The American Philharmonic's ensemble of 60–75 volunteer musicians whisks audiences away on a poetic and transcendental musical exploration of the human spirit in its season finale, "Emperor and King." Guest conductor Norman Gamboa pilots a blithe and inspiring program that showcases his amazing ability to keep tempo and swat mosquitoes at the same time. The euphonic lifecycle begins with Beethoven’s Piano Concerto no. 5, Emperor, which bears resemblance to a classic military concerto with its booming marches, brash trumpets, and thunderous drumrolls. Soloist and French pianist Brigitte Armenier lends a fresh voice to Beethoven’s work with a style she honed at the Music Conservatory of Avignon and rediscovered after taking a break from music to immerse herself in biodynamic farming.
Ellington Hall instructors David and Cirkl lead would-be jitterbuggers through the simple steps necessary for an evening of on-tempo fun. The rug-cuttery begins with a class aimed at beginners and more advanced dancers alike, who can arrive partnered or fly solo to join the crowd of two-steppers. Students arrive dressed in whatever makes them feel comfortable; after the one-hour seminar in fancy footwork, the evening's dance begins. Swing students spin, jump, and twirl on the expansive hardwood dance floor, pausing for breaths and Great Gatsby impersonations on the garden terrace. An all-brick fireplace dominates the dance space, adding a note of elegance and an easy place to store extra left feet.
At Devi Yoga Center, seasoned instructors draw on backgrounds in dance, psychotherapy, and somatic study to teach ancient poses that are both graceful and meditative. The 1,100-square-foot studio, complete with cathedral ceilings, radiant heat, and natural light, shelters students from the stress and flying monkeys waiting outside. Owner Kashi Ananda specializes in TriYoga, a system based in ancient yoga that features a sequence of kundalini-inspired postures synchronized with breath and focus, meant to boost physical, mental, and spiritual energy. Students can also cultivate strength, flexibility, and inner peace with other styles of yoga, from beginner-friendly aerial routines to relaxing prenatal sessions with a complimentary tea service.
Dr. Evil was born to a Russian scientist during the height of the plague that stole his mother in 1771. To this day, the immortal Dr. Evil carries on his father’s gruesome experiments—stopping at nothing to find a body that can host his dear mother’s soul, which his father preserved in a metal box.
For this year's new theme, adventurers explore the doctor’s House of Horrors, wandering amid blood-soaked halls that teem with the insane and demonic, including doctors vivisecting their patients, clowns in hastily smeared makeup, and a disgusting man returning from the bathroom without washing his hands. Live actors hiss and scream at the interlopers as they step across uneven flooring, press on through rooms coated in spiderwebs, and twist and turn through fog. Victims too young for the main attraction are invited to the free, kid-friendly fun house.
Couples can tap their toes to triple-rhythms or swivel their shoulders in silver foxtrots during one-hour classes taught by nurturing instructors during the course of five weeks. Offering a safe and supportive environment in which couples of all dancing dexterities can follow their rug-cutting inclinations, The Ballroom specializes in social dancing and restoring mislaid grooves to their rightful owners. A bimonthly class schedule features several spicy levels of hip-swinging salsa classes and a popular East Coast–swing series that will have students lindy hopping over the competition at Jay Gatsby’s next lawn party. Heartland dances such as the line dance give feet a taste of American pie and nightclub dances such as salsa and cha-cha ensure perfect street-credit scores of 850. A series of social-ballroom classes survey traditional waltzes and foxtrots for formal occasions.
Today’s Groupon uses the power of laser for the good of looking good via laser. For $185, you get three laser hair-removal sessions at The Laser Center of Marin in Marin County. Turn your body into a flawlessly smooth surface that will become even more slippery when covered in ultra-premium motor oil.1804: Vice-President Aaron Burr singes off Alexander Hamilton’s eyebrows at 30 yards.1865: John Wilkes Booth and Abraham Lincoln awkwardly brush hands while sharing armrest at Ford’s Theatre Laser-Zeppelin Night.1990: The Hubble Telescope becomes self-aware, prompting the launch of the Hubble-Response Death Ray.2006: Ryan Seacrest carves own face into moon.2010: September 17, Hubble-Response Death Ray becomes self-aware.
Dance Arts Studios' instructors get fleet feet flying with a panoply of dance classes set within a studio that Pacific Sun named the best place for dance lessons in 2007 and 2008. The accommodating schedule of ballroom, Latin, and swing dances lets beginners and more sure-footed students build stepping and twirling skills with social dance classes. The Dance for Fitness course centers around fun, upbeat routines that strengthen cores and improve flexibility, teaching students to stylishly retrieve fallen items with a graceful dip. Although not included in today's Groupon, guest instructors and 2011 U.S. Argentine-tango stage champions Gustavo Hornos and Jesica Salomon help to inspire more seasoned dancers to take their tango to the next level in an intermediate/advanced Argentine-tango class.