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.
All eyes on the stage. The opponents face each other. Lights highlight the tension in their clenched jaws. With a rolling of shoulders and cracking of knuckles, the duel begins. Fingers dance up and down piano keys as notes crash into each other, backdropped by the cheers of the crowd. The fevered scene is filled with skill, sweat, and determination, but it?s all in good fun, and just another night at Lucky's Dueling Piano Bar. Each night, professional piano players from around the country take on the challenge on baby grand pianos. People can use ziplines that travel from the audience to the stage to send written song requests and tips to the musicians. And while the show is underway, guests relax around tables as servers deliver pizzas, wraps, sliders, and libations aplenty.
MX Movies is not an ordinary multiplex, as guests find out once they sink into the cozy seating, complete with armrests they can tuck out of the way if they want to get closer to a loved one or beloved tub of popcorn. The kitchen serves food that goes beyond the average nachos from a concession stand. Instead, viewers nosh on wraps, flatbread pizzas, even shrimp cocktail, and offer such desserts as brownies and ice cream. Afterwards, movie goers can discuss plot twists or credits font over craft beers in the lounge.
Though it sits squarely in St. Louis, Broadway Oyster Bar might as well inhabit New Orleans. Even from the outside, the 150-year-old building exudes the revelry of the French Quarter, as an art-deco neon sign emblazoned with music notes joins colorful string lanterns to form an illuminated invitation for patrons to come in and live a little. Of course, inside is where the Cajun atmosphere is most apparent, especially in whiffs of dishes named the favorite Cajun/creole cuisine of the Sauce Magazine readers? poll every year since 2003. Chef Brad Hagen's acclaimed recipes include marinated alligator with homemade tartar sauce, shucked oysters topped with spinach cream sauce, and fresh-baked Gambino's bread filled with traditional po' boy fixings, such as fried catfish and shrimp. Feasts unfold in a cozy dining room or an open-air patio enclosed and heated in winter. There, local and national musicians grace the stage seven nights a week to play funk and blues tunes, just like Mom used to.
?St. Louis is the fourth-most-haunted city in America,? the tour guide said on a tour covered by Narratively. "But your tour guide is No. 1.? That guide is David Riordan, a renaissance man who's been a commodities trader, lawyer, and Spanish real-estate seller, and now-owner of Riordan Tours. It was his time in Spain that inspired him to become a tour guide. He practiced his storytelling on the English-language radio station he bought and then began leading homespun tours through the small, picturesque town of Frigiliana.
But when the Spanish economy soured, he moved back to his native St. Louis. Now he draws on his natural talent for yarn spinning and leads groups to tourist attractions and haunted corners of the 250-year-old metropolis. Along the ghost tour, David unravels chilling yarns about events that inspired The Exorcist, the St. Louis Fire, the cholera epidemic, and spirits that still roam the streets, asking people which bus they should catch to get to the afterlife. The less spooky city tours explore the UNESCO World Heritage site Cahokia Mounds, as well as the Cardinal's Busch Stadium and the Gateway Arch.
David also puts his storytelling skills to use at his Unveiled: History & Hauntings of St Louis shows. Accompanied by a folk guitarist, he regales crowds with tales of the city's history. "I can talk about anything," he told the Riverfront Times. "It's not just ghosts and spirits, [it's] the brewery, steamboats, gangsters."
Historic, picturesque Laclede's Landing is the backdrop for the "Kick It On The Cobblestones" block party, a fundraising event for area youth-sports organizations. In keeping with the sports theme, participants can enter for a chance to win tickets to the soccer game between Real Madrid and Inter Milan at the Edward Jones Dome at 1 p.m., and youngsters can compete in soccer challenges in the hopes of winning prizes. The full-day event isn't just about sports, though. Crowds can boogie to live tunes by R&B-tinged rockers Dirty Muggs and eclectic quintet El Scorcho. They can also wield their tickets for discounts at area establishments all weekend, including $3 off adult admission at the Wax Museum, a free handcrafted beer with lunch or dinner at Morgan Street Brewery, and half off apparel at other local businesses.