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.
Golden lanterns dangle inside of intricate iron spheres. Bright purple, yellow, red, and pink fabrics drape over booths. Colorful tiles coolly cover the floors and bar. The staff at Medina Oven & Bar wanted a genuine Moroccan look for their eatery, and they got one by flying in every piece of decor directly from Morocco. In fact, everything at Medina Oven & Bar exudes this air of authenticity, from the interior aesthetic to the menu. Chefs drizzle chicken breasts with preserved lemon-saffron sauce and bedeck warm beds of cinnamon couscous with shrimp and scallops. A fiery oven bakes oregano, fennel, and lamb-sausage pizzas; skewers of tenderloin and Andalusian shrimp also see flames before they’re served, much like a break dancer with a horrible temper. The cuisine here has garnered much praise from the likes of Haute Living magazine, which named Medina Oven & Bar the city’s best Mediterranean restaurant in 2010.
Kenneth Donald Rogers—an American country-music star, photographer, producer, actor, and fellow with a nice beard—has won three Grammys and more than a dozen American Music Awards for his sweet, stirring crooning. Though he won't be toting his dozens of awards, Mr. Rogers will be bringing an impressive showcase of selections from his extensive collection of country hits. To prep the crowd for the main event, The Herndon Brothers—a local act lead by Ray Herndon, a country star known for livin' the dream—will layer the crowd in hometown vibes from their wide library of inspiring and honest tracks.
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.
Live music fills the air every night in Sambuca 360's futuristic lounge space, urging hips to sway with strains of everything from acoustic rock to high-energy dance music. The food is equally energetic—chefs craft globally influenced entrees and small plates such as lobster enchiladas in a poblano cream sauce and tempura-fried buca beignets stuffed with mozzarella and prosciutto. Mixologists craft more than 30 creative cocktails—many of which are designed with low-calorie diets in mind—at a glowing, saffron-colored bar that touches the stage, allowing revelers to sip an agave-nectar margarita or mango-peach martini between cheered requests for the band to play a favorite tune or play in a favorite guitar tuning.
The name of T/X Restaurant might prepare you for its cuisine's Texas-inspired accents such as charred poblanos, blue-corn salad, and chorizo breakfast tacos. But if anything, it's the flavors of the sea rather than the desert or the ranch that dominate the dinner menu, full of such creations as tortilla-crusted snapper, prawns in a sauce based on Patrón tequila, and seared scallops with cheddar grits. The adjoining bar shakes up margaritas, mojitos, and a host of other creative cocktails using fruit and liqueurs from around the globe.
T/X Restaurant occupies the Luxe Stoneleigh Hotel & Spa, which has held down Maple Avenue since 1923 and which, Frommer's reports, "has style to burn, with the welcoming feel of a large luxury boutique hotel" after $30 million in recent renovations. Guests can still see vestiges of the hotel's art-deco-era roots in the restaurant's dining room and bar area. Velvety red booths, marbled black columns, crystal chandeliers, and petrified flappers conjure all the decadence of the Roaring Twenties.