Entering their 85th season, the Harlem Globetrotters have entertained millions of parents, children, and general basketball admirers with a unique brand of athletic precision and showmanship. For their latest “4 Times the Fun” North American tour, the Globetrotters will add a new 4-point shot spots located 35 feet from the basket, which is 12 feet further than the official three-point line but several thousand miles closer than the prime meridian. See the arch-nemesis Generals try to keep up as the Harlem hardwood sorcerers evade gravity’s oppressive clutches and court clairvoyants distribute unassailable alley-oops. Youngsters can learn about the benefits of teamwork while laughing along with the jovial jocks as they perform classic routines of unconventional passing and sudden transmutations of water into confetti.
When the Legends first stepped onto the field at Whitaker Bank Ballpark in 2001, they broke a nearly half-century dry spell of pro baseball in the city of Lexington. That first season, they made their presence known by winning the South Atlantic League championship and trying to rename City Hall after themselves. Since their inauguration in '01, the Legends have sent more than three-dozen players to the majors, fulfilling the promise of their name and creating their own legacy.
A longtime collaborator of Frank Lloyd Wright hailed for his innovative and organic structures, architect William Wesley Peters designed the 85,000-square-foot Norton Center for the Arts as a space where performance and visual art could commingle. Since its opening in 1973, the Center has championed both innovative and classical works and artists, with a world-renowned roster of talent appearing over the years, including James Earl Jones and the Vienna Boys’ Choir. Before entering its theater spaces, patrons' eyes catch the vibrant walls of the Grand Foyer that hold the Center’s collection of contemporary artwork displayed alongside a rotating lineup of secretly sentient statues and special exhibitions. Echoing with the memory of almost 40 years’ worth of show-stopping musical numbers and heart-rending violin solos, Newlin Hall’s plush red seats and cochleae-tickling acoustics contribute to the space’s renown as a setting for awe-inspiring performances. The smaller stage of the Weisiger Theatre captivates crowds with intimate performances where audience members in any seat of the house can hear the last-meal request of a tree on stage as it falls.
As the starting gun sounds, the feet of as many as 200 competitors begin to churn through the muddy stretch of land that marks the beginning of Extreme Rampage’s treacherous course. Bookended by mud pits, the trail tests roughneck runners’ fitness and grit with more than 20 novel obstacles and enough distance—about 4 miles—to challenge the cardiovascular endurance of the world’s most chiseled shoelaces. Feats of uncommon valor unfold across the course, where entrants must scale a 20-foot cargo net, scamper over a field of more than 100 tires, and army crawl through a network of long tunnels. While many obstacles are of the labor-intensive variety, some impediments offer rewards, including a refreshing plunge down a slip ‘n’ slide or into a sinkhole filled with party favors.