This article is part of 34th Street's Philadelphia, Curated issue. Click here to see more of our favorite spots from all over the city.

Film and music not really your scene? Don't worry—there's still an impressive number of live shows available if you favor a different type of performance. From comedy to burlesque, there's no shortage of events to attend. Who knows? You might end up onstage yourself. 

The Victoria Freehouse

The Victoria Freehouse has a variety of weekly events, including Full Front Street Burlesque on Monday night, Quizzo and Open Mic on Wednesday night, Karaoke on Thursday, and a brunch on Saturday and Sunday. As an authentic British Pub, the Victoria Freehouse offers craft beer, cask ale, and late–night pub fare. Armed with an antique–style ceiling, unfurnished brick walls, and uncluttered decorations, the Victoria Freehouse is a relaxing and down–home place. Victoria Freehouse offers both a weekend brunch from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and a traditional Sunday roast from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Just a small bite of that Sticky Toffee Pudding will have you stopping in for every meal of the day. They have modern twists on British classics such as their wild mushroom shepherd pie, that you can enjoy while you watch some titillating performances.

Price Range: $8–$22

Address: 10 S Front St.

Hours: Mon–Thurs: 12 p.m.–12 a.m.

Fri–Sat: 12 p.m.–2 a.m.

Sun: 11 a.m.–12 a.m.

Ruba Club

Ruba has always been a unique venue in Philadelphia. With a history that’s more than 100 years old, the pub hosts a wide variety of private entertainment activities that include theater performances, dancing, weddings, ping–pong, and pool. There's a cabaret–speakeasy bar on the first floor and a vaudeville ballroom theater on the second floor, so you can pick whichever tickles your fancy. As a late night gathering spot, Ruba’s goal is to be the perfect spot for all kinds of people to relax their nerves after a long day. 

Price Range: $10–$18

Address: 416 Green St.

Hours: Thurs–Sun: 10 p.m.–3 a.m.

Mon–Wed: Closed

Helium Club

Photo provided by Helium Comedy Club

Helium ain't just a noble gas, but also a contemporary entertainment venue that hosts intimate comedy shows on a weekly basis. The entrance tickets are reasonably priced,  and shows usually run for about an hour and 40 minutes, with an opener, a feature, and a headliner with national entertainment credits. The venue offers high–quality live comedy and other performance art by world famous performers. Helium also offers a wide range of options for customers, including full room rentals, private shows, office parties, and many other bonding events. 

Price Range: $12–$30

Address: 2031 Sansom St.

Hours: Tues–Thurs: 6 p.m.–11 p.m.

Fri–Sat: 5:30 p.m.–12 a.m.

Sun: 6 p.m.–10 p.m.

The N Crowd

The N Crowd is famous for its short–form improv comedy on stage. They host performances every Friday at 7 p.m. at the Philly Improv Theater. Tickets are marked at a modest price, $12 in advance and $15 at the door. All performances are completely off–script, no show performed twice. The N Crowd also travels around Philly to host workshops for teams or communities to foster internal bonding and creativity. As the oldest Philadelphia improv comedy group, the N Crowd involves the audience in their performances, tailoring it to fit each crowd.

See showtimes

Price Range: $12–$15

Address: 2030 Sansom St.

Philly Improv Theater

Photo provided by Philly Improv Theater

The prolific Philly Improv Theater (PHIT) has a show every night of the week, 365 days a year, putting on over 1,000 shows annually. Located at The Adrienne Theater near Rittenhouse Square, PHIT is dedicated to growing Philly’s local comedy scene and teaches over 1,000 adults and children in improv, sketch comedy, and stand–up. The performers who have graced their stages have gone on to work on acclaimed comedy shows such as Saturday Night Live, The Tonight Show, and 30 Rock.

Price Range: $10 – $20

Address: 2030 Sansom St.

Hours: Mon–Wed: 7 p.m.–11 p.m.

Thurs–Sat: 6:30 p.m.–12 p.m.

Sun: 6:30 p.m.–10 p.m.

Green Haus

This eco–lounge in West Philly is every music–loving botanist’s dream. Green Haus offers acoustic shows, workshops, meetings, expos and more in an intimate venue filled with luscious green plants. Green Haus prides itself on sustainability and works with local organizations to run environmental initiatives in and out of the lounge.

See showtimes

Price Range: $5–$15

Address: 3816 Lancaster Ave.

Bob and Barbara's

Photo provided by Bob & Barbara's

You can't call yourself a Philadelphian if you haven't this historic South Street lounge and watched a performance by Miss Lisa Lisa, the host of the longest running drag queen show in Philadelphia. The iconic show is held every Thursday night at 10:15 p.m. for just an $8 cover. Make sure to order “The Special” while you’re at it: it’s Bob and Barbara’s specialty drink, consisting of a can of PBR and a shot of Jim Bean bourbon. What more could you ask for?

Price Range: Cover: $8 | Drink: $4 

Address: 1509 South St.

Hours: Sun–Sat: 3 p.m.–2 a.m.

Urban Art Gallery

Photo provided by the Urban Arts Gallery

The Urban Art Gallery prides itself on bridging the gap between art and the urban community of Philadelphia. All of the programming at UAG is free, from the youth painting classes to the rotating art exhibits. Whether you’ve been dying to attend a new open mic night in the city or want to throw a private painting party for you and your 20–24 closest friends (their painting classes are BYO), this gallery will bring out the inner creativity you thought you lost in fourth grade. 

Price Range: Free

Address: 262 S 52nd St.

Hours: Wed, Fri: 5 p.m.–8 p.m.

​Sat: 12 p.m.–5 p.m.

Mon, Tues, Thurs & Sun: Closed

Haute Restaurant and Lounge

Located next door to the famous Academy of Music, Haute Restaurant and Lounge is the more sophisticated alternative to your average night downtown. A restaurant by day, Haute converts itself into a lounge in the evening with top–quality band and spoken word performances. Rhythm and Grooves, the lounge’s free event on every first and third Tuesday of the month, features underground soul house music that is not to be missed, while Soulful Wednesdays provides a unique combination of music and poetry for only a $5 admission fee. 

Price Range: $0–$15 ($10 parking fee)

Address: 1420 Locust St. 

Hours: Mon–Wed: 4 p.m.–10 p.m.

Thurs: 4 p.m.–12 a.m.

Fri–Sat: 4 p.m.–2 a.m.

Sun: 11 a.m.–10 p.m.


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