CoolCleveland.com credits new owners Joe Pavlick, his wife, Emily Pavlick, his sister-in-law, Kelly Flamos, and Kelly's husband, Colin McEwen, with restoring Mahall's 20 Lanes to its former glory. All Ohio natives, they swooped in and resurrected the once flourishing alley with a fresh infusion of flair. In addition to an expanse of 20 lanes that sparkle between exposed-brick walls, they also refurbished two bars, a dining area, a stage for musical acts with "Mahall's" emblazoned in the background, and pool tables. Locals crowd around tables in the restaurant, chugging brews and chowing down on elote, a grilled ear of corn rubbed with spices. The walls flaunt a mural obscured for years by wallpaper, which Joe and Kelly uncovered during the restoration process. In the lanes, the old-timey method of manual scoring helps the alley maintain its vintage aura and makes automatic counters obsolete.
The first Improv comedy club had virtually nothing to do with comedy. Broadway producer Budd Friedman founded the now legendary franchise in 1963 as an intimate spot where performers could eat, drink coffee, and sing along to piano ditties after their shows. Soon after, the club's first comedian, Dave Astor, tried out some new material on a whim. The stand-up set was a hit and led to the venue's eventual transformation into a full-blown comedy club. New York's hottest comedians would do nearly anything to be featured on the Improv stage; for instance, it's rumored that Lily Tomlin hijacked a parked limousine in order to make a stunning entrance when first meeting Budd.
Since 1989, Cleveland Improv has lived up to the lofty reputation of its parent club by showcasing comedic heavyweights such as Drew Carey, Jim Breuer, and Dave Chappelle. A diverse calendar draws instantly recognizable comics from the airwaves of Showtime, the E! channel, and Comedy Central—including Tommy Davidson, Godfrey, and Christina Pazsitzky—but it also opens the stage to promising up-and-comers such as "Uncle" Larry Reeb, Craig Doyle, and Cleveland's own Mike Polk Jr. Like a well-catered intervention, the menu surprises audiences with gourmet flavors. Blueberry-habañero sauce douses the wings, while bleu cheese and applewood bacon crown the burgers. Gut-busted patrons can replenish oxygen-deprived lungs over a cocktail on Cleveland Improv’s patio, which offers nice views of the Cuyahoga River.
• For $12, you get one general-admission ticket (a $17.50 value before fees, or up to a $24.50 value online, including all ticketing fees). • For $19, you get one reserved ticket for a seat in sections 4–6 (a $27.50 value before fees, or up to a $38 value online, including all ticketing fees).
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.
Run or Dye is making race running a little more colorful, one major city at a time. This 5K is divided up into four separate courses of varying lengths, each designated by a separate color??which also reflects the color of safe, eco-friendly powered dye the participants get splashed with. At the end of the race, they'll cross into the aptly-named Dye Zone?a polychromatic free-for-all, where fluorescent color is thrown freely from all sides, allowing runners to splash their fellow runners or get colorful revenge on their friends, family members, and any cranky art-history teachers that happen to be walking by.
Unlike some races that rank runners by time, Run or Dye only measures success in color and fun. While the safe-to-eat dyes should wash out of clothing, runners are encouraged to wear things they don't mind getting dirty, preferably in white, gray, or another neutral color to give the dyes maximum visibility.
To keep the spirit of its musical roots ever near, House of Blues Houston keeps a metal box of mud from the Delta Mississippi beneath its stage and proudly displays the traditional crazy quilt. As the only venue in the revered chain to be built vertically rather than free floating, House of Blues Houston stands as a pillar of entertainment in the Houston Pavilions complex. The hot spot’s Bronze Peacock Room commemorates Houston's rich history and the blues clubs where Lightnin' Hopkins and Big Mama Thornton held sway, and features an enormous hand-painted mural depicting other local legends such as Albert Collins and Johnny "Guitar" Watson.