The 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. ####Bethel Woods Center for the Arts Music has permeated the 800 manicured acres where the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts has stood since 1969, when farmer Max Yasgur agreed to let love, peace, and harmony grow wild at the very first Woodstock festival. These days, the renowned outdoor venue and cultural center continues to attract the biggest acts in music to its pavilion stage. The open-air design ensures ample ventilation on the natural sloping lawn, and a roof protects up to 15,000 fans from inclement weather and the prying eyes of Cessna pilots.
As you gear up for cheery holiday travel and festive airport lines, transport yourself to a time when travel was neither so comfortable nor so speedy. With today's Groupon to Theatrical Outfit, $15 gets you a ticket to see Mark Brown's stage adaptation of ¬Jules Verne's classic novel Around the World in 80 Days, a $35 value. Your ticket is good for performances from 10/28 through 11/1 and 11/5 through 11/8 (click here to see showtimes for those dates). Once you've got your Groupon, call the box office to reserve your preferred date and the FAA to notify it of your imminent global balloon jaunt. Gain new appreciation for the fellow air traveler who insists on showing you pictures on his phone, or get inspired to set out on a trans-Siberian jaunt by this comedic continent-hopping adventure.Follow @Groupon_Says on Twitter.
Dance 411 Studios' instructors pause from stints as featured dancers in Justin Bieber music videos and on MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew to helm the studio’s range of dance classes. The schedule aims to incorporate something for everyone, from the youthful whimsy of children's tumbling classes to the practical firefighting experience of adult pole dancing. Vibrant orange and red walls add energy to the individual studios, and expansive windows reflect off gleaming hardwood floors that echo stomps of students and shadows trying to keep up.
At Out of Hand Theater, the audience isn't just a passive crowd—the audience is a collaborator. Whether engaging their fans with new plays from local writers or staging elaborate public art performances such as The Break Up—a two-minute romance between an actor and anyone else—Out of Hand Theater makes the audience carry their emotional weight. They also host the Game, an interactive scavenger hunt that sends participants off to crack codes and solve puzzles all over the city. The Game is never quite what it seems: clues participants seek might be hiding in a realistic staged scene or on a strangely animated-looking statue.
Flush with cash during the Roaring Twenties, Atlanta's Shriners set out to build a magnificent monument for their headquarters, dubbed the Yaarab Temple Shrine Mosque. The structure was to feature grandiose architectural touches such as towering minarets and onion domes. When a teetering economy threatened construction, the Shriners sold the building to film mogul William Fox, who finished the space as a movie palace with virtually no changes to its extravagant design. As splendid as the exterior was, audiences were unprepared for the interior. After seeing it for the first time, one Atlanta Journal reporter breathlessly remarked on the "picturesque and almost disturbing grandeur" on display.
Crafted to resemble the courtyard of a Moorish castle, the main hall's decorations begin in the back with a faux canopy of plaster and steel stretching over the rear balcony. Stone parapets wrap around the sides, culminating in a towering proscenium arch illuminated by hanging lanterns and overhung with persian rugs. Above, a blue ceiling sparkles with hundreds of recessed light bulbs, which refract through three-inch crystals. Projected clouds drift across this simulated starry night and rain on anyone who texts during a show.
The final jewel in the theater's gilded crown is the The Mighty Mo Organ. The second-largest theater organ in the world, the Mighty Mo was custom-built in 1929 for the princely sum of $42,000 to accompany any movie or live production. The instrument’s richly textured sounds erupt from 3,622 pipes of varying length, with the smallest no larger than a pen and the largest spanning five feet in diameter. Adding to the Mighty Mo's sonic tapestry is an internal glockenspiel, marimba, and xylophone, plus a system by which the stage's grand piano can be played remotely. The Mighty Mo also mimics thunder, steamboat whistles, saxophones, and its parents' voices when they're not around.
Horizon Theatre Company is one of Atlanta’s longest-running small theaters, with a devoted following of season ticketholders. Located in the heart of Little Five Points, it is convenient to several local restaurants like The Vortex, but if you skip dinner before the show you can always indulge in one of the theater’s giant cookie-dough cookies. This company is known for comedic favorites like The Waffle Palace and David Sedaris’ The Santaland Diaries; these productions return year after year and are always popular. The shows also include offerings for the younger set like Madeline’s Christmas, as well as more adult-focused works by local writers, like Third Country and The Book Club Play. Seating is general admission, with certain sections reserved for subscribers. But the Horizon Theatre Company is intimate enough that there really isn’t a bad spot in the house.