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.
Sprawling across 100 acres in the verdant, picturesque Spokane Falls, Riverfront Park beckons with awe-inspiring visual and auditory wonders. The newly constructed SkyRide invites visitors to survey the land from above, swooping across the Spokane River and past city hall, where they can wave to their favorite comptroller. Back on the ground, the historic Looff Carousel, built in 1909, whirls riders around on 54 horses, two Chinese-dragon chairs, one giraffe, and one tiger, and a tour train chugs through the park on a 30-minute narrated jaunt. Among other attractions, such as the Sculpture Walk and pony rides, Riverfront Park houses an enormous IMAX theater with one of the largest indoor screens in the Pacific Northwest. Standing 53 feet high and stretching 69 feet wide, the screen is slightly taller than the average human and displays crystal-clear two-dimensional images, which are complemented by the sounds of a booming, wraparound surround-sound system.
Celebrating their 65th season, the well-received Spokane Children's Theatre transports audiences of all ages to new heights of delight through the transformative power of live theater. Their rendering of Hansel & Gretel by I.E. Clark, which plays the spacious Spartan Theatre at Spokane Falls Community College, is set to display fantastical features including a singing cuckoo clock, a story-telling robin and crumb-hating wicked witch. Their new adaptation of Snow White & the Seven Dwarves, which plays at the Masonic Center, was penned by local author Ken Pickering with songs scored by John Dawson. Shows shun the stuffy silence of library puppet shows in favor of lively audience participation, encouraging enthusiastic attendees to vocally scale the fourth wall and aid the occasionally confused characters.
Ignite! Community Theatre draws on a diverse group of talented local thespians to engage audiences with meticulously produced shows. The Lying Kind offers patrons a morbidly comic Christmas story that deftly melts the cloying sweetness left over from saccharine holiday movies and fiercely competitive candy-cane-eating contests. The play weaves the tale of two British constables, prepping to deliver heartbreaking news to an old couple before heading home for Christmas Eve, all while navigating a village mob. Razor-sharp wit and inky-black humor tickle ribs throughout the show, which takes place in the intimate yet elegant Commandery Room. A wraparound balcony treats audiences to elevated viewing, and a black- and white-checkered floor encourages postshow games of human chess.
Eclectically drawing inspiration from sources as diverse as 1930s singers and Queen, the peppy lyrics and buoyant melodies of April Smith and The Great Picture Show have courted televisions nationwide, appearing on the hit show Weeds and commercials for Chico's and the NFL. In the band's debut studio album, Songs for a Sinking Ship, singles such as “Terrible Things” and “Colors” tell sonic tales of universal emotions, from relationship fears to elation at finding a $5 bill on the street. With an array of instruments at the ready, the backing band bolsters frontwoman Smith’s smoky vocals with lugubrious accordion, twinkling keyboard, and exuberant plucks of ukulele.