When it comes to entertainment, your choices run the gamut from the Lyric Opera and Chicago Symphony to at least 140 professional theaters, including the 1920's Chicago Theater, a Historic Landmark that now hosts a variety of performances. The Loop Theater District encompasses a range of venues, including the Goodman, Cadillac Palace, Ford Center for the Performing Arts and the LaSalle Bank theaters, plus the Auditorium Theater of Roosevelt University, all of which bring big-name shows to town.


Our Picks

Chicago Shakespeare Theater On Navy Pier

Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST) is one of the fastest-growing producing and presenting theater institutions in America today. The theater is grounded in a dedication to quality, clarity and integrity, which are the hallmarks of every CST production, from Shakespeare to Sondheim.

 (Photo Credit - Ron Solomon)


Chicago Symphony Center/Orchestra Hall

Rich in tradition. Innovative in vision. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) is a musical force in Chicago and around the world. Built in 1904, Symphony Center was designed by famed architect Daniel Burnham, then a trustee of the CSO.
The Grammy award winning ensemble holds more than 150 performances and events a year. The CSO is made up of 107 professional musicians, including two internationally renowned conductors and two award-winning composers-in-residence.



Drury Lane Oakbrook

This 971-seat, proscenium style live theater features a wide array of entertainment including Comedies, Musicals, Dinner Theater Shows, and Hollywood Personalities. There is also 40,000 square feet of trade show space available on site.


Lookingglass Theatre Company

The Lookingglass combines a physical and improvisational rehearsal process centered on an ensemble with training in theatre, dance, music and the circus arts. They seek to redefine the limits of theatrical experience and to make theatre exhilarating, inspirational, and accessible to all.

Suggested Pre-Theater Dining Spots:

  • Atwood Café - 1 W. Washington Street
  • The Grill Room - 33 W. Wacker Drive
  • Italian Village - 71 W. Monroe
  • McCormick & Schmick's - 41 E. Wacker Drive


Concord Music Hall

Concord Music Hall as the newest addition to Chicago’s Historic Music Culture! Conveniently located between the storied neighborhoods of Wicker Park and Logan Square, this new, scalable live venue will host a diverse range of musical acts. The room’s capacity varies from 700 to 1600. A venue of this size will fill a void in the already thriving artistic community by housing larger and varied nationally touring bands, DJs, and more in a fun and safe environment for fans, artists, and members of the community alike.

First Folio Theatre

First Folio Theatre is in its 13th season of bringing high-quality performances of Shakespeare and other classics to the Chicagoland suburbs. During that time, the theater has grown from an annual summer show to a year-round operation with three separate and distinct stages. As a professional, not-for-profit organization, First Folio relies upon the support and donations of friends and businesses to continue its efforts and build upon its success

Riverfront Theater

The Riverfront Theater, Chicago’s newest destination for music, theater, dance, spectacles and more. Now in its second year, the 70-foot tall, 20,000 square foot temperature-controlled tent is the cornerstone of a 80,000 square-foot entertainment complex that includes dining and refreshment options located on the scenic Chicago River and easily accessible by public transportation.

Tympanic Theatre Company

The Tympanic Theatre Company is dedicated to producing new and developed work with fantastical, frightening, or absurd subject matter that provokes, inspires, and entertains. Through our use of vibrant storytelling, dynamic language, and colorful characters, we invite our audience to plunge headfirst with us into theatrical worlds that are fresh, energetic, and visceral.

A Red Orchid Theatre

Founded by a group of theatre artists in 1993. Since its founding, the theatre has received extensive critical acclaim from local and national press. The theatre has grown in size from a few dedicated individuals to twelve highly accomplished and highly skilled ensemble members who boast impressive credits throughout the Chicago theatre community.

Admiral Theatre

The Admiral Theatre in Chicago, Illinois opened in 1927 as a Vaudeville House. it was designed by Gallup and Joy.
The Admiral closed sometime in the late 1950s, and remained shuttered for many years until opening in 1969 as an all-cartoon venue. Unable to draw the crowds necessary to remain open, the Admiral closed again. In the early 1970s, the Admiral was opened as an Adult Movie House. After receiving a facelift in the 1980s, the Admiral continues to thrive as an Adult Entertainment Venue and Gentlemen’s Club.

American Theater Company

American Theater Company (ATC) was founded in July of 1985 as American Blues Theatre when playwright Rick Cleveland, director William Payne, actor Ed Blatchford, and designer Jim Leaming founded a theater dedicated to exploring, nurturing, and developing theater that addressed and affected the real working-class people of Chicago. From 1986 to 1993, American Blues Theatre produced such critically acclaimed productions as Eugene O'Neill's The Hairy Ape; Rick Cleveland's Bad Moon; and Monsters and Monsters II, collections of commissioned monologues by Chicago playwrights including Doug Post, Dwight Okita, David Mamet, and Paula Killen.

