Four theatres worth visting on vacation


It’s big, it’s bold, it’s one of the fanciest U.S. theatres, the Fox Theatre in Detroit. (Courtesy: Olympia Entertainment)

It’s probably the former theatre major in me, but Caitlyn and I love to see live performances whenever we’re on vacation. That can entail anything from the sensory overload of a touring Broadway musical to the discomfort of having a clown at a burlesque magic show making fun of you a foot away from your face (OK, we didn’t so much “love” the latter experience, but you can begin to see the breadth of our theatergoing).

Looking to catch a play, musical, concert or other performance? Here are four of my favorite venues.

The Indiana Repertory Theatre, Indianapolis: Even though the building is more than 80 years old, the Indiana Repertory Theatre, or “IRT,” looks as stunning as a 25-year-old. The theatre is home to two stages and a cabaret, including a main stage that seats 600, ensuring there’s not a bad seat in the house. Make sure to look at costumes and props from previous productions on display on the upper level of the Grand Lobby prior to the show and to bask in one of the prettiest buildings in downtown Indianapolis.

Lifeline Theatre, Chicago: Located on the far north side of Chicago, the Lifeline Theatre epitomizes “intimate,” with only 99 seats and, during the colder months, fleece blankets on the seats (it can get cold inside the building and the blankets are almost a necessity). The acting is superb for a small theatre and it’s conveniently located off the Red line at the Morse stop.

The Fox Theatre, Detroit: Believe it or not, MoTown is home to more than dilapidated, neglected buildings. In fact, one of the most magnificent and opulent theatres in the Midwest is located a stone’s throw from Comerica Park, where the Detroit Tigers play. The Fox Theatre, which, according to Wikipedia, opened as a movie house in 1928, now hosts big-name productions and performers. Everything about the Fox is grand: From the 10 stories to more than 5,000 seats, it was always an experience seeing a show there when I was a child.

Charles Playhouse II, Boston: There’s nothing flashy about the theatre itself, but I guarantee you’ll have a memorable experience. The only show the theatre has been home to since 1980 is Shear Madness, a murder mystery-comedy set in hair salon where questions asked by the audience reveal clues to the murderer … and the culprit can change every performance. The theatre has a proud history, playing host to up-and-coming stars like Al Pacino and premiers from legendary playwrights Tennessee Williams and Eugene O’Neil. The theatre is on the National Register of Historic Places. One of the funniest plays Caitlyn and I have ever seen.

Honorable mentions: Murat Theater at Old National Centre, Indianapolis; Ed Mirvish Theatre, Toronto


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