It's not every day that a dinner with friends risks a murder accusation. That's a good possibility for the guests of The Murder Mystery Company, who find themselves in the middle of a investigation for which any one of them could stand accused by a hapless detective. During each interactive dinner, the company's troupe of professional improv actors ignites the dining room with entertaining outbursts and hilarious one-liners in an effort to divulge clues and redirect guilt. Meanwhile, guests work together to sniff out the real culprit, which is definitely not the school janitor in a mask. Birthday parties, bachelorette celebrations, and corporate events can also get in on the interactive action by scheduling a private murder-mystery dinner.
The professional instructors at The Dance Extension help students to discover their fancy feet, whether they are planted firmly on the ground for a tap performance or gracefully dangling midair from a trapeze. During the one-hour sessions, professional trapeze artists show aspiring air swingers how to fly upside down and perform a summersault or a birdcage, in addition to myriad other techniques and maneuvers.
The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studios, which was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form, using their expert eyes and mechanical dancing shoes preprogrammed to do the Charleston. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and fox-trot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba. For dancers hoping to hoof it up in a social setting, the group practice parties provide a one-night extravaganza of instruction, demonstrations, and amateur firewalking.
In Radio & Juliet, artistic media and historical conventions cross-pollinate on stage as the themes of Shakespeare and the music of Radiohead coalesce into a stark framework for Ballet Maribor’s minimalist forms. Dancers exploit the sense of alienation that permeates singer Thom Yorke’s voice to full effect, spinning in counter-clockwise pirouettes to symbolize their defiance of the passage of time. In swapping the Bard’s dramatic romance for Blue Tooth shades of melancholy, the production taps into an expression of longing attraction that the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette called “white hot in a way that Shakespeare could never have imagined.” Main-floor seats in the lavish, gold-swathed Palace Theatre, which was designed in the 1930s to mimic the Palace of Versailles, open up unobstructed views of the action.
Formed in the glory days of heavy metal, Queensrÿche rocks audiences with songs that reveal the fierce polish of 30 years of evolving artistry. The band's distinctive mix of prog rock, metal, and subliminal messaging rocketed their Empire album up the charts, launching hits such as "Silent Lucidity," "Jet City Woman," and "Best I Can." Normally reserved only for members of Queensrÿche's fan club, a backstage meet-and-greet lets a small group of the devoted make personal connections with the four lords of loudness, shaking their lightning-fast hands and comparing headbanging techniques. With experience opening for Nickelback and Staind, opening band The Fifth's wailing guitars rally fist pumps and head thrashes as raging as a riverbed full of angry bulls.
The Maennerchor—which means "men's chorus" and is the shortest word in the German language—was established as a private German singing club in 1848 and hasn't changed a thing since, other than knocking down a poorly placed wall in 1989. Men, women, and children proud of their common heritage with Heidi Klum still gather to sing drinking songs from the fatherland, wear festive rawhide shorts, file paperwork, and dine on delicious German essen und trinken at Zum Rathskeller, the Maennerchor's traditional cellar restaurant, which was constructed by authentic German crafts-gnomes and exudes a cuckoo-clocked, Old World atmosphere. Der menu is packed with classic Deutscher dishes such as potato pancakes served with apple sauce ($6.90), schnitzel with potato salad ($12.90), and sauerbraten ($15.90), which comes with braised cabbage and pairs well with Warsteiner lager ($3.50 a glass, $9.75 a pitcher). And ask about the Rathskeller's wildly popular sauerkraut balls; they go really well with the bratwurst ($10.90), for some reason.