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 medieval carvings, European antiques, and Italian alabaster sculptures at the Akron Civic Theatre absorb the ascending harmonies of symphony concerts and heavy rock ‘n’ roll alike. Built in 1929 to resemble a Moorish castle, the venue has maintained much of its historic charm, including the exceedingly rare atmospheric ceiling, in which stars twinkle and clouds float by as mesmerizingly as the last few corn flakes atop a bowl of milk.
Costa Rican Jorge Strunz and Iranian Ardeshir Farah first united their guitars and their surnames into an improvisation-flecked duo in 1980, blending Afro-Latin, Middle Eastern, and jazz styles. Their 1992 album Américas vaulted to international attention with its infectious Afrocuban, Gypsy, and pre-Columbian rhythms, collecting both Billboard's World Music Album of the Year award and a Grammy nomination. With the assistance of Leah Zeger on violin and Majeed Ghorbani on percussion, Strunz and Farah's melodies vault up and down exotically modulated scales. Though their fingers are fluent in flamenco, the duo's signature style is saturated with international influences sharing only a common disregard for speed limits.