Music & Theater
in Chicago, IL
(showing 1 - 14 out of 14)
If you’re looking for a fun alternative to the same old movie theater outing – whether with friends or family – take a look at our music & theater options. This area is full of exciting things to do, including theatrical productions and musicals.
Check out our venues below and add some magic to your days. Each listing includes a more detailed description of the venue and the events they host, as well as their name, address, phone number, website, and driving directions.
2540 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60614 Directions
Get an intimate view of live theater at the Apollo Theater. The famous theater attraction offers two stages and performances of classic and contemporary plays. The Apollo is also home to the largest children's theater company in Chicago, so forget about a babysitter and take the kids out for some fun.
The Apollo Theater is located in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood. The 440-seat theater was built in 1978 and offers an intimate setting to see some of the city's best live theater up close.
The Apollo has hosted performances like "Sexual Perversity in Chicago" starring Jim Belushi, and "Balm in Gilead" with Jon Malkovich and Gary Sinise; along with other long-running plays like "The Vagina Monologues," "A Nutcracker Christmas," "Waiting for Lefty," "Banjo Dancing," and "Steel Magnolias."
The theater is home to Chicago's largest children's theater company, the Emerald City Theatre Company, drawing nearly 50,000 people to their shows annually. The company is in their seventh season at the Apollo and was named "Chicago's most innovative theater for families" by the Chicago Sun-Times.
In 2005 a smaller stage was added to the theater. The Apollo Studio is a 50-seat venue used mostly for comedy, sketch, upstart theater companies and improv.
Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University
50 E Congress Pkwy
Chicago, IL 60605 Directions
See a performance at the historic Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University. The entertainment venue is a National Historic Landmark and is over 100 years old. In its long life, the theater has been utilized for many things and has greeted performers like the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Chicago Civic Opera. Rock n roll legends like Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Pink Floyd, Bob Marley, and Eric Clapton have also graced the stage.
The Auditorium Theatre is located on Chicago's East Congress Parkway and is part of Roosevelt University and the historic Auditorium Building. Now a National Historic Landmark and a Chicago Landmark, the venue was built in 1889 in hopes of contending with the acclaimed venues of the time like New York City's Metropolitan Opera House. It was the first building in the city to have central air conditioning and the first to be entirely lit by incandescent light bulbs.
For years the theater served as the home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Chicago Civic Opera. Due to the Great Depression the theater had closed for a short time until 1941 when it became a World War II servicemen's center. After the end of the war, the building was adopted by the Roosevelt University and by 1952 it had become part of the Congress Parkway renovations. The Auditorium Theatre reopened in 1967 and became the premier venue to see rock stars like Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Pink Floyd, Bob Marley, The Who, Queen, Eric Clapton, The Doors, Elton John, Grateful Dead, Fleetwood Mac, David Bowie, The Beach Boys, Bruce Springsteen, Prince, and many others. The venue is an important piece of Chicago's history.
Buddy Guy's Legends
700 S Wabash Ave
Chicago, IL 60605 Directions
A legendary blues musician owning a legendary blues bar - it makes perfect sense. Check out a Chicago treasure at Buddy Guy's Legends. The entertainment venue is one of the premier blues venues in the country, whose stage has seen performances by Van Morrison, Bo Diddley, The Rolling Stones, Lou Rawls, ZZ Top, John Mayer, Stevie Ray Vaughan and many more.
Chicago Children's Theatre
1464 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60622 Directions
Take the family to see a play at the Chicago Children's Theatre. Watch fairy-tale favorites and children's stories come to life on the stage. Productions have included A Year with Frog and Toad and If All the World Were Paper.
Chicago Cultural Center
78 E Washington St
Chicago, IL 60602 Directions
Take advantage of a free event hosted by the Chicago Cultural Center. The Chicago landmark hosts free shows, lectures, films and art exhibits daily. While you're there, spend some time touring the building and all its unique facets.
The Chicago Cultural Center is located in the Loop area across Michigan Avenue. The center opened in 1893 and is the nation's first free municipal cultural center. The center offers more than 1,000 programs and exhibitions annually, covering performing, visual and literary arts. Crain's Chicago Business reported in 2007 that the Chicago Cultural Center was the fifth most-visited cultural attraction in the city, with approximately 821,000 guests.
Tours of the Chicago Cultural Center building are available. The building is a Chicago Landmark and features the world's largest Tiffany stained-glass dome, beautiful and ornate mosaics, marble and molding throughout, and coffered ceilings.
Chicago Shakespeare Theater
800 E Grand Ave
Chicago, IL 60611 Directions
"O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?" Hear this line and other Shakespeare favorites at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater. The theater is located on Navy Pier and hosts performances of Shakespearean classics like "Romeo & Juliet," "As You Like It," "The Taming of the Shrew," "Macbeth," and "A Midsummer Night's Dream."
