Phoenix theaters can be found in good number in the Downtown District, and cultural enthusiasts can also find many good theaters in the surrounding cities. The Herberger Theater is just one of the renowned theaters in Downtown Phoenix, while nearby Scottsdale's Center for the Performing Arts gets a lot of attention for the quality touring acts that pass through. These are just two of the main Phoenix area theaters, and there are plenty more to choose from, including outdoor venues such as the Cricket Pavilion that take advantage of the excellent Arizona weather.
The Herberger Theater is the city's main live theater venue, and it can be found Downtown. Boasting two separate Broadway-style theaters, this venue is able to handle numerous events each year, including shows that are put on by the Arizona Theatre Company. This theater company, also puts on performances in Tucson for those who might be interested. Built in 1989, the Herberger Theater has been a major Phoenix area performing arts venue for some time now, with its annual performance of A Christmas Carol being particularly popular. It is worth noting that this wonderful theater hosts a Lunch Time Theater series during part of the year. The lunchtime shows last less than an hour, making them easy to include in a midday break.
The Orpheum Theater is one of the other top theaters in Phoenix, and it too can be found Downtown. The most elegant of the Phoenix theaters, the Orpheum dates back to the 1920s and is a major city landmark. In 1984, the city decided to upgrade the Orpheum Theater, as it was falling into disrepair, and more than $10 million was spent on the project. The Phoenix Opera calls the elegant theater home, and as far as the plays are presented by both local and touring companies. There are 1,364 seats in the relatively intimate Orpheum Theater, and most can be found on the orchestra level, while a few hundred are found in the balcony. If nothing is going on at the Orpheum while you're in town, two other excellent Phoenix theaters can be found close by. These theaters include the Phoenix Symphony Hall and the Dodge Theater, with the Orpheum Theater found about midway between the two.
The Phoenix Symphony Hall is undoubtedly the king of the Phoenix performance venues, and among other things, it hosts an impressive range of theatrical productions. Some of these productions are touring Broadway shows, and for music fans, the Symphony Hall is often the site for concerts. The Phoenix Symphony calls the Phoenix Symphony Hall home, as the name of the venue would imply, and it's also the home of the Arizona Opera Company and Ballet Arizona. As for the smaller Dodge Theater, the events are mostly big ticket comedy and music acts, with the occasional play, boxing match, or other kind of performance taking center stage from time to time.
Rounding out the Phoenix theaters that can be found in the Downtown District is the Celebrity Theatre. This is one of the more unique theaters in the area, as it boasts a revolving stage that can be used for certain shows. When the revolving stage is being employed, the seating capacity at the Celebrity Theatre goes up to 2,650. When the stage isn't revolving, some of the seats are often closed off, decreasing the seating capacity. Performances that are held at this Downtown theater are mostly music concerts. Some of these concerts feature big name acts, so checking the schedule can be a good idea. In fact, you might check the schedule of events at all of the major Downtown attractions when planning a Phoenix visit, including Chase Field, the US Airways Center, and museums such as the Arizona Science Center. There's always something going on somewhere around town when it comes to the Phoenix cultural calendar.
For fans of the performing arts, these Phoenix theaters and entertainment venues can more than satisfy the need for some cultural exposure. That being said, Phoenix visitors shouldn't limit themselves to the venues that can be found in town. Between the Scottsdale Center of the Arts, the Mesa Arts Center, and the Tempe Center of the Arts, for example, Phoenix visitors can enjoy any number of interesting events on the side, including children's theater productions. The Tempe Center of the Arts and the Scottsdale Desert Stages Theatre are known for the quality of their children's theater productions, making them some of the best area theaters for families.