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.
In Pennsylvania's Hill District in 1904, authorities have falsely accused an African-American millworker of stealing a bucket of nails. Rather than serve time for a crime he didn't commit, the man jumps into the river, becoming a martyr for the cause of justice. Riots and strikes break out across the city, and a man named Citizen Barlow finds himself at the home of a 285-year-old healer named Aunt Ester. The keeper of tradition and history for her people, Aunt Ester sends Citizen aboard the slave ship Gem of the Ocean to go in search of the truth about himself and his ancestors.
Every Thursday, Comedy Hideaway ushers in a lineup of HBO– and Comedy Central–anointed performers, its stage still echoing with the bygone riffs of such national acts as Zach Galifianakis and Whitney Cummings. The club's founder, Andrey Belikov, often hosts and performs at the evening's revues, spinning impressions of his Ukrainian father and detailing his foibles in American society. Between sets, guests avail themselves of Petrini’s menu of Italian fare, sip laugh-loosening drinks, and stand in line for autographs from nationally touring microphone stands.
The instructors at Airealistic Circus & Flying know a thing or two about gravity, having defied it on behalf of Cirque de Soleil, De La Guarda, and Franco Dragone productions. For example, program director Carmen Curtis uses a foundation in gymnastics to elevate her cirque routines, which she showcases as a member of Airealistic Theater Company. These experiences grant her the expertise to lead her aerial classes, which are taught alongside gymanstics and yoga classes. Whether teaching family circus or acroyoga classes, all staff members prioritize safety as they introduce kids and adults to aerial apparatuses.
In addition to gymnastics, booty bar, and Vinyasa yoga sessions, the trainers teach high-flying techniques on trampolines, trapezes, aerial silks, harnesses, and hoops, believing that one's choice of equipment reflects his or her own unique character. Their aerial and acro-yoga variations also encourage students to test their notions about human flight in a noncompetitive setting. Each class incorporates a fitness component into its exhilarating routine, and the schedule includes classes at all times of day.
At Java Joe's, guests sip freshly made coffee drinks and graze baked goods, rummage through a collection of eclectic clothing and merchandise, and tap toes to live tunes. Baristas blend aromatic shots of espresso with frothy milk riddled with chocolaty notes to create a 16- or 20-ounce café mocha ($3.85–$4.25). Utilitarian cups of joe ($1.95 for 16 oz.; $2.25 for 20 oz.) fill mugs for on-the-go sippers and bulk beans ($13.95/lb.) allow customers to bring robust flavors and caffeine-jolts home. Pluck a pastry from a bakery filled with treats, such as scones ($2.45), chocolate-filled croissants ($2.95), and cheesecakes ($3.75) that quench food cravings and hush grumbling tummies like a swallowed Paul Simon 8-track.
The Ventura County Ballet presents Cinderella, pirouetting through choreography by Rodney Gustafson of Santa Barbara's State Street Ballet. A cast of dancers, led by Ryan Camou from Hawaii and prima ballerina Jennifer Rowe, prances amid newly designed staging and video effects, weaving gestures, twirls, and eye-catching costumes together to invigorate the familiar fairy tale of love and loss. Lighthearted comedy mixes with deep-felt romance between Cinderella, her prince, and her wicked stepsisters. The stage presence is rounded out with a backdrop of grade-school toe-tippers and a fairy godmother whose technology is indistinguishable from magic.