No Name Comix was founded in late 2012 by Marquise Moore, Jack Merrywell, H.D. Reeves, and Ben Flug––a quartet of local comedians looking for a new outlet to spread good cheer and bad puns. No Name Comix directs the limelight at neighborhood talent during open mics on every Thursday night, as well as weekend shows that typically feature headliners from right around the corner. Bespeaking the founders’ can-do attitude, the club is furnished with an array of up-cycled materials, including car seats repurposed into normal chairs.
Ornate chandeliers and a high-ceilinged auditorium are just two stunning features of Powell Hall, an opulent, Versailles-inspired concert venue built in 1925. Originally known as the Saint Louis Theatre, Powell Hall was bequeathed its new moniker after the Saint Louis Symphony Society won it during a heated card game with a band of ragtag vaudeville performers. With its marble-accented lobby and sprawling interior, Powell Hall continues to beckon visitors to take in its inimitable sights and classic sounds.
John Adam Lemp arrived in the United States in 1838, intent on seeking his new life and fortune. He established a grocery in St. Louis, but it was something else that catapulted him to success: a recipe for lager beer. The beer made his fortune, and the Lemps became one of the most wealthy, prominent families in St. Louis. As the money flowed in and the beer flowed out, Lemp decided to purchase a mansion where successive generations could rule their empire of breweries. That's exactly what they did, for a time.
Family fortunes began to turn, however, with the century. In 1901, the heir apparent to the family business died under mysterious circumstances, leading his father to take his own life in a mansion bedroom. The brewery persisted somewhat tenuously until Prohibition fell upon it like a hammer, shattering family fortunes. This led to a further spate of suicides, two of which were committed in the family mansion. The mansion's history of tragedy has led many to suppose that beneath its elegant, 100-year-old veneer are hiding dark secrets and supernatural presences.
Today, the parlor serves as a restaurant, richly appointed with original African mahogany and hand-painted ceiling murals. The rest of the house, though, is a venue for paranormal investigations and a stage for murder mystery dinner comedies. Many of the rooms even serve as guest suites for those brave enough to face ghosts dressed in Victorian-era undergarments.
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.
A group of gals celebrating a bachelorette party rambunctiously capers into Consuming Kinetics Dance Company’s studio. They’re here to learn some steamy moves in the Sexy Fit class, one of the many classes that promises to put its attendees’ energy to work, as required by the Human Energy Labor Law Act of 1999. The carefully choreographed patterns, transitions, and movements come from the minds of a talented team of seasoned dancers—which features a choreologist and a repetiteur, among others. They meticulously craft each class routine, whether getting bodies moving in Zumba, Modern, Hip Hop/Breaking, Pop Ballet, or Contemporary Jazz classes. In addition to these fun and challenging adult classes, the troupe also stages kids and teen classes at the Center of Clayton.
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.