When we talk about live entertainment we usually focus on the artist, not the venue. We forget just how important a venue can be to both the performer and the audience. Bad acoustic can ruin any show while an eye-pleasing theatre can turn a mediocre performance into a memorable night.
There are several great venues in the United States that welcome concerts and Broadway shows. These world class performance halls are not exclusive to the country’s largest metropolitan areas. Below, Land of Punt looks at eight unique arenas from all parts the U.S. These venues range from renowned sports arenas to lesser known performing arts center. While they all vary in size and notoriety they do have one thing in common, they are all great places to see a live show.
Its full name is the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex but it’s often referred to as the BJCC. It’s located in Birmingham, Alabama and is comprised of various facilities including a 17,000-seat arena and a 3,000-seat concert hall. Since the BJCC Arena in Birmingham has such a wide array of facilities it annually welcomes diverse events such as rock concerts, WWE shows, Disney on Ice, circuses, and rodeos.
Sept. 21 – Brian Regan
Oct. 7 – Bonnie Raitt
Jan. 16 – Justin Bieber
There are two prominent venues named “Greek Theatre.” There’s a Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, at Griffith Park, and a Greek Theatre in Berkeley that’s owned and operated by UC Berkeley. The latter was built in 1903 and 80 years later found its way onto the National Register of Historic Places. The venue hosts music concerts, grad ceremonies, and The Berkeley Jazz Festival.
Sept. 6 – GOTYE
Sept. 21-22 – Wilco
Sept. 28 – Train
Staples Center is home to the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers of the NBA and the world champion Los Angeles Kings of the NHL. The venue also stages concerts by the world’s top rock and pop stars. Staples Center hosts more than 250 events a year (WWE, boxing, UFC) while escorting more than 4,000,000 ticket holders to their seats.
Aug. 16 & 17 – Jennifer Lopez & Enrique Iglesias
Oct. 10 & 11 – Madonna
Nov. 24 – Morrissey
The Wang Theatre is part of Boston’s famous Citi Performing Arts Center. It opened in 1925 and its lobby was used in the flick The Witches of Eastwick. Today, the gorgeous theatre hosts music concerts, dance recitals, operas, and films. It’s also the epicenter for Broadway shows in Boston.
Sept. 29 – Idina Menzel
Nov. 10 – The Australian Pink Floyd
Dec. 15 & 16 – Leonard Cohen
The Colonial Theatre is another venue belonging to Boston’s great Citi Performing Arts Center. It opened in 1900 for a production of Ben-Hur. Since that time it has raised its curtain for everything from musicals and plays to bound-for-Broadway shows and first-rate revivals. Legendary actors that have walked the Colonial’s boards include Barbra Streisand, Katharine Hepburn, and Jane Krakowski.
Sandler Center for the Performing Arts
Found in downtown Virginia Beach, the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts welcomes a variety of artists to its stage. The complex’s 1,300-seat performance hall boasts that every seat in the house is within 100 feet of the stage. When the venue isn’t hosting first-rate music concerts and musicals, it’s giving back to the community. Every Wednesday during the summer, beginning at 5pm, residents and tourists are treated to free music concerts at the Sandler Center.
Aug. 28 & 29 – The King And I
Oct. 9 – Celtic Thunder
Oct. 19 – Boys II Men
North Carolina Blumenthal Performing Arts Center
The North Carolina Blumenthal Performing Arts Center contains a number of venues including the Belk Theater, Booth Playhouse, and the Ovens Auditorium. Every year, the center, which is located in the city of Charlotte, generates tens of millions of dollars for the local economy. Theatre fans should know that the Blumenthal is the place to go for Broadway plays and musicals visiting Charlotte, NC.
Nov. 6 – 13 – Jekyll & Hyde
Feb. 12 – 17 (2013) – Les Miserables
March 13 – 31 (2013) – Wicked
David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts
If you want tickets to see a Broadway show in Tampa, FL then you want tickets to the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts. Located on a 9-acre parcel of land on the east bank of the Hillsborough River, the Straz Center is the second largest performing arts center in the American Southeast. Every year, the center hosts a variety of Broadway shows and grand opera.
Sept. 15 – Il Volo
Jan. 9-27 (2013) – Wicked
April 30 – May 5 (2013) – War Horse