If you love the theater or live entertainment, you may want to base your travel plans around this interest. There are cities throughout the country and the world that are perfect for music and theater, and the following is a roundup of some of the best options.
Branson, Missouri may not seem like a great travel destination for theater and live music, but the town actually has more theater seats than Broadway. The options for live entertainment are diverse in Branson. For example, you can go to one of the dinner shows, such as Dolly Parton’s Stampede, or you can enjoy Legends in Concert.
There are country music shows, magic shows, and more in Branson. It’s an unexpected twist on theater, and you might find that it’s the perfect destination for you and your family.
Atlanta’s theater scene varies quite a bit, and you can find a little something for everyone. You can see Broadway musicals at the Fox Theatre, or you can visit the Tony Award-winning Alliance Theatre.
The Buckhead Theatre was originally opened in 1931 and then had a grand reopening in 2010. It’s an intimate venue, and in the Eastside neighborhood is the 7 Stages Theatre. The 7 Stages Theatre is a non-profit theatre company that focuses on social, political and spiritual values.
The Theatrical Outfit is in downtown Atlanta, and the goal of this organization in their own words is to create conversations that matter. The Theatrical Outfit is the second-oldest professional theater company in Atlanta.
Full Radius Dance is a modern dance company based in Atlanta, and it includes dancers with and without physical disabilities, and The Rialto Center for the Arts is part of Georgia State University.
There has long been a history of supporting the arts and a thriving theater and live entertainment scene in Chicago. Many describe Chicago as having the best theater scene in the country and the most active outside of New York City.
In 2018 on any given night in Chicago, there were as many as 100 shows going on, and there are 200 companies that call the city home. Some of the small theater companies in Chicago include A Red OrchidTheatre, TUTA Theatre, and Lifeline Theatre.
The history of theater in Chicago goes back to the 1800s when there was the first commercial production from someone called Mr. Brown who was a ventriloquist and fire eater.
In more modern times, The Second City was founded in 1959, and it is still considered the top improve theater in the world.
Each year Chicago puts on a Fringe Festival, modeled after a similar festival in Edinburgh, and it has 50 shows every year. For musical theater, there are options like the Underscore Theatre Company.
Boston is a great city to visit if you love history but also theater. There is the downtown Theater District, or you can catch performances on some of the college campuses in the city, including Emerson College and Boston University.
The Huntington is a theater associated with Boston University, and it was the recipient of a Regional Tony Award in 2013 for being one of the best in the area.
The theater was founded in 1982, and it has premiered more than 100 plays.
The Paramount Theater was originally a movie theater in the 1930s and was renovated by Emerson College in the mid-2000s. There are now three performance spaces within the theater for mainstage shows, black box theater, and film screenings.
The Boston Opera House is located in the Theater District, which is an area of the city that’s located downtown near Boylston Street and Emerson’s campus. The theater is Baroque-style and was originally opened in 1928. It was restored in the mid-2000s.
The Sanders Theater is on the campus of Harvard in Memorial Hall, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. It was built in the 1870s, and it is host to plays, speakers, and musicians.
Boston’s Playwright Theatre was founded by Derek Walcott, a well-known playwright, and Nobel Laureate.
Houston is a thriving, massive city that also happens to have a theater district. The Theater District is in downtown Houston, and it includes a wide variety of performance venues all within a block from one another.
One of the most well-known venues is the Alley Theatre, which is a nonprofit performing arts venue that was recently renovated. The Alley produces up to 16 plays a year, and this ranges from bringing to life classics once again, to contemporary performances.
The Alley also offers education programs, pre- and post-performance talks and workshops for people of all ages.
Some of the more budget-friendly theater options in Houston include the Catastrophic Theater and the Main Street Theater. The Catastrophic Theatre tends to have what is described as edgy performances, and it’s located in Midtown. You pay what you can, and you can reserve tickets online. The Main Street Theater is in Rice Village and offers free college nights on Thursdays.
New York, NY
It would be difficult to mention the best cities for theater and live entertainment without mentioning New York. New York is perhaps the best theater city, not just in the country but in the world. There is a range of on and off-Broadway shows on any given day and at any given time.
Some of Broadway’s most popular shows right now include The Book of Mormon, Dear Evan Hansen, Hamilton, and Wicked. There’s also To Kill a Mockingbird, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two, and Tina: The Tina Turner Musical.
Off-Broadway shows right now include A Christmas Carol with Patrick Stewart, The Crucible at the Connelly Theater in the East Village, and Harry Townsend’s Last Stand at the New York Center Stage II.
These cities are perfect whether you love musical-style theater entertainment or you want to enjoy something in a smaller more intimate venue, so consider them when you’re planning your next getaway.