Quality of Life

Performing Arts ,Theater & Music

The Avenue of the Arts, which runs down Broad Street, offers Broadway-caliber shows right here in Greater Philadelphia. Touring Broadway productions stop at the Merriam Theater, Forrest Theatre and The Academy of Music. Recent tours have included crowd-pleasers like Mamma Mia, Wicked and The Lion King. The enchanting Walnut Street Theater, just around the corner, is America's oldest theater. In its early years it hosted pre-Broadway tryouts. It has since been designated as a National Historic Landmark and operates now as a nonprofit regional theater with five productions each season.

The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts opened along Philadelphia's Avenue of the Arts in December 2001. This striking venue, along with its historic neighbor, The Academy of Music, hosts a multitude of local performing arts groups, including The Philadelphia Orchestra, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Ballet, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, American Theater Arts for Youth, PHILADANCO and Peter Nero and the Philly Pops. Shows are truly captivating. The Philadelphia Theatre Company opened the state-of-the-art Suzanne Roberts Theatre on the Avenue of the Arts in October 2007. This 365-seat facility will be the site of the company's tradition of works by contemporary American playwrights.

The Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on the University of Pennsylvania campus is a multidisciplinary venue that hosts musical, theatrical and dance performances among three theaters. Shows are refreshingly varied in style and culture; the National Symphony of Ireland, Fred Ho's Asian STOMP and Angelique Kidjo have all graced its stage recently.

Music lovers also can take in a concert at the Susquehanna Bank Center along Camden's Waterfront. The amphitheater is a year-round facility with both indoor and outdoor seating, giant video screens and a breathtaking view of the Philadelphia skyline and Ben Franklin Bridge. Here, rock stars and golden oldies alike keep concertgoers singing and swaying. The Mann Center for the Performing Arts is another outstanding music venue located in Philadelphia's Fairmount Park. During the summer, it hosts a variety of jazz, pop and rock musicians at its outdoor amphitheater.

The Electric Factory, Theatre of the Living Arts (TLA) and Tower Theater are smaller music venues in Greater Philadelphia, but shows there still attract big audiences. The Electric Factory and the TLA are both located in Center City and play to a wide variety of musical interests. The Tower Theater in Upper Darby, Delaware County, hosts all kinds of musical performers, as well as independent bands and stand-up comics. There's also the Keswick Theatre in Montgomery County, an entertainment venue known for its comfortable and intimate atmosphere.

If you're a musician looking to get your start or just a fan of live music in smaller venues, check out World Café Live in Philadelphia. This multilevel venue, which also houses the WXPN radio studio, provides a great place for both aspiring artists and music fans that enjoy live performances. There's not a bad seat in the house. If you want to see live music without all the hype, Greater Philadelphia has a wonderful network of small bars and cafes that feature both local musicians and larger acts. Catch a indy rock show at Johnny Brenda's in the Fishtown neighborhood of Philadelphia or visit The Point, a cozy café and BYOB in Bryn Mawr. With famous artists like Lisa Loeb and Michael Glabicki highlighting there, as well as up-and-coming musicians like Todd Martin, it's no wonder The Point was voted "The Best Place to See Live Music in America" by Esquire magazine.

 
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