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.
The Las Vegas Philharmonic pipes torrents of audience-focused tunefulness into the desert with the help of conductor David Itkin, praised by the Las Vegas Review-Journal for "his ability to guide the orchestra's contribution to the community." This holiday season, the masterful ensemble continues its upbeat Pops series, inflating the grand Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall with a lineup of Christmas and Hanukkah melodies that form a fonder tradition than annual family eggnog-chugging contests. Backed by the orchestra's lush harmonies and the soaring sounds of the Las Vegas Master Singers, singer Kristen Hertzenberg from Phantom: The Las Vegas Spectacular lends her gold-plated vocal cords to the performance, and Jersey Boys star Travis Cloer channels his time spent on Broadway to charm listeners and hail postshow cabs with dazzling grace.