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.
The name doesn't lie—located in Salt Lake City, The Off Broadway Theatre is about as far from The Great White Way as you can get. But geography hasn't stopped the space from staging New York-caliber classic musicals and original comedies for nearly 20 years. The auditorium rings with laughter during beloved productions such as Little Shop of Horrors and The Pirates of Penzance, and house-written parodies including The Adventures of Sheer-Luck Homes and Snotson, The X-Mas Men, and Dracula vs. any number of monsters once portrayed by Boris Karloff. Audience members get the chance to join in on the hilarity during interactive sets from the resident jokesters of the Laughing Stock Comedy Troupe.
Wise Guys' triad of venues in Trolley Square, Downtown Ogden, and West Valley City holds an ever-rotating calendar of nationally touring and local comics. A cavalcade of beloved standups has graced Wiseguys’ brick-backed stages, including Norm MacDonald, Chris Kattan, and Bob Saget. The West Valley City location also serves a café-style menu of sandwiches, appetizers, desserts, and more than 20 types of beer.
This month’s Comedy Showcase invites a trio of jokesters to excavate laughs in The Depot’s urban space. Comic J. Chris Newberg enlivens standard standup with his blend of audience interaction and short songs that bait giggles with a grab bag of controversial topics, from religion to the usefulness of the metric system. Newberg’s edgy humor nabbed him stage time with Dane Cook, on Jimmy Kimmel Live, and Comedy Central. A seasoned DJ and comedian, DJ Cooch sweet-talks microphones with confidence gained from co-hosting MTV’s Rock the Vote with Ashton Kutcher and flying overseas to entertain troops in Iraq, and funny woman Jen Murphy dissects dating and intergender communications. Before the show, host AJ from 97.1 ZHT warms up the stage with only a microphone and a huge electric blanket, as audiences settle into the urban interior of the old Union Pacific Station.
The WCFC pins proficient punchers against each other during intense one-on-one bouts. Throughout the Last Man Standing event, fighting fans absorb four hours of adrenaline-packed jabs from floor seats, which are close enough to cheer on fighters, overhear the trainers' strategies, and slip favorite protein-shake recipes into competitors' gym bags. Two simultaneous eight-man tournaments—divided by weight class—sustain the evening of nonstop scrapping during five-minute bouts, which afford combatants little time to conserve energy or stall with levelheaded games of Monopoly.
Salty Dinner Theater, which ABC 4 describes as ?bringing a twist to traditional on-stage classics,? combines professional actors and proficient chefs to stage productions performed at area eateries. Audience members gobble supper as performers interact with them before and during the production. Regularly inhabiting Madeline?s Steakhouse, The Old Spaghetti Factory, Joe Morley?s Smoked Beef & Bar-B-Q, and Mimi?s Caf?, among other locales, the show-accompanying meals range from scratch-made baked lasagna with ground beef and pork to a pound of succulent smoked-beef brisket.