Celebrating its 60th anniversary, the NHRA’s top pedal grinders compete for the checkers as Lucas Oil Raceway hosts the high-octane conclusion to this year’s NHRA Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, one of drag racing’s most prestigious events. The ghosts of former Model-T drivers race alongside novice and veteran speed demons such as champion Larry Dixon as they try to secure enough points to propel their teams into the Countdown playoffs and Full Throttle championships. The legendary track lives up to its reputation for smoothness as cars glide towards the finish line like sticks of butter on a bunny slope.
Ranked among Ticketmaster's Top 25 Most Requested Family Events for five consecutive years, UniverSoul Circus grants an interactive spectacle of acrobatic stunts, dance, and comedy set to popular urban sounds. With its swirling lights and pulsing beats, the circus's resemblance to a blowout concert tour is no accident: production designer Tom Marzullo has created internationally touring stage shows for Justin Bieber, Jay-Z, and Prince.
As hosts, a troupe of improv comics slip laughs in between the gasps and draw the crowd even closer into the action. Meanwhile, the production makes jaws drop farther with trained elephants, illusions featuring a live tiger, a head-balancing act from Vietnam, and female contortionists from Ethiopia. These make up just a few of the globally sourced performers, others of whom hail from locales as diverse as Colombia, South Africa, Russia, and Trinidad and Tobago.
Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre serves up a sumptuous buffet before each performance to infuse audiences with enough energy for aisle-rolling. Specializing in classic farces, Broadway musicals, and the occasional spot of children’s theater, the troupe has carried out rollicking performances of Hello Dolly, Annie Get Your Gun, Legally Blonde, and Winnie the Pooh. Every year at yuletide the performers roll out their Christmas special.
Snappy songs have infiltrated more than just the opening credits of primetime television programs in recent years. The popular series Glee, in particular, has spearheaded the airtime assault of harmonious vocals and tongue-in-cheek performances, which hark back to a bygone era of big-band leaders such as Fred Waring, also known as The Man Who Taught America to Sing. This May, as the final concert of its 40th season, Encore Vocal Arts' chamber choir teams up with Lawrence Central High School’s show choir, The Central Sound, for an evening of timeless tunes. The program’s ambition, as Encore’s artistic director Chris Ludwa explains, is to “connect today’s show choir generation with their musical roots.”
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.
It seems fitting for the Indiana Repertory Theatre to be housed in such a dramatically beautiful 1927 multi-story concrete building. With its white terra cotta façade, emphasized by the Spanish-baroque style triangular curved arch, the building draws attention to the theatre troupe’s glowing marquee in downtown Indianapolis. Inside, the cadre of actors pull crowds in further, showcasing classic productions and newer works with seeming ease. A marble-floored grand lobby welcomes in theatergoers looking to catch one of their nine annual productions, while the sweeping staircase shows mezzanine level patrons to their plush seats. The not-for-profit Indiana Repertory Theatre, founded in 1972, is the only League of Resident Theatres entity in Indiana, sporting more than 100 seasonal and full-time staff.