- For those whose design sense leans toward the opulent, the intricate or the atmospheric – or for those who relish the majesty of Venice or the grandness of Greece, the Hershey Theatre is a must-see historic building.
But even for those whose taste is more down-to-earth, this 1,904-seat venue, which opened in 1933 and is located at the corner of Chocolate and Cocoa avenues in downtown Hershey, has much to offer – from touring Broadway productions and family-friendly shows to popular recording artists and highly sought after comedians.
Among the offerings in the Hershey Theatre’s Broadway series this year are:
• “Once,” about an Irish singer-songwriter and a Czech immigrant drawn together by their shared love of music. The show, which received eight Tonys, including Best Musical, in 2012 as well as the Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album in 2013, is based on the 2007 Oscar-winning film of the same name and features an ensemble of actor/musicians who play their own instruments on stage. It runs Tuesday, September 15, through Sunday, September 20.
• “Matilda The Musical,” about an extraordinary girl who dreams of a better life and, armed with a vivid imagination and a sharp mind, dares to take a stand. Winner of four Tony Awards in 2013 and seven Olivier Awards in 2012, the show is based on the beloved novel by Roald Dahl. It runs Tuesday, November 10, through Sunday, November 15.
• “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical,” about the world’s most famous reindeer and his adventures with friend and fellow misfit Hermey the Elf. Featuring familiar songs and dialogue, the show is remarkably faithful to the 1964 stop-motion animated television classic. Performances are scheduled Tuesday and Wednesday, December 8 and 9.
Those seeking family-friendly entertainment can choose from:
• “The Illusionists: Live From Broadway,” a thrilling mix of magic tricks, stunts, and acts of wonder performed by five illusionists, on Saturday, October 3, at 5:30 pm and 8:30 pm, and Sunday, October 4, at 1 pm.
• “Clifford the Big Red Dog Live!” a musical adventure that teaches Clifford, Emily Elizabeth, and their pals about friendship and teamwork, on Saturday, October 10, at 10:30 am and 2 pm.
• “Disney Live! Three Classic Fairy Tales,” a musical exploration of “Cinderella,” “Beauty and The Beast,” and “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” with the help of Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy, on Saturday, November 7, at 1 pm, 4 pm and 7 pm.
For adults who want to escape for a night of laughs, the Hershey Theatre is hosting some of today’s best comedians:
• Wanda Sykes, ranked by Entertainment Weekly as one of the 25 funniest people in America, on Friday, October 2, at 8 pm.
• Dave Chappelle, hailed by Comedy Central as one of the greatest standup comedians of all time and the star of Chappelle’s Show, on Wednesday, October 7, at 7 pm and 9:30 pm, and Thursday, October 8, at 7 pm.
• Jerry Seinfeld, star of Seinfeld and perhaps the best-known comedian in America, on Thursday, November 5, at 7 pm and 9:30 pm.
• Gabriel Iglesias, who recently sold out Madison Square Garden in New York City, on Friday, November 20, at 8 pm, and Saturday, November 21, at 7:30 pm.
• Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood, improvisational geniuses from television’s Whose Line Is It Anyway?, on Sunday, November 22, at 7:30 pm.The Pennsylvania Gospel Musical Festival comes to Hershey Friday, September 11, through Sunday, September 13. It will be divided into five sessions: Aaron Wilburn, Mark Trammell Quartet, Guy Penrod, the Erwins and the Nelons, performing on Friday at 6 pm; a hymn sing with Greater Vision, TaRanda Greene, Mylon Hays Family, Legacy Five, Aaron Wilburn and the Erwins on Saturday at 2 pm; Booth Brothers, TaRanda Greene, Greater Vision and Legacy Five on Saturday at 6 pm; a worship service with Dr. Phil Hoskins and music by the Taylors on Sunday at 10 am; and Aaron Wilburn, Dailey & Vincent, the Martins, Blackwood Brothers Quartet and the Browns on Sunday at 6 pm.
Straight No Chaser, a 10-man acapella group, returns to the Hershey Theatre on Sunday, December 6, at 3 pm and 8 pm, as part of their “The New Old Fashioned Tour.” The group’s 2013 album, Under the Influence, featured collaborations with the likes of Phil Collins, Stevie Wonder and Dolly Parton. A new album, titled The New Old Fashioned, is scheduled to be released in October 2015.
While you’re in town, try to fit in a tour of the Hershey Theatre itself.
The blue-and-gold ceiling mosaic in the inner foyer is patterned after St. Mark’s Cathedral in Venice; also, in the lobby, you’ll find a polished Italian lava rock floor along with walls and arches designed with four types of marble.
In the auditorium, the amazing details are far too numerous to list. Highlights include the winged lion that looks out from its perch above the stage, walls that are reminiscent of a Byzantine castle with balconies on windowed towers, and the dramatic “star and clouds” ceiling.
Be sure to book your stay with us at The Inn at Westwynd Farm when you get your tickets to the show!