A frequent finalist for Best Comedy Club according to Ventura County Reporter's readers, Ventura Improv Company offers the only improv comedy in Ventura and has been eliciting chortles and guffaws with family-friendly farce for the past 21 years. The VIC's veteran comedic combatants perform unscripted comedy through scenes, games, and music created on the spot. The VIC performs shows such as Spontaneous Broadway, a full-length musical whose plot is conceived through audience suggestions, and TheatreSports Team Match, a two-team battle where competitors perform a challenge set by the host.
The Vita Art Center engages children, teens, and adults in creative expression with visual arts classes and monthly exhibits at their gallery. Capping head counts at 10 students or fewer, instructors work to keep classes welcoming for both beginning artists and those who have already painted a replica of the Sistine Chapel on their living-room ceiling. Young fingers pinch and coil clay and daub acrylic paints, and adolescents delve into more complex skills such as collage-making and printmaking. Adults may twist copper wire into handmade jewelry or learn how to enliven tax returns with stippling, cross-hatching, and other drawing techniques.
In 2006, StageLight Studios opened as a small exercise outfit that taught burlesque and pole-dance classes exclusively. Today, its certified instructors lead small groups in a private, mirror-lined studio, where seven chrome poles rise from the polished wood floor to accommodate a class of up to six students and one instructor or seven firemen. They also use the space to host parties, workshops, and instructor certification, in addition to boot camps and private training. Outside of the classroom, StageLight's boutique outfits students with pole-appropriate gear, including clothes, shoes, and accessories.
Cosmotion fusion fitness system integrates martial arts, healing movement, and dance into high-energy cardio classes. Each session builds a unique pattern of 52 basic moves to cultivate core strength, while improving flexibility and stamina. The studio also offers a full schedule of dance-centric workouts, which range from Bollywood-fusion and belly dancing, to hokey pokey workouts performed in full suits of armor.
Stan "The Man" Nicolaides first heard the siren song of the kitchen at his grandmother's table, which hoisted mountains of homemade moussaka and moist, juicy gyros. While his grandmother's Greek cuisine remains the closest food to his heart, Nicolaides also expertly serves up menus consisting of Caribbean fare such as andouille sausage in orange marmalade, urbane American dishes such as shrimp cocktails and crab cakes, and Old-World Italian pastas such as hand-folded mushroom tortellini. Beyond his own restaurant, Greek House Cafe, he's worked at the Four Seasons Biltmore, taught at Roblar Winery, and recipized raw ingredients alongside such celebrity chefs as Julia Child, Jacques Pépen, and David Hasselhoff's talking microwave from Knight Rider.