Association and vowed to render the Paramount "kissable" once again.
Over the course of seven months, the renovation crew expanded the size of the stage wings to accommodate more ambitious live productions. They also cleared decades of grime from the french baroque plaster reliefs, uncovering long-forgotten designs and causing only one long-dormant horror to snap open its eyes dramatically. They also replaced the gold leaf in the floral designs of the wall medallions, repainted all the surfaces in their original 16 colors, and scrubbed each of the 1.6 million crystal beads in the chandelier by hand with a toothbrush. The original Knabe Ampico player piano was returned to its spot on the four-tiered lobby's lush carpeting, and a 21st-century sound system now shares sonic space with the thundering, luminous sonority of the Paramount's fully restored Mighty Wurlitzer organ. Though the Paramount's calendar runs the gamut from rock concerts to standup comedy to Broadway musicals on the scale of Wicked, its decadent Beaux Arts trappings transport audiences to the days when reality was still black and white.
Founded by movie-industry veterans Scilla Andreen and Carlo Scandiuzzi, IndieFlix culls a massive collection of independent and festival-selected films from across the globe into a convenient online streaming-video library. Filmmakers can submit their comedic, dramatic, or documentary masterpieces to the site, which fairly distributes movies of all genres and lengths, with artists fully retaining their films' rights and action-figure tie-ins. Audiences delve further into IndieFlix’s arsenal of cinema gems with Film Festival in a Box game—lauded by the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, and Seattle magazine—which allows cineastes to display their knowledge without having to stroll through the local megaplex with a megaphone.
For over a century, the Seattle Symphony has built its audience and enraged Rumpelstilskins with an ever-growing collection of accolades and golden awards. Two Emmy-winning television specials stand out among a list of credentials that also includes 12 Grammy nominations and upward of 140 recordings. The orchestra continues to live up to its esteemed reputation thanks to new principal pops conductor Jeff Tyzik who has been hailed, "Among the best pops conductors in America,” by Rochester Democrat & Chronicle. He has also been recognized as an innovative conductor through his startling arrangements, original programming, and engaging rapport with audiences of all ages. The symphony is also well known for performing classical juggernauts such as The Rite of Spring as well as more whimsical nights of jazz standards.