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.
Throughout nearly seven decades, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra has bridged musical gaps with an extensive catalog of Grammy-winning recordings that include symphonies, operas, and gospel and classical choral works. Once helmed by the chorale superstar Robert Shaw, the orchestra has produced six Grammy-winning releases in its 12 years under current director Robert Spano. Its allied institution, the Atlanta School of Composers provides training, support, and ear massages for hardworking contemporary artists.
Constructed in 1934 in the Spanish-mission style, the San Jose Civic has played host to a star-studded lineup of performers—including The Who, who kicked off its first U.S. tour on the Civic's venerable stage. The building's elegant, dual-level exterior and softy lit tower recall bygone days of conquistadors, and the remodeled auditorium's armrests and cup holders keep chalices of gold comfortably upright.
Playing whimsical performances that have been praised by AOL News and the Lake Oconee Breeze, the Macon Symphony Orchestra charms eardrums with contemporary gems and golden oldies of both classical and popular music. With the help of his bow-wielding compatriots, conductor John Simons will shepherd concert-goers through the symphonic frontiers of Hollywood, lassoing tunes from golden-age classics such as Gone With the Wind and modern-day hits such as Titanic.
The Ensemble Theatre of Chattanooga doesn't shy away from provocation. In fact, most of their productions are downright gutsy. The non-profit theater company— founded by local artists who eat, drink, and breathe stage dust—specializes in professional stagings of new and classic works that stir the imagination and gleefully push buttons. Not just geared toward grown-ups and theater connoisseurs, the ETC also conducts a youth program of camps and classes for the next generation of thespians.