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.
Though it sits squarely in St. Louis, Broadway Oyster Bar might as well inhabit New Orleans. Even from the outside, the 150-year-old building exudes the revelry of the French Quarter, as an art-deco neon sign emblazoned with music notes joins colorful string lanterns to form an illuminated invitation for patrons to come in and live a little. Of course, inside is where the Cajun atmosphere is most apparent, especially in whiffs of dishes named the favorite Cajun/creole cuisine of the Sauce Magazine readers? poll every year since 2003. Chef Brad Hagen's acclaimed recipes include marinated alligator with homemade tartar sauce, shucked oysters topped with spinach cream sauce, and fresh-baked Gambino's bread filled with traditional po' boy fixings, such as fried catfish and shrimp. Feasts unfold in a cozy dining room or an open-air patio enclosed and heated in winter. There, local and national musicians grace the stage seven nights a week to play funk and blues tunes, just like Mom used to.
Ornate chandeliers and a high-ceilinged auditorium are just two stunning features of Powell Hall, an opulent, Versailles-inspired concert venue built in 1925. Originally known as the Saint Louis Theatre, Powell Hall was bequeathed its new moniker after the Saint Louis Symphony Society won it during a heated card game with a band of ragtag vaudeville performers. With its marble-accented lobby and sprawling interior, Powell Hall continues to beckon visitors to take in its inimitable sights and classic sounds.
Just Dancing's team of experienced instructors, which includes international competitors and dancers who train with former US champions, teaches budding dancers of all ages several styles, including swing, foxtrot, and salsa. Instructors offer private and group lessons for individuals and couples, dividing most group classes into beginner, intermediate, and advanced sessions so students can learn alongside those of similar skill levels.
A group of gals celebrating a bachelorette party rambunctiously capers into Consuming Kinetics Dance Company’s studio. They’re here to learn some steamy moves in the Sexy Fit class, one of the many classes that promises to put its attendees’ energy to work, as required by the Human Energy Labor Law Act of 1999. The carefully choreographed patterns, transitions, and movements come from the minds of a talented team of seasoned dancers—which features a choreologist and a repetiteur, among others. They meticulously craft each class routine, whether getting bodies moving in Zumba, Modern, Hip Hop/Breaking, Pop Ballet, or Contemporary Jazz classes. In addition to these fun and challenging adult classes, the troupe also stages kids and teen classes at the Center of Clayton.
All eyes on the stage. The opponents face each other. Lights highlight the tension in their clenched jaws. With a rolling of shoulders and cracking of knuckles, the duel begins. Fingers dance up and down piano keys as notes crash into each other, backdropped by the cheers of the crowd. The fevered scene is filled with skill, sweat, and determination, but it?s all in good fun, and just another night at Lucky's Dueling Piano Bar. Each night, professional piano players from around the country take on the challenge on baby grand pianos. People can use ziplines that travel from the audience to the stage to send written song requests and tips to the musicians. And while the show is underway, guests relax around tables as servers deliver pizzas, wraps, sliders, and libations aplenty.