The cello-shaped Verizon Hall serenades eyes with mahogany accents under the 150-foot barrel-vaulted glass ceiling of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. With seats for 2,500 audience members, the hall immerses both spectators and musicians in the clarity generated by its premium acoustics, which absorb vibrations from the subway tunnel below with 225 rubber isolation pads and allow for precise tuning with retractable curtains and sound-reflecting panels. Seasoned jazz artist Branford Marsalis confirmed Verizon Hall's sound acumen when he told NPR it is "the best concert hall on the East Coast."
After practicing a new way to combine balls with baskets during the pro lacrosse clinic, both newbies and enthusiasts of the sport can kick back and enjoy the sights and sounds of the LXM Fan Experience. When the blades of grass settle, Wale will get them jumping again with tracks like his Billboard-charting singles "Pretty Girls," "Chillin," and more. By then, the crowd should be plenty amped for the main event—the LXM PRO Lacrosse Game. On the field, dozens of the sport's best players, including Kyle Harrison and Joe Walters, will split into two teams and go goal-for-goal and stick-for-stick as they play for sheer love of the game—inspiring the crowd's aspiring youth athletes with rocket-powered passes, last-second catches, and thrilling goals. There's no cap for today's Groupon, so feel free to bus in with a team or carpool in with a family.
Inflated structures, slides, and games fill the climate-controlled environs of the numerous BounceU locations that speckle the nation. At each site, staff members closely monitor all activities as little ones traverse obstacle courses or pull on oversized inflatable boxing gloves. The crew also invites parents to join in on the fun, letting them bounce alongside their kids or make sweeping edicts from atop a bouncy-castle throne. In addition to open sessions, the indoor-play haven sets the stage for the Preschool Playdate program, where instructors lead games and activities. Special events include family-bounce night, which lets parents join in the bouncing or relax in the party room and do grownup things, such as eat marshmallows with a knife and fork.
When Brian McInerney reflects on the humble beginnings of Wheel Fun Rentals, he points to his childhood passion for bikes. "As far back as I can remember, I had a real love affair with bicycles," he recalls. During a trip to Italy in 1987, Brian's affinity for cycling blossomed into a full-fledged obsession when he spotted locals' transporter of choice, the surrey. Inspired, he began importing the Italian four-wheelers to a rental business in the U.S. that eventually expanded into Wheel Fun Rentals, now a nationwide web of shops that also loans out bikes, electric cars and mopeds, and man-powered watercraft. Atop bicycles and surreys built for solo riders or entire families, patrons embark on self-guided tours of major U.S. cities. Led by maps and lists of nearby sites of historical or cultural significance, riders zoom down bike paths and safe, lightly trafficked streets. Adventuresome athletes can also compete in activities such as surrey scavenger hunts and blindfold obstacle courses navigated via shouted instructions from a seeing teammate or exceptionally long rounds of trial and error.
Several decades of disparate architectural styles stand at the corner of 69th and Ludlow: an old-fashioned radio tower atop the Doric columns of a faux-classical cupola atop a streamlined marquee that broadcasts the year the Tower Theatre opened as a music venue: 1972. That's when it began helping introduce the world to such acts as David Bowie, Genesis, and Bruce Springsteen. Inside, red lights glow over an auditorium done up in the 1920s style of the movie palace that originally filled the venue, with marble pillars, Italianate archways, and an enormous light fixture that resembles an old film reel from the days before movies were beamed from computers into audiences' brains.
Dazzling audiences since 1911, Plays and Players boasts a troupe of talented thespians ready to take on Lost in Yonkers, a play that has won four Tony Awards, a Pulitzer Prize, and countless fist pumps. The complex and sharp-witted coming-of-age story follows two brothers sent to live in Yonkers, New York. Written by Neil Simon and directed by Betty Chomentowski, the approximately two-hour comedic drama depicts the struggles the brothers face after their father sends them to live with their immigrant grandmother, simple-minded aunt, and hooligan uncle. During the performance's 15-minute intermission, audience members can wipe tears of laughter from their eyes or mend the tears in their skulls incurred while thinking too deeply about the play's lessons on family relationships.