At Summit Studios, aspiring singers and musicians can learn to play a variety of instruments and sing under the tutelage of experienced instructors. During the private, 30-minute lesson, students can saturate their brains and portable chalkboards with the theory behind guitar, piano, saxophone, clarinet, trumpet, or drums. Meanwhile, in the voice lessons, expert warblers can train croaky cords to emanate mellifluous vibrations through a focus on breath support, intonation, and sight-reading.
Arthur Murray's experienced instructors and owners, including some who have worked with shows such as So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing With the Stars, stand ready and waiting to teach students in the ways of balance and coordinated rhythmic motion. Bring a partner to your two private lessons or fly solo and dance with your instructor. In either case, you'll leave with a greater understanding of the dance style of your choosing. These lessons are ideal for a betrothed pair prepping for the big wedding dance or a fledgling fitness-seeker looking for a fun new way to get in shipshape. Stick to a stately waltz, spicy up life with a rumba, or feel vibrant and playful with a few swing steps in your personal repertoire. Whether you're an experienced dancer hoping to brush up on certain techniques or you have two left feet for feet and two right feet for hands, private lessons at Arthur Murray Dance Studio offer bountiful, dance-based benefits. This Groupon also allows dancers to stop in for two group classes to put their newly acquired skills to the test.
A crimson curtain rises to unveil the operas, nationally touring musicals, children's shows, and films that pass under the historic movie palace's gilded ceiling. Originally built in 1926 as a home for vaudeville performances and motion pictures, the grand venue has survived more than eight decades with the help of The Garde Arts Center, Inc., a nonprofit organization that formed in 1985 to both preserve the building and pursue its mission "to engage, enrich, entertain, and inspire the region of Greater New London." Today, the center stages a slew of performances and events that keep guests on the edges of all 1,472 seats.
Hartford Stage, a resident theater company backed by talented actors and professional-quality production values, delivers a diverse collection of modern and classic plays each season. Its version of Charles Dickens’s Yuletide ghost story draws inspiration from Dorothy’s journey in The Wizard of Oz, earning accolades from MassLive and the grudging respect of winged monkeys wearing Santa hats. Bill Raymond, a veteran actor who has appeared on The Wire and Law & Order, morphs into crotchety miser Ebenezer Scrooge for his 12th consecutive season amid other famed characters such as Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim. As spirits from the past, present, and future hover across the stage in the spooky yet touching tale, Scrooge discovers the true meaning of Christmas and the use-by date of spiced eggnog. Teeming with carols, snowflakes, trapdoors, and Victorian scenery, the family-friendly show mesmerizes eyes and warms hearts with its lesson about hope, love, and forgiveness.
In every production, TheaterWorks aims to create a safe space for voices of all kinds in the midst of bustling downtown Hartford. Banners outside its newly restored Pearl Street home base playfully symbolize this mission with a lion bearing a live mouse within its jaws as tenderly as a child carrying a frog that’s probably magic. The company specializes in high-stakes dramas with social implications from playwrights such as Moises Kaufman, Richard Greenberg, and David Mamet.
The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studio, 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 cha-cha. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and foxtrot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba.
The Trinity Repertory Company boasts a veteran staff of theater professionals that includes one of the few resident acting troupes remaining in the country. The 2011–2012 season is rife with such pathos-laden productions as Clybourne Park (October 14–November 13), a biting riff on Raisin In The Sun that examines race and real estate, and Shakespeare's convenience-store comedy, The Merchant of Venice (February 3–March 4). Resident playwright Deborah Salem Smith's Love Alone (February 28–May 27) delves into the nature of human grief as part of an in-rep program of new work from a trio of playwrights. Attendees can visit Trinity Repertory's website for a full list of productions, showtimes, and a photo gallery tracing the evolution of Henrik Ibsen's sideburns.