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.
Unlike the premium-cable version of Curious George, ComedySportz shows eschew racy material, going so far as to place a brown paper bag over the head of any performer who crosses the boundaries of good taste. The game-based comedy format pits two refereed teams of improvisers against each other, drawing from a repertoire of more than 100 improv scenes for their battleground. Over the course of 7 to 12 games, the red- and blue-clad teams may perform in Shakespearean verse or rapidly fast-forward and reverse a scene at the referee's whim. The audience, meanwhile, is tasked with generating suggestions, choosing the winners at evening's end, and gently consoling the losing team with made-up aspirational quotes.
This formula has proved successful since 1984, when the first ComedySportz flung open its curtains. Now, the franchise has expanded to major comedy hubs including Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles. The latest addition to the fold, ComedySportz Boston, lassos the same spirit and off-the-cuff hilarity as its predecessors, dazzling onlookers with its teamwork, clean but uproarious humor, and ability to turn an audience suggestion into a fully fleshed out scene.
At Arena Theatre, nobody sits farther than 60 feet from the show. Most concertgoers who?ve squinted their ways through major concerts at other venues can attest that the in-the-round seating arrangement and revolving stage are causes for celebration. And the stars have noticed. Since the 1970s, the state-of-the-art venue has attracted a long list of legendary performers including Willie Nelson, Tom Jones, and Aretha Franklin. While their golden vocal chords ring through the stellar acoustics, fans sink into comfy seats, savor a flashy light system, and discard their unnecessary opera glasses.
Hosting the evening's set, the historic Gramercy Theatre first opened its doors in 1937 and spent some 60 years as a movie palace and art house. Now wedged between two skyscrapers, it still retains some art-deco columns and flourishes striped into its façade. Inside, an intimate main room shares space with the eclectic Samsara Lounge where persian rugs and funky wall art imbue audiences with a rock 'n' roll spirit and inspire the spontaneous formation of nomadic tribes.
Supporting the Texas Center for the Missing, Champions for Children presents benefactors with an evening of hilarious standup and delectable cuisine while helping fund the Center's philanthropic mission of missing-child prevention and recovery. Guests dig into toothsome chow, choosing from a variety of vegetarian and meat-laden dishes while chortling at hilarious standups and mad libs whispered to the comedians by the servers. After an opening set from Cliff West, nationally recognized laughmeister Bob Smiley headlines the event, bringing his manic energy and quirky physicality to anecdotes on relationships, raising kids, and everyday life. Live and silent auctions offer further opportunities for charitable largesse, and an event-wide raffle gives guests the chance to win fabulous prizes and impress dates with their raffle-fixing abilities. Attendees' vehicles can eagerly listen in on the show from free parking spots.