Whether it is a play or a musical, there is nothing better than catching a good theatre show. From top-class acting to awesome sets and stunning sounds, it can really blow you away when done right. Luckily, the whole theatre scene in America is in fine health at the moment with many awesome productions around the country to catch. From Dear Evan Hansen to The Book of Mormon, you will have no trouble in finding something to make you smile.
Of course, this all rests on theatre lovers in America knowing where these sorts of top-notch productions can be seen. This is especially true if where you live does not have a thriving theatre scene. Being able to find out more about the American theatre scene is key to making the most of it.
But which are the best places in the US for taking in a show or hearing some rousing tunes?
The pinnacle of the American theatre scene for many is Broadway in New York. This is home to a dazzling array of productions each year, and you will be sure to find something you love when you travel here. From dark plays to cheery musicals or more contemporary pieces, Broadway is home to it all. If you head off Broadway a little, you can still see the artsy, smaller plays that drive the whole scene along. Of course, for the bigger, star-driven blockbusters, it is Broadway itself that you should visit. Many of the top shows here go on to glory at the Tony Awards, which is further evidence of the quality of productions on offer here.
Oregon Shakespeare Festival
One of the true greats of theatre is William Shakespeare. His vast legacy of tragedies, comedies and histories is rightfully celebrated across the world and in the US too. This makes the Shakespeare Festival in Oregon a real gem for theatre lovers in the US. If you want a real clue as to how revered this festival is, American theatre legend Louise Gund is involved with it. Already well-known for her many successful theatre productions across the country, Gund is on the board of the festival to help it thrive. Key to the success of the festival also is the open-air theatre that is used to stage the productions. From March to October each year, up to 11 plays are offered on rotation for six days per week! This makes it a real must-see place for theatre lovers.
The arts and culture scene in Chicago is extremely vibrant – this makes it a great stop for any theatre buff traveling in America. You can catch anything here from new works by local writers to versions of classic Broadway musicals or improv comedy shows. From the Black Ensemble Theater to the Steppenwolf Theatre, the sheer range of places to visit here is what makes it so special. If totally new works is your thing, then the beautiful Lookingglass Theatre Company should be top of your list. Not only does it offer the freshest shows to see, but it is also set in a stunning building. With great places to stay and eat in after the show, visiting the Windy City should definitely be on your agenda.
When you think of touring around America as a theatre lover, you may not think of LA at first. This would be a mistake, however, as it is home to a great theatre scene. Places such as the Ahmanson Theatre with its 2,000 seats or the more intimate Mark Taper Forum are impressive theatres to revel in. You get all the top shows here from Wicked to Jersey Boys and some really big stars in them. Of course, a trip to the theatre scene here also means that you can check out other fabulous LA attractions such as Hollywood and Rodeo Drive! In truth, all of California is something of a mecca for theatre and arts lovers. The nearby city of Berkeley also has some impressive theatres and shows to take in.
You may not know this, but Philly is home to the oldest playhouse in America, the Walnut Street Theatre. This has been operating non-stop for over 200 years, which really does make it worth visiting at least once for any theatre lover. The city is also home to non-profit companies such as the Arden that put on fantastic work across the whole year. When you also add in the Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe, which showcase fresh new work to theatre lovers, it makes it one cool place to stop off.
Theatre in America is booming
With all the global attention that Hollywood gets, it can be easy to forget how vibrant theatre is in the US. The great news for theatre buffs in America though is that there are lots of great places to visit and take in new productions or classic shows. Hopefully, the above has given you a few ideas to get started.