Touted as a top music festival by Rolling Stone magazine, Mountain Jam packs more than 50 bands on four stages and 15,000 music spectators in a lush, natural amphitheater nestled in the Catskill Mountains. The ear-pleasing lineup for the 7th-annual festival boasts headliners My Morning Jacket, Southern-rock jam band Gov't Mule, and the eclectic sounds of Michael Franti & Spearhead. While this Groupon is not valid for camping or lodging costs, out-of-towners can camp or sleep in the great indoors in a dizzying array of nearby hotels, lodges, and ski chalets. The health-conscious festival, partially produced by guitar legend Warren Haynes, distracts unruly mouths from asking fellow concert-goers uncomfortable personal questions with a jellybean jar of organic and vegan eats.
Warner Theatre serves as profound evidence that grassroots efforts can make a difference in the arts. Opened by Warner Brothers Studios in 1931, the Thomas Lamb?designed cinema house served for more than 20 years as the area's top venue to gawk at the silver screen. Yet business declined with the rise of the television, and in 1955 a flood left the venue severely damaged. It was hardly a surprise, then, when the Warner faced foreclosure in 1981. But a non-profit, citizen-run group called the Northwest Connecticut Association for the Arts raised the $275,000 needed to rescue the theatre, and repaired the years' damages to the art-deco design. Today, more than 800 volunteer actors, musicians, designers, and crew members bask in the applause and gleefully thrown lorgnettes of an estimated 35,000-plus patrons each season.
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 intimate venue known today as City Theatre opened its doors in 1993 as the Second City Detroit. Renamed in 2004, the space still hews to the comedy troupe’s mission with a packed schedule of thigh-slapping theatrical performances. The stage is located inside the Hockeytown Café, where the entertainment is supplemented by a menu of beer, buffalo wings, and deep-fried pucks.
Hartford Symphony Orchestra's St. Patrick's Day Celebration regales ears with classic Celtic tunes commemorating the feast of Ireland's patron saint. Visiting from his usual perch at the Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra, conductor Gerald Steichen leads an army of instruments as it elevates the shimmering tenor of veteran singer Robert White, who has been nourishing auditory synapses since his radio debut in 1948. White fills listeners with Irish pride until they burst with clover leaves by belting out such distinctly Hibernian tunes as "Danny Boy," a slow, anthemic composition that resonates in the hearts of Irish emigrants. Renowned Irish fiddler Jeanne Freeman also fuels high-octane jigs with skills gleaned from County Donegal native P.V. O'Donnell.