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Performing Arts in Philadelphia

January 24, 2023

Considered to be one of the top show-stopping theater cities in the U.S. with the oldest theater in America built in 1809, Philadelphia continues to entertain audiences centuries later with magical musicals, spectacular shows and outstanding orchestras and operas.

Here’s a guide to performing arts organizations and onstage shows throughout the city.

Arden Theatre Company

Neighborhood: Old City
Address: 40 N 2nd St.

the outside of a theater on a corner of a city street. A large signs that read Arden is above the entrance. A street sign reading Filbert Street is off to the right.

Photo courtesy of Arden Theatre Company.

About Arden Theatre Company

Since 1988, Arden Theatre Company, a professional theatre in Old City, brings to life great stories by great storytellers. Productions include classics, new works, musicals and children’s theatre.

Highlights

Arden Theatre Company is celebrating its 35th Anniversary during its 2022-2023 season. Productions in early 2023 include Clyde’s (January 26 – March 12, 2023) and August Wilson’s Radio Golf (March 16 – April 16, 2023). The season rounds out with performances of Violet (May 25 – June 25, 2023).

For more information about Arden Theatre Company and its current season, click here.

Opera Philadelphia

A scene from Seattle Opera’s 2019 staging of Lindy Hume’s production of Verdi’s Rigoletto, coming to Opera Philadelphia April 29-May 8 at the Academy of Music.
Opera Philadelphia returned to the Academy of Music stage in spring 2022 for the first time since September 2019 with four performances of Verdi’s unforgettable tragedy Rigoletto, which had not been performed by Opera Philadelphia in 15 years. Photo by S. Martini.

About Opera Philadelphia

Philadelphia’s opera company has been hailed by the New York Times as “one of the most creative and ambitious companies” in the U.S., by Opera News as establishing itself as “a model for innovation in the classical-music industry,” and by The New Yorker as “the most vital alternative to the Met on the East Coast.” Opera Philadelphia mixes traditional and new repertoire that engages the public – taking opera out of the opera house and onto the streets, into parks and museums and other interesting venues throughout the city. The season opens each September with a Festival, featuring world and company premieres, partnering with the Philadelphia Fringe Festival. In 2020, the opera company launched the Opera Philadelphia Channel, allowing fans to stream performances from home.

Highlights

Opera Philadelphia’s 2022-2023 season launched in September 2022. In February 2023, Opera Philadelphia Chorus and Orchestra will take center stage for a rarely-performed masterpiece, Carmina Burana + Credo (February 3 & 5, 2023). Then in the spring of 2023, a new production of La bohème (April 28 & 30 and May 5 & 7, 2023) will serve as a reminder that opera is a living, breathing art form.

Opera Philadelphia’s untraditional 2021-2022 season included performances that fans could enjoy from the comfort of their homes by streaming new works created for the Opera Philadelphia Channel, including performances that celebrate Philadelphia’s historic pipe organs, an art film of Francis Poulenc’s La voix humaine and the cinematic adaptation of Henze’s El Cimarrón, and more.

To learn more about the season’s digital offerings, click here.

Penn Live Arts (formerly Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts)

Neighborhood: University City
Address: 3680 Walnut St.

Audience at the Zellerbach Theatre at the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts (Penn Live Arts). Photo by M. Garvin.

About Penn Live Arts

Founded in 1971, the Annenberg Center — now Penn Live Arts — is one of the nation’s foremost urban performing arts centers on the University of Pennsylvania campus and serves as a cultural destination in Philadelphia, offering a broad range of programs in theatre, music and dance. Rebranded as Penn Live Arts in 2021, the performing arts presenter seeks to continue the Annenberg Center’s 50-year history of being a multidisciplinary performing arts leader in Philadelphia while also deepening the connection with the University of Pennsylvania and upholding a commitment to presenting innovative national and international artists both inside the Center’s walls and beyond.

Highlights

Continuing its multi-year 50th anniversary celebration, Penn Live Arts’ 2022-2023 season includes major residencies with the Negro Ensemble Company and Rennie Harris Puremovement. Shows and performances throughout the season include Paul Taylor Dance Company (April 21-22, 2023). The 2022-2023 season wraps up with Sw!ng Out (June 9-10, 2023), a high-energy show featuring swing dance and tap.

To learn more about Penn Live Arts’ 2022-2023 season, click here.

PHILADANCO! The Philadelphia Dance Company

About PHILADANCO! The Philadelphia Dance Company

Celebrated around the world for its innovation, creativity, and preservation of predominantly African American traditions in dance, PHILADANCO! The Philadelphia Dance Company is known for breaking barriers and building bridges across cultural divides. Founded in 1970, the West