Following the aroma of freshly popped corn through Sundae’s Too Ice Cream Shop, guests find themselves standing in front of Bensenville Theatre’s two intimately sized, 130-person theaters. The twin screens flicker to life two to three times daily, showing a selection of recent Hollywood blockbusters during weekday matinees or nightly showings. A concession stand helps supply guests with popcorn for staving off hunger or stuffing shirts in an effort to emulate the muscular physique of Jean-Claude Van Damme.
Nearly a century ago, the Hippodrome opened as a combination movie palace and vaudeville theater, spending more than 70 years hosting big names such as Bob Hope and Frank Sinatra. Following a double-decade period of slow business and bad hairstyles, the Hippodrome closed down in 1990. Now, however, after an exhaustive restoration project that reanimated the theater’s chandelier-lit arches, the mural above the proscenium stage, and the grand-theater boxes that hearken back to opera’s heyday, the Hippodrome reopens to the delight of Baltimore’s cultural landscape.
Defending the Caveman, the longest-running one-man comedy in Broadway history, treats the recently rechristened Akoo Theatre at Rosemont to one special evening of insightful and gut-busting social anthropology. A worldwide hit since the script was unfrozen in 1991, funnyman Rob Becker’s perceptive dissection of the battle of the sexes has charmed millions of theatergoers while uniting dozens of estranged paleontologists. Skewering the hubris of machismo and machisma, the populist play sweetly chides both genders with side-splitting anecdotes and relatable scenarios that hit home like an overzealous paperboy. Extracting laughs from singles and the betrothed, Defending the Caveman works both as a rousing comedy and as couples therapy.
Couched in the stadium seats of luxury, patrons at Muvico Theaters enjoy the latest blockbusters in crystal-clear Sony 4K digital projection. Moving D-Box seats in certain movie houses take the motion-picture experience to the next level, and huge armrests in the Premier section leave room for midmovie dining and premovie thumb wars. Muvico also shows golden oldies in addition to new releases and live events, such as live comedy, sporting events, and beer and wine tastings
For Delores Balogun, the founder of iGlow Mentoring, it was the inspiration from mentors in her own girlhood that carved her path toward motivating girls and young women to empower themselves. Now, the humanitarian establishes regular mentoring events and programs that encourage female youngsters to believe in themselves and learn from each other, hopefully—as the iGlow acronym illustrates—Inspiring Girls to Lead Our World.
Facilitating the fan-delighting collision of comic-book universes and intergalactic heroes, Wizard World organizes Comic Cons and pop-culture conventions across the continent. At each event, stars from the silver screen set down roots in booths across the convention floor, wielding markers for autographs and their photo-op-ready smiles. Past guests have run the gamut from William Shatner, Patrick Stewart, and the cast of AMC’s The Walking Dead. Away from the crowds, stars also participate in talks and Q&A panels as part of the event’s programming. Along with beloved actors, Wizard World’s conventions grant guests a chance to interact with writers and artists as well as partake in activities such as gaming tournaments and costume contests.