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.
Veteran ballet dancers Lauri-Michelle and Benjamin Houk run a duo of prominent dance academies designed to aid children in the pursuit of toe-tapping excellence. Five four-hour days of dance camp break up the drudgery of summertime like an ice-cream truck breaks up a cul-de-sac water-balloon fight. Jazz Contemporary Hip-Hop workshop and the Ballet Summer Intensive offer various age-specific seminars for young hoofers all the way up to older teens, and the Mary Poppins Musical Theater Camp trains the starry eyes and limbs of Broadway-bound 6- to 12-year-olds. The academies' Dancing Princesses camp teaches 4- to 6-year-olds how to gracefully sway with any glass footwear or beast dance partner.
Renovated in 2011, the Museum of Making Music showcases a permanent display of hundreds of unusual and vintage instruments charting the progression of song-crafting from 1900 to modern times. Five museum galleries present popular music, innovations in instruments and their manufacture, and marketing and distribution techniques in five eras throughout the 20th century. Racks of gleaming instruments line the cases, as well as more eclectic pieces such as double-neck guitars, the crossbreed GuitarViol, and an ancient, forgotten instrument whose name is always whispered: the "clarinet." The museum is dotted with interactive exhibits, giving visitors the chance to craft their own tunes on the exhibit's drum kits or keytar.
Armed with a quartet of newly installed digital projectors, Moviemax Theatres invites audiences to get lost in the magic of the silver screen. Digital surround sound further enhances the escapism, and a fully stocked concession area keeps guests from wanting to nibble on the hair of the person in front of them.
UltraStar Cinemas cossets moviegoers in cushy seating as they enjoy Hollywood hits alongside buttery servings of popcorn. Film buffs can peruse the current showtimes by location to handpick an action-packed flick, romantic comedy, or chilling thriller featuring inexplicably aggressive hamsters. The concession stand outfits moviegoers with snacks, drinks, and buckets filled with warm kernels, keeping stomach grumblings to a minimum during showings and providing crunchy projectiles in case of sudden younger-sibling attacks. UltraStar Play it Again Cinemas also offers a selection of Hollywood hits for patrons to enjoy in high-back reclining chairs alongside snacks from the concession stand.
The stars of the Great White Way traverse time zones to shine upon San Diego in Broadway Then…and Now!, a whirlwind sing-along travelogue that whisks audiences through the greatest hits of Broadway history. Artistic Director Jung-Ho Pak and Associate Conductor Dana Zimbric pave memory lane with eye-popping video backdrops and ear-salivating sounds, leading a boisterous orchestra and a cast of Broadway ringers through golden-era melodies mixed with modern pearls. Susan Egan, acclaimed as Broadway’s longest-running Sally Bowles in Cabaret, graces the stage with her Fosse-fueled charisma to belt out beloved ditties alongside fellow master thespians Doug LaBrecque of Phantom fame and Victor/Victoria veteran Rachel York. From the razzle-dazzle of Irving Berlin’s “There’s No Business Like Show Business” to the abba-zabba of Mamma Mia, Broadway Then…and Now! leaves no show tune unturned, allowing families to taste all of Manhattan’s yummiest fruits without having to ransack Tammany Hall for tickets.