At Ernie Biggs dueling piano bar, musicians Mike Tuten and Chris Porcelli face off across 176 black and white keys, taking requests and inviting party people up on stage to join them on Fridays and Saturdays. Meanwhile, dozens of beers, martinis, and cocktails, and a menu of submarine sandwiches and specialty pizzas keep spirits high.
With iridescent miniature golf courses in malls throughout North America, Glowgolf adds elements of phosphorescent fun to shopping sessions. Courses contain sights such as light-defying blush corals, incandescent animals, and lush foliage reminiscent of the glowing trees on Neptune. Each pass is good for three 18-hole games, giving golfers ample opportunity to get familiar with each hole's obstacles. Equipment is available on the spot, so players won't have to carry around personal clubs or seek out a bioluminescent caddie.
When it was built in 1923, The Historic Shrine was hailed as the largest auditorium west of the Mississippi and all twenty of its doubled consonants. But even if it hadn't been so large, the building would be notable thanks to its unique design, marked by red brick walls, terracotta turrets, and colorful stained glass windows. And, thanks to thoughtful renovations and landing a spot on the National Register of Historic Places, the venue's beauty hasn't dimmed in the intervening decades. The Historic Shrine's historic stage continues to host acts both classic and fringe, including circuses, roller derbies, and even a surprisingly under-attended Elvis concert.
At The Hangout Sports Bar & Grille, there's no shortage of bar space: servers slide drinks across a main bar that stretches more than 60-feet. Another, albeit less expansive bar intersects the room lengthwise, enabling visitors to set down their beers and hamburgers as they shoot pool or rest in between thumb wars. Owner Barbara Ghan–who swung open The Hangout's doors in December of 2012– engineered this setup. She even converted an adjacent garage into extra space for her bar. The result: a roomy, but welcoming area to watch sports, listen to live music, and, well, just hang out.
Young comedians from across the Midwest throw their microphone-callused thumbs into the air to hitch a ride on the Truckload O'Comics monthly comedy showcase. Springfield native Kenny DeForest hosts each show with up to three performers whose adult-themed material doesn't shy away from taboos on sex, religion, or which hand sanitizer to use after holding a friend's baby. On February 25, two opening acts tip the room's humor scales for headliner and Chicago comic Drew Michael. Then in March, the absurdist verbosity of writer-turned-comedian Adam Burke delivers clever quips that have been likened to the '70s standup routine of Steve Martin. In a Chicago magazine profile, the English-bred Burke admits that his "accent is weird … It's not exactly Irish and it's not exactly Scotch. It's more like bourbon."
Andy Williams designed his Moon River Theater to echo the beauty of the surrounding Ozark Mountains. The façade sits amid 16 acres of foliage, rock formations, and waterfalls to not only enhance live performances with a sense of natural discovery, but also to speak to conservation. In 1992, the state of Missouri recognized the venue's environmental efforts by granting it the Conservation Award for Developed Land Use. And that sense of conservation seeps into the theater's three lobbies as well. Koi swim through ponds, flora creeps toward the ceiling, art and performance pictures from Andy's private collection grace the walls, and wild rams hold head-butting matches in the restroom.