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.
Theater fans rejoice: Philadelphia may not be formally recognized, but if you really look, there are shows all around. From Fringe to Off–Broadway, here are some places to check out when you're hungry for a drama, comedy, or musical.
Walnut Street Theater
opened in February 1809 and it’s been putting on shows ever since. It claims to be the longest continuously operating theater in the country, and was even designated a National Historic Landmark in 1964. This season, shows include Legally Blonde: The Musical, and the stage adaptation of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night–Time. There are also two other suites of performances: smaller–name shows at the Independence Studio on 3, and kids’ shows like the upcoming production of GOOSEBUMPS: Phantom of the Auditorium.
Price Range: $25 and up. Subscription prices vary.
Address: 825 Walnut St.
The Arden Theatre
, located in Old City, is home to The Arden Theatre Company and has been putting on shows since 1988. Some of their productions for this season include A Doll’s House and Once and Charlotte’s Web. They host a variety of genres, from classical playwrights like Shakespeare to more contemporary writers like Bruce Graham and Michael Hollinger. In addition to hosting performances, The Arden Theater also offers theater classes for ages 2 through 18.
Price Range: $18–$52 for a one–time mainstage ticket
Address: 40 N 2nd St.
The houses venues like Verizon Hall, Perelman Theater, Academy of Music, Merriam Theater, and SEI Innovation Studio, in addition to the Philadelphia Orchestra, Pennsylvania Ballet, and Broadway in Philadelphia. If you become a KimmelSTIX member, you can purchase tickets for select performances for just $10—if that’s not cheap enough for you, there are also free, almost weekly events listed on their website, with shows that take place theaters across Philly. What’s more, at the start of each season, season tickets are available on their website—but act fast, they sell out quick! If you’re looking for a cheaper option that’s still available, check our their CYO Production Package, which offers access to three or more shows and tickets at a discounted price!
Price Range: Ticket prices by show
Address: 300 S Broad St.
hosts some of the 2018/2019 Broadway in Philadelphia series, namely Hamilton and Cats—the other productions are housed at the Academy of Music and the Merriam Theater. Bat Out of Hell will be at the theater from April 23–May 5, 2019. Cats will be performed from June 18–June 30, 2019, and Hamilton will be on show from Aug. 2–Nov. 17, 2019. This theater from the 1920s has put on hundreds of shows in a setting with beautiful architecture and a rich history. While the seats are a bit small, given its age, Forrest Theater is still a great spot to see musicals in a setting steeped in history.
Price Range: Ticket prices by show
Address: 1114 Walnut St.
Suzanne Roberts Theatre
Located on the Philadelphia's Avenue of the Arts, right down the street from the Kimmel Center, this theatre stands out with its adorable cursive neon sign. Seating only 365 people, is tiny compared to others, but it’s perfect if you like to watch shows in a more intimate setting. Home to the Philadelphia Theatre Company, this is the place to go for contemporary theatre in Philly. And if you contact them on their website, they offer discounted rates for student groups or groups of ten or more.
Price Range: $25–$59 plus a $6 purchase fee
Address: 480 S Broad St.
Lantern Theater Company
is an intimate theater venue, made possible by small crowds and small casts. From any seat in the house, you can see subtle facial expressions and understated gestures. Lantern has incredible range of shows, performing classics like Shakespeare alongside world premieres, like their upcoming musical Minors written by Philly native Kittson O'Neill and Broadway bigwig Robert Kaplowitz. Lantern Theater Company also has a theater education program for students of all ages and skills, so watching a play isn’t the only way to get involved here.
Price Range: $15–$40
Address: 923 Ludlow St.
Curio Theater Company
is dedicated to producing quality and accessible theater that embraces ensemble–based theatre–making. Permanently based at Calvary Center for Culture, Curio performs in a historic church at 48th Street and Baltimore Avenue. This ensures both an intimate experience for all theater–goers and a way for Curio Theater to show off their ingenuity as they make use of their unique venue through extensive sets. In keeping with their inclusive mission, Curio offers $1 preview tickets to those who buy through the Dollar Stroll, keeping Philadelphia entertained without breaking the bank.
Price Range: Dollar Stroll: $1 | Student: $20 | Adult: $30 | Senior: $25
Address: 4740 Baltimore Ave.
Run by the Philadelphia Film Society, Prince Theater hosts live performances and major Philadelphia film events, which means you can stop in for a ballet and finish the night with a action flick. If you're lucky, you might even catch a Q&A with the director or writer afterwards—Prince Theater is known to hosts film festivals throughout the year, including the Philadelphia Film Festival in October. Check their website for events (and free screenings!).
Price Range: Live Performance: $20–$50 | Film: $10
Address: 1412 Chestnut St.