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.
Older than the Toledo Symphony Orchestra, older than the Toledo Opera, and older even than the expression "As old as the Toledo Ballet," the Toledo Ballet has been a landmark on the city's cultural landscape since 1939. For over 75 years, they have been presenting dance performances and training the next generation of classical and contemporary dancers at their on-site school. They'll gladly put on contemporary works such as 2008's Outside the Lines, but they also stick to tradition?in fact, their annual production of The Nutcracker, accompanied by the Toledo Symphony, is the oldest continuously running production of The Nutcracker in the country.
Formerly the Lingerie Football League, the Legends Football League stands as the "fastest-growing pro sports league in the nation" according to NBC Sports correspondent Rick Chandler. That success owes much to the league's unique format, which pits two exclusively female teams in alluring uniforms against each other in full-contact football games on a 50-yard field. Donning football pads and helmets over their revealing performance wear, the female athletes block, juke, and sprint uninhibited by such frivolous gear as the NFL's heavy chainmail hauberks.
The Toledo Symphony is entering its 67th season of brilliant brain tickling (via the ear), with expectations to reach nearly 300,000 listeners over the course of 400 diverse performances. The permanent orchestra consists of approximately 80 professional musicians, though extra musicians are regularly enlisted to garnish the sound and retrieve coffee during extremely long rests with bolded fermatas.
The all-ages, daylong festival rocks to the rhythms of more than 50 northwestern-Ohio bands, solo artists, and DJs spanning three stages. Every genre of popular tunes gets its showcase, from hip-hop to law rock to swing metal. Hobo Stew, an indie pop-punk band from Liberty Center, powers through three-chord head-nodders like “This Will Bite You.” For a heavier sound, check out Archibold metalheads Dethrats, who keep things black with propulsive kickdrums, growling vocals, and sacrificial muppets on “End of Days.” Toledo hip-hop artist Raine Wilder carries the torch of Ohio rap with “I Came for You” and other bursts of percussive rhyme. Headliners can lubricate cheering tubes with alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages or fuel crowd-surfing muscles with hamburgers, hot dogs, and other BBQ fare.