Founded in 1994 as a recording studio, the MilkBoy brand has since burgeoned into two bustling cafes and an all-ages venue for live music and artistic events. MilkBoy Coffee's multifarious menu brims with snacks and drinks for vegetarians, vegans, and carnivores alike. Morning munchers kick-start the day with a big breakfast burrito, packed with scrambled eggs, black beans, sausage, sour cream, cheddar, and yawn-eradicating salsa ($5.95). For lunch, hands can happily encircle the bruschetta-chicken wrap, with a savory sleeping bag of shredded chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, and feta ($6.25), and teeth can burrow into the herbivorous depths of the veggie burger, served with a vegan thousand-island dressing, named for the number of islands ruled by Oprah ($5.25). MilkBoy’s PB&J sandwich whisks customers back to a simpler time when blanket capes were de rigeur ($3.95). To drink, sip on a steamy café au lait ($2 for a small) or a frosty mint-chocolate-chip milkshake ($4.95).
The Philadelphia School of Circus Arts offers a wholly inimitable experience featuring acrobatic engagement with the big top’s most artistic and athletically invigorating equipment. In the Groupon-exclusive, 60-minute Intro to Circus Arts class, the school’s seasoned instructors lead students through the ups, downs, and upside-downs of disciplines including juggling, fabric performance, trapeze tight-wire, and plate spinning. Active, free-spirited, and safe, the class pushes participants through light physical challenges, intermediate tests of focus, and never-ending wrestling matches against Father Gravity. Beginning on January 15, sessions run from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturdays and are open to all levels of talent and curiosity.
The Mann Center is a prepossessing structure from anywhere you sit in the semi-covered amphitheater—all huge, rough slabs of timber that evoke the setting for a barn dance held by elegant giants. Even the lawn section isn’t an ordinary lawn: from the top of the steep hill where the theater perches, audiences can see not only the performers lighting up the stage below but also the canopy of trees in surrounding Fairmount Park and the city skyline just beyond.
The hit Nickelodeon children’s program Yo Gabba Gabba! bounds from the small screen to the big stage in a show filled with cartoonish critters and boundless dancing. Beloved by hip preschoolers and savvy postschoolers for its eye-popping sets, catchy songs, respect for intellect, and absence of Shrek, Yo Gabba Gabba! teaches inner and outer children valuable life lessons without stooping to condescension. For the special It’s Time to Dance! tour, favorite adorable toy monsters such as Brobee, Foofa, Plex, and Biz Markie join human surrogates DJ Lance Rock and BeDazzler queen Leslie Hall for an onstage celebration of imagination. Mixing animation, games, and new songs with classic bits from the television show, the technicolor mise en scène and infectious energy of Yo Gabba Gabba! Live! gives children enough confidence to apply to college after elementary school.
In professional theaters, Macbeth is euphemistically referred to as “the Scottish play” in order to avoid invoking the name that summons the ghosts of dyspeptic bagpipe players. Witness the danger firsthand with the PST's re-imagining, wherein the play's claustrophobic themes of madness are pictorially recreated with dramatic Asian music and theater forms. The opposite side of this Janus head is A Midsummer Night's Dream, a colorful romp through a fairy-infested forest that stands in stark contrast to the inward spiral of Lord and Lady Macbeth's dreadful natures. Thick with bright hues and inspired by Indian music and movement, PST's Midsummer liberates the senses from their corporeal soul-sack and guides them through the fumbles, foibles, and philandering ways of love, life, and leaving. No matter which story is witnessed, the audience is sure to enjoy plays performed with passion and panache by a theater company dedicated to Shakespearean productions.
Popular globetrotting pop collective Architecture in Helsinki transforms Union Transfer into a throbbing, futuristic discotheque as its latest tour storms American shores. Formed in Melbourne, the ambidextrous dance band stirs fans with a tornado of flamboyant sounds, infectious anthems, and commitment-free instrument swapping, executing hits such as “Do the Whirlwind” and latest single “W.O.W.” from the recently released Moment Bends. During the kaleidoscopic performance, the group seduces dance floors with 10-foot hooks and sounds culled from hypnotic synths, romantic glockenspiels, and strummed chest hairs. Filling out the bill, Swedish dance wizards Lo-Fi-Fnk enchant with instant club hits and songs for strobe-light campfires, and pop enthusiasts Dom charm with stargazing Casios. Following the show, Union Transfer invites Groupon holders backstage to meet the band, discuss musical influences, and take notes on how to hit the elusive high Z note.