The Chicago Shakespeare Theater was founded in 1986 by its current artistic director, Barbara Gaines. After years of performing on the rooftop of the Red Lion Pub, the theater is now located at Navy Pier in Chicago. The professional theater company is the third largest in the Midwest and produces works from the Shakespeare canon as well as other theatrical performances. The company hosts over six hundred performances annually at the Courtyard Theater and the Upstairs space. Accolades include: 36 Joseph Jefferson Awards, three Laurence Olivier Awards and a Regional Theatre Tony Award.
The critically acclaimed, four-star theater is committed to bringing fresh interpretations while remaining true to the essence of Shakespeare's 38-play canon. The theater's family series brings the wonder of Shakespeare in an abridged version to engage the interest of younger audiences. And special student pricing encourages college students and young adults to find today's relevancy in the Bard's works, which were written nearly 500 years ago.
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
220 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60604 Directions
Expose your ears to the sounds of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The Grammy Award-winning company is considered to be one of the top five symphony orchestras in the country and presents over 150 musical performances annually.
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1891, making it one of the oldest orchestras in the United States. The company performs at Orchestra Hall in Chicago and is part of Time Magazine's "Big Five" list. The Big Five are the top five most accomplished orchestra ensembles. Along with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Big Five include the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra and the Cleveland Orchestra.
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra has been awarded over 60 Grammy Awards in the categories of: Best Classical Album, Best Orchestral Performance, Best Choral Performance, Best Instrumental Soloist with Orchestra, Best Classical Vocal Performance, Best Opera Recording, Best Classical Contemporary Composition, and Best Engineered Classical Album.
175 N State St
Chicago, IL 60601 Directions
Catch a show or concert at the Chicago Theatre. The theater offers modern-day entertainment in an environment found only in the history pages. The restored movie palace is a true Chicago landmark - its marquee is considered an unofficial city emblem.
The Chicago Theatre is located in the Loop area of Chicago on North State Street. The theater operated as a movie palace when it opened in 1921. At the time of its opening, the Chicago Theatre was referred to as "the Wonder Theatre of the World."
The seven-story, 3,600-seat movie palace was designed and built to emanate luxury. The French Baroque-styled theater boasts crystal chandeliers and decadent art work throughout. Features of the building are influenced by the Royal Chapel at Versailles, l'Arc de Triomphe, and the Paris Opera House. The famous marquee is known as the city's "unofficial emblem" and has appeared in artwork, photographs, television and movies - its neon font was used as the title of the 2002 film, "Chicago," starring Richard Gere and Catherine Zeta Jones.
The present-day Chicago Theatre serves as a performing arts venue that hosts stage plays, magic shows, speeches, stand-up comedians, and concerts. The marquee has shined the names of performers like the Allman Brothers Band, Aretha Franklin, Frank Sinatra, Sting, Lyle Lovett, Robin Williams, Dolly Parton, Coldplay, Jerry Seinfeld, Bob Dylan, Prince, Diana Ross, Harry Connick, Jr., Alicia Keys, David Letterman, Oasis, Drake, Margaret Cho, Kanye West, and many others.
2548 N Halsted St
Chicago, IL 60614 Directions
Blues lovers and music enthusiasts alike - visit Chicago's best jazz and blues bar, Kingston Mines. The club is one of the area's oldest and offers an intimate setting for live music. Feel free to come with an appetite. The in-house restaurant Doc's Rib Joint serves up barbecue, chicken, ribs and more.
Kingston Mines is a jazz and blues theater that has presented Chicago with the best acts in the genre since 1968. The venue boasts an intimate atmosphere and some of the best music in the city - Chicago Music Awards has named it Chicago's best blues club for 13 years straight.
The area's oldest blues club presents live, authentic jazz and blues music on two stages. The venue serves beer buckets, wine, drinks and food. The in-house restaurant Doc's Rib Joint serves up barbecue, chicken, burgers, seafood and of course ribs, among other tasty entrees, sides and appetizers.
Kingston Mines began as a coffeehouse in 1968, but quickly began hosting traditional blues acts soon after. The club is credited with bringing the Blues to the north side of Chicago and the Lincoln Park area.
Kingston Mines has hosted some of the biggest names in blues, including: Big Walter Horton, Darrel "Cadillac" Calahan, Little Smokey Smothers, Calvin Johnson, Taj Mahal and Johnny Cotton.
10 Marriott Dr
Lincolnshire, IL 60069 Directions
Join the seven million people who have been thrilled by a performance at the Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire. The award-winning entertainment venue hosts productions of Broadway musicals, including favorites like "Cats," "Beauty and the Beast," "Fiddler on the Roof," "Les Miserables," and "Hairspray."
The Marriott Theatre is located in the Chicago suburb of Lincolnshire. The musical theater was founded in 1975 and has since presented over 135 productions to an estimated 7 million people.
Productions have included Broadway favorites like "A Chorus Line," "Miss Saigon," "Cats," "Sunset Boulevard," "Beauty and the Beast," "Fiddler on the Roof," "Grease," "The Producers," "Les Miserables," "The Full Monty," "Footloose," "Hairspray," "My Fair Lady" and many more.
Original plays and re-imaginings of Broadway favorites have been created through the National Alliance for Musical Theatre. The program was founded in part by the Marriott Theatre and has presented newer works like "Matador," "Annie Warbucks," "History Loves Company" and "Peggy Sue Got Married," among others.
Another program created by the theater is the Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences. The program brings original works and fairy tales to life for the enjoyment of a younger audience, broadening outreach in hopes of a positive impact through live theater.
The theater has received much national and international acclaim throughout its last 30 years and been awarded over 370 Joseph Jefferson Award nominations. The Joseph Jefferson Award is the city's highest theatrical honor.
Steppenwolf Theatre Company
1650 N Halsted St
Chicago, IL 60614 Directions
Watch live theater entertainment at the Tony Award-winning Steppenwolf Theatre Company. The theater company was founded in the early 1980s by Gary Sinise, Terry Kinney and Jeff Perry and has since produced performances of "Grease," "The Glass Menagerie," "Orphans," "The Grapes of Wrath," and many others.
The Steppenwolf Theatre Company is located in Chicago. The theater was founded in 1974 by Gary Sinise, Terry Kinney and Jeff Perry. The first performances were in the basement of a church in Highland Park, but after a few moves, the theater found a permanent home in 1991 on Halsted Street.
The theater has hosted productions of plays like "Grease," "The Glass Menagerie," "True West," "Picasso at the Lapin Agile," "Orphans," "The Grapes of Wrath," "Orson's Shadow," "August: Osage County," and others. Performances have garnered respected theater awards like the Tony Award for Regional Theatre Excellence and the National Medal of Arts. The apprenticeship program at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company was named one of the Top 10 Internships in America by career website Vault.com.
525 S Racine Ave
Chicago, IL 60607 Directions
Get tickets to an event at the multi-purpose UIC Pavilion. Whether you want to see a UIC Flames game, a mixed martial arts fight, boxing match, roller derby, wrestling match, a circus, concert or any other show, the UIC Pavilion is sure to have an event on its entertainment calendar for you
The UIC Pavilion is a multi-purpose arena located on Chicago's West Side. The venue opened in 1982 and is the home of the University of Illinois at Chicago Flames basketball team and the Windy City Rollers. The arena can seat up to 10,075 for concerts and other events like mixed martial arts fights, boxing matches, roller derbies, wrestling matches, tennis matches, graduation ceremonies, and circuses.
The stage at the UIC Pavilion has hosted performances by acts like Coldplay, Maroon 5, Stone Temple Pilots, 50 Cent, The Killers, Depeche Mode, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bon Jovi, Beastie Boys, Black Sabbath, The Temptations, Tenacious D, Panic! At the Disco, Fall Out Boy, Oasis, Green Day, Beck, Def Leppard, Pantera, Nine Inch Nails, and many more.
iO Chicago Theater
1501 N Kingsbury St
Chicago, IL 60642 Directions
Experience some of the best in improvisational comedy at the iO Theater Chicago. Since opening in 1981, the entertainment venue has featured favorite comedy stars like Andy Dick, Bill Hader, Mike Myers, and Vince Vaughn in its shows.
The iO Chicago Theater was founded as the "Improv Olympic" in Chicago in 1981. The theater hosts performances of The Harold long form improvisational comedy, traditional theater and limited run shows on two stages: the "Cabaret" and the "Del Close Theater." There are about 25 Harold teams at the iO that alternate starring in productions. Performances take place most every night of the week.
The iO company opened another improv theater in Los Angeles in 2000. The iO West hosts various stand-up, sketch, and improv shows nightly. In 2005, the iO Chicago Theater celebrated its 25th anniversary. In its short history, the iO Chicago and iO West have helped propel the careers of some of Hollywood's biggest talents. Stephen Colbert, Rachel Dratch, Andy Dick, Chris Farley, Tina Fey, Bill Hader, Adam McKay, Tim Meadows, Seth Meyers, Mike Myers, Amy Poehler, Eric Stonestreet, Jason Sudeikis and Vince Vaughn have all taken part in iO theater productions.
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