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.
Wielding his signature harmonica, delta-blues artist James Cotton has become a legend in blues circles, having started in the Muddy Waters Blues Band and since performed with B.B. King, Johnny Winter, Santana, Led Zeppelin, and other renowned artists. Watch the mouth-harp-playing phenomenon soulfully jam to classic blues tunes, such as “Don’t Start Me Talking” and “Sweet Sixteen,” as well as material from his newest record, Giant. Local blues-rockers Deja Blues will open, playing tunes that pay tribute to every style of American blues, from Mississippi Delta to Chicago shuffle to robot blues-rock, which focuses on the loneliness of 0s and 1s.
Johnny Cash, one of the world’s most beloved musical storytellers, gets a fitting salute in The Cash Tribute Show featuring James Garner, a heartfelt production that honors the life and the legend of the Man in Black. With a backup band that pegs the “boom-chicka-boom” sound of the Tennessee Three, lifelong Cash fanatic James Garner (not the guy from The Rockford Files) leads fans on a delightful travelogue through Johnny Cash’s travails. From Cash's youth as a scrappy foghorn to the day he found his melanoid wardrobe, The Cash Tribute Show intersperses anecdotes and personal accounts of Cash encounters between Garner's renditions of his hit songs. With lungs full of respect and big shoes to fill, Garner eschews the shtick of impersonation and the redolence of method actors by singing Cash’s classics with a true fan’s passion and reverence, making the hearts of the happy audience swell like a perfectly cooked Folsom Prison soufflé.
During a matinee performance in a historic concert hall, internationally acclaimed classical guitarist Francesco Buzzurro joins jazz guitarist Richard Smith to showcase the vast array of styles and sounds housed in the hollow of their instruments, plucking through Italian tarantellas, dramatic tango and flamenco numbers, and jazz pieces. The concert celebrates the duo's upcoming CD, Un Mondo, Due Chitarre, or One World, Two Guitars, which a JazzTimes article anticipates as a union of distinctive talents whose mutual love for the guitar and onstage rounds of patty-cake shines through in a diverse set of songs. On the album, the duo majestically soars through classical melodies as well as covers of rock tunes such as Stevie Wonder's Isn't She Lovely? and The Who's Pinball Wizard. Hosting the event, the Pacific Italian Alliance celebrates Italian culture, fosters society among local Italian-Americans, and secretly plans to build a bridge connecting Italy to the United States.