Apollo Theater

The Apollo Theater (no relation to New York City's Apollo Theatre) located in the heart of Chicago's fashionable Lincoln Park neighborhood, has built a prestigious reputation. Built in 1978 by theatre producers Jason Brett and Stuart Oken and twice renovated, the Apollo boasts a dramatic glass and concrete design conceived by Chicagoan Michael Lustig. With a three-quarter thrust stage, the theatre includes 440 plush seats configured in just eleven rows, allowing audiences a theatrical experience unparalleled in intimacy and accessibility.


Athenaeum Theatre

The Athenaeum opened in 1911 and was constructed by St. Alphonsus Church as a recreational center serving the mostly German community. The building featured a 1000 seat theatre for German Operetta, A gymnasium, bowling alleys, music and meeting rooms. Over the years, meeting rooms gave way to classrooms and the theatre became a temporary church in the early 1950's after a devastating fire damaged the church. Today, under the direction of SCT Productions, the Athenaeum is once again fulfilling it's original purpose. Offices and studio Theatres now occupy former meeting room space and the 1000 seat theatre has been updated.

Bailiwick Repertory Theatre

This theater produces diverse works, ranging from classics to cutting edge, and demonstrates fiscal responsibility while remaining affordable, accessible, and responsive to the community.

Baton Show Lounge

The Nationally Renowned Baton Show Lounge, a premiere showcase for the art of female impersonation, has been in business since 1968. The Show Lounge received notoriety from many appearances of its owner, Jim Flint, and its performers on Phil Donohue, Oprah, E! Entertainment Network and many other television shows.

Beverly Arts Center

Located in Chicago's historic Beverly/Morgan Park neighborhood, the Beverly Arts Center is a multidiscipline, multicultural center offering fine arts education, programming and entertainment for all ages. The BAC has classes in art, music, dance, and theater; rotating exhibitions of art by established and emerging artists; and one of the most dynamic performing arts programs in the city.


Biograph Theater

This Lincoln Park neighborhood landmark is probably best known by Chicagoans as the place where John Dillinger was shot and killed in 1934 after attending a screening of "Manhattan Melodrama" starring Clark Gable (allegedly the ghost of Dillinger has haunted the theater ever since).
During the 70s, the balcony was converted into two small additional screens. The original decor mostly lost, the historic Biograph continued to show movies until 2001.

Black Ensemble Theater

The mission of the Black Ensemble Theater is to eradicate racism and its damaging effects upon our society through the utilization of theater arts. BE is the only theater in the nation whose mission is to eradicate racism. Other organizations work to diversify audiences, but none utilize theater to bring races together in a community which embraces similarities and fosters dialogue, understanding and acceptance.

Briar Street Theatre

Since the autumn of 1997, the Briar Street Theatre has been transformed by its resident performance artist ensemble BLUE MAN GROUP. The proscenium theater, with 625 seats and a 52-seat balcony, has become their home for the near future. The building, built 100 years ago as a carriage house, was converted to a theater in the 1980s. The original second floor actually hangs from the ceiling by means of massive turnbuckles that can still be seen. The Blue Man Group performance is a one of kind multimedia feast of sight, sound, music and comedy.

Broadway Playhouse

Broadway Playhouse - Water Tower Place is a 549-seat theatre equipped with state-of-the-art features. Come and enjoy Broadway musicals and other live performances here. The venue also organizes dinner theatre packages at the Mity Nice Grill, a stone's throw away. Numerous other eateries and shops are also located close-by. Discounted parking facilities are offered. (Photo Credit Joan Marcus)

Center for Performing Arts/Governors State University

The mission of The Center for Performing Arts is simply to present the finest in world class performing arts entertainment and education to the citizens of Chicago Southland at affordable prices.
In addition to being the premier performing arts presenters in Chicago Southland, The Center for Performing Arts offers an extensive Arts in Education program for area schools.

Chicago Center For Performing Arts

The Chicago Center for the Performing Arts (CCPA) is a multi-venue entertainment complex in the city's burgeoning River West area. Boasting a 350-seat main stage and a 143 seat intimate Studio Theater, the CCPA plays host to original productions, classic plays and musicals, in addition to showcasing and educating performing artists.

Chicago Cultural Center - Theater

The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs Theater offers downtown audiences the best opportunity to experience Chicago’s innovative Off-Loop Theater Companies.
A night at one of DCA Theaters is an entertaining, exciting glimpse into the variety of Chicago’s vibrant theater scene.

Chicago Shakespeare Theater On Navy Pier

Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST) is one of the fastest-growing producing and presenting theater institutions in America today. The theater is grounded in a dedication to quality, clarity and integrity, which are the hallmarks of every CST production, from Shakespeare to Sondheim.

 (Photo Credit - Ron Solomon)

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