The history of today's Atlanta Braves traces back to 1876 in Boston, where the team played as the Red Stockings. In the more than 100 years since, the club lived like a nomadic tribe, claiming two World Series titles in separate cities before finally landing in Atlanta in 1966. There, they found reason to settle down, winning an unprecedented 14 consecutive division titles, as well as another World Series in 1995. Throughout the years, many of baseball's all-time greats have donned the Braves uniform, including Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, and Cy Young. Opened in 1997, Turner Field serves as the club's home turf, relaying the action on a 29'x38' BravesVision video board as a 27' neon tomahawk menaces visiting players and vegetables alike.
In support of her high-decibel new album, Rihanna kicks off her hotly anticipated LOUD tour with emphatic gusto and a sizzling roster of special guests. Like an art show at a sundae bar, the LOUD tour floods the senses, enchanting audiences with lavishly designed sets, myriad costume changes, move-busting dancers, and Rihanna's songbook of Grammy magnets. Crooner Cee Lo Green augments the songful offerings with his own vocal talents, and Roc Nation rapper and rhythm scientist J. Cole further helps resuscitate ear drums traumatized by the outside world's blaring car horns and shrill howler monkeys.
A staple of the nation’s standup scene since the first location opened in 1963, Improv comedy clubs have been popping up all over for nearly 40 years. The venues have played an instrumental role in the early careers of famous jokesters such as Bette Midler and Jerry Seinfeld. Now firmly established in locales from Florida to California, Improv comedy clubs draw big-name acts and ambitious up-and-comers.
As Tommy, one of Howl at the Moon’s piano players, explains on the club’s website, “Every night…we try and throw a party, regardless of whether it’s a Tuesday night or a Saturday night.” The bar’s trademark dueling pianos serve as the epicenter of these nightly celebrations; patrons submit their favorite songs on slips of paper for the pianists and backing musicians to recreate. If the website’s playlist is any indication, the bands can handle popular songs from all genres and eras, from Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” to Kanye West’s “All of the Lights.” The performances are spirited: colorful lights splash upon a stage where servers, guests, and chairs that have somehow developed mobility all dance along to the music.
Fueling the celebration is the bar’s indulgent selection of drinks. Servers stand over patrons to plunge jello injectors into their mouths, and revelers grab colorful straws to help drain 86-ounce booze buckets filled with sangria or other fruity libations. Pomegranate liqueur and honey-infused whiskey sweeten specialty cocktails, and local beers add depth to coolers stocked with Stella Artois and Dos Equis.
From its inception in the 1980s performance-art scene in New York, the Blue Man Group’s shows have evolved from impromptu sets in Central Park to stages across the world. The eponymous blue-skinned trio, described by the Chicago Tribune as “ever-curious, ever-hopeful, ever-restless,” remains unchanged by its decades-long stint in the spotlight, still bewildered by the telescoping tubes of PVC piping it uses as instruments and the appreciative applause of the audience. But the group's shows are nothing if not timely, deftly posing questions about technology and stardom.
The spectacle is equal parts aural and visual, with live rock bands accompanying the men as they tap out rhythms on tangled snarls of pipe and flail wobbly poles covered in neon lights. Videos provide context for the speechless drummers, as well as a constant stream of wry humor. Evenings with the Blue Man Group build to an electric conclusion, thrilling the audience with brilliant bursts of light, cheery floods of color-changing balloons, and an adrenaline-laced original score.
The youthful actors at The Osceola County School for the Arts bring to life Larry Shue’s fanciful, theatrical interpretation of My Emperor’s New Clothes, the classic Hans Christian Andersen story. Audience members renew their passports and join thespians on a comedic, musical journey to the kingdom of Mango-Chutney, where an emperor challenges weavers to bring him the most exquisite fabric in the world and offers his daughter’s hand in marriage to whoever can make him believe something that is not real. As a pair of spies from a neighboring country begin scheming, the plot thickens, filling the school’s 2,000-seat theater with more guffaws than the inside of a laughter-canning factory.