Julie Berger's memories are saturated with images of dancers— teachers who inspired her, students she worked with, and professionals she revered. Entranced by the beautiful and transformative art form, Julie practiced dance throughout her life, attending intensive dance programs, performing in competitions, and teaching at local dance centers. Julie discovered salsa dancing while studying in England, and she instantly fell in love with its sultry movements and lively steps. Determined to share the newfound style with others, Julie founded her own salsa-dancing studio.
At Salsa in the Suburbs Dance Studio, Julie and her staff of passionate dancers lead classes in a variety of styles, including salsa, ballroom, and belly dance. The instructors work with students of all levels, helping them master form, technique, and rhythms. The teachers also offer children's classes in ballet, tap, and Zumba, ideal for youngsters trying to be more active or hoping to include a lively dance section in their next chemistry presentation.
The Sovereign Performing Arts Center has been a part of Reading since 1870, and has played many roles in that time. Built as a market, with a Masonic Temple on the upper floors and a bird university on the roof, it soon became the Academy of Music. Then, in 1917, the Rajah Shriners purchased the facility and turned it into a venue for vaudeville, motion pictures, and live appearances, laying the foundation for its current incarnation. Decades later, the Berks County Convention Center Authority purchased the Rajah Theater and treated it to a $7 million renovation, including a new air-conditioning system and more comfortable seating.
For more than 15 years, the Reading Comedy Outlet has been busting guts with its weekly slate of up-and-coming laugh larks and old-hand guffaw gurus. Arrive early on a Friday or Saturday evening to stake a prime plot of side-splitting real estate for comic concerts including Vancouver chuckle-chucker Phil Hanley on April 15 and 16, and the two-for-one combo of headliners Davin Rosenblatt and Cal Verduchi in late April. Ticket prices average between $13 and $14 per person. While not included in today's Groupon, the Alley Oops Sports Pub cooks up a full menu that includes sandwiches, funnel-cake fries, and slushies mixed with the flavorful tears of sad clowns.
The warm tones of jazz saxophones, the orchestrated quarrels between flutes and oboes, and the reanimated bellows of Elvis Presley can be heard resonating within the walls of the 1,200-seat Allentown Symphony Hall, which has housed the likes of Placido Domingo, Bing Crosby, and Sarah Bernhardt. The venue's schedule swells with symphonic and non-orchestral showings including performances by the Allentown Symphony Orchestra, Jim Brickman's 15th Anniversary Holiday Concert, California Raisins, Steve Lippia presenting "Simply Sinatra," and more.
The pop-punk pranksters of Bowling for Soup make fun music, funny music, and nothing in between. With their millions-selling catalog of irascible pop nuggets, Bowling for Soup proves why the class clown always gets the girl. Since the goofball quartet broke out of Texas onto the international scene in the mid '90s, they've collected a loyal fan base with their knack for infectious hooks. Best known for hits such as the Grammy-nominated “Girl All the Bad Guys Want” and “1985," the human Alfred E. Neumans continue to fuel invisible pogo sticks with their recent efforts Sorry for Partyin’ and Fishin’ for Woos.
Hershey Theatre, conceived in 1933 by noted philanthropist and chocolatier Milton S. Hershey, stands as an opulent tribute to the performing arts. Taking architectural cues from Saint Mark’s Basilica in Venice, the foyer’s towering arches gleam with golden paint and crystal chandeliers. The blue-and-gold mosaic that leads to the main seating area is the masterwork of two German artists who spent two years on its construction. Once inside the theater, audiences might think they’ve stepped onto the streets of Venice thanks to the atmospheric ceiling, stonework facades, and gondoliers paddling them to their seats.