For the late Dr. George Henry Alexander Clowes, the most important things in life were science and the arts. The good doctor wanted to share this devotion with the Indianapolis community, so he devised and funded Clowes Memorial Hall at Butler University. Completed in 1963, the hall shares Butler's gorgeous aesthetic with its arching stone façade and lush crimson interior, which has room for over 2,000 patrons. In addition to major touring productions and public speakers, Clowes Memorial Hall is also the home of the Indianapolis Opera, the Butler Ballet, and the Indy 500.
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 nationwide chain of Improv comedy clubs hosts comedians en route to the big time, with an impressive roster of past performers that includes David Spade, Adam Sandler, and Jerry Seinfeld. Kansas City Improv unveils a spread of award-winning American cuisine from company-wide head chef JR Grady, and a slew of signature cocktails to remedy laughter-induced cottonmouth. Guests can stow their vehicles prior to the show with garage parking, available throughout the Zona Rosa shopping center.
A rigid Western obsession with time tables and organized schedules has left the American spirit dangerously confined. Today's Groupon offers improvisation, the well-paved road to free thinking, with a ticket to see The Trip Fives Improv Comedy live at the Westport Coffeehouse on January 9 at 6:30 p.m. for $5. Welcome in a new year with unstale jokes you can't see coming, despite your resolution to nurture clairvoyance.
Originally opening in Westport in 1975, Stanford and Son's Comedy Club gave an early outlet to comedy giants such as Jerry Seinfeld and Roseanne. Now located at a new location in the Rosana Square shopping center, the club and restaurant packs in up to 300 audience members for sets from a long list of up-and-comers as well as seasoned performers. The pros fish for chuckles during shows held Wednesday–Sunday; Tuesdays are reserved for novices to try their hand at the club's open mic. Drinks flow freely from two sizable bars, and its new restaurant menu features southern-flared delights, including blackened catfish, glazed salmon, and Dr. Pepper ribs.
The Dinner Detective eschews campy costumes and plots for an exciting evening of food-accompanied mystery and paranoia, where actors hide among the diners, playing innocent and making everyone a potential suspect. To solve the crime, guests freely interrogate one another, chivvying out clues about the murderer and determining who has a bloodthirsty look in their eyes. Between dramatic deaths and simulated police involvement, guests dig into three-course meals, washed down with bottomless iced tea, coffee, and drinks from the cash bar. The diner who comes closest to solving the mystery through their snooping goes home with a prize basket to show off to their friends or split with the murderer as per their shadowy conspiracy. Prop guns and gunshot sound effects may be used during the performance.