Unveiled on Broadway in 1966, Cabaret has since spawned award-winning films and innumerable productions in playhouses and dental-office waiting rooms across the globe. The classic musical delves into the volatile Berlin of 1929 as it chronicles the patrons and performers of the decadent Kit Kat Klub, particularly its star songstress, Sally Bowles. Her tumultuous relationship with aspiring author Cliff Bradshaw progresses parallel to the tentative romance of a German boardinghouse matron and a Jewish fruit vendor—both of which are thrown into jeopardy as the sensual and artistic freedom of the Weimar Republic gives way to the jackboots of Nazi Germany.
As Tommy, one of Howl at the Moon’s piano players, explains on the club’s website, “Every night…we try and throw a party, regardless of whether it’s a Tuesday night or a Saturday night.” The bar’s trademark dueling pianos serve as the epicenter of these nightly celebrations; patrons submit their favorite songs on slips of paper for the pianists and backing musicians to recreate. If the website’s playlist is any indication, the bands can handle popular songs from all genres and eras, from Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” to Kanye West’s “All of the Lights.” The performances are spirited: colorful lights splash upon a stage where servers, guests, and chairs that have somehow developed mobility all dance along to the music.
Fueling the celebration is the bar’s indulgent selection of drinks. Servers stand over patrons to plunge jello injectors into their mouths, and revelers grab colorful straws to help drain 86-ounce booze buckets filled with sangria or other fruity libations. Pomegranate liqueur and honey-infused whiskey sweeten specialty cocktails, and local beers add depth to coolers stocked with Stella Artois and Dos Equis.
Although The Rapture’s euphoric new album, In the Grace of Your Love, reveals a band that has matured into an art-rock juggernaut capable of captivating a wide spectrum of audiences, its defining essence remains rooted in the primal punk energy of its live show. Having taken the past few years to collect its thoughts and dust off its cowbells, the band marks its triumphant return with a night of pounding drums, pulsing synthesizers, and high-pitched howls courtesy of frontman Luke Jenner. Though described by Pitchfork's Andrew Gaerig as a “patient, skilled rock band unafraid to look uncool,” the trio’s suave brand of digifunk more than compensates for their between-song lectures on steampunk and multiverses. Opening duo Poolside draws on its experience playing in bands such as Ima Robot and the Calculators to incite bouts of dance fever with songs that fuse the clap-your-hands cadences of '70s disco with the casual leanings of '80s synthpop.
The Orlando Shakespeare Theatre's Educational Shakespeariences project aims to give students access to professional theater by performing 91 student-matinee productions of main-stage plays during the 2011–12 school year, with complimentary tickets for students from underserved schools. During the show, students can experience professional sets, costumes, and musical arrangements, bringing their school literature curriculum to life on stage. Student matinees introduce youth to the language and eternal themes of Shakespeare and the arts in general, which can help improve performance in social and academic endeavors.
Champion over the ghoulish attractions gracing all 18 holes at Monster Mini Golf. The Winter Garden location contains enough geometric challenges to make the course interesting for all ages. Navigate your illuminated golf ball past horrible goblins, a disgruntled swamp monster, impolite specters, and a scarecrow jack-in-the-box, or just stand in awe at the 3-D spectacle. Be sure to listen for Monster Mini Golf’s own in-house radio station, "W.I.R.D. (Weird Radio)," whose live, on-site DJ hands out prizes for random reasons on the links.
The area’s newest comedy club, Bonkerz facilitates human laughter with a changing lineup of jokesters whose hijinks have appeared on Comedy Central, CBS, and HBO. Cackle at the self-deprecating humor and collection of medieval whoopee cushions of Dave Williamson—Bonkerz’s featured comedian, who has earned high ranks in national comedy competitions and opened for renowned funnymen such as Gilbert Gottfried, Jimmy Fallon, and Christopher Titus. Other performers include former marine biologist Forrest Shaw, master of sarcasm Pedro Lima, and Erik Myers, known for his machine-gun-like delivery. During the performance, patrons can transform belly grumbles into belly laughs with award-winning Cuban-Thai fusion cooking, or use their drinks to see who can do the fastest spit-take (food and drink are not included in this Groupon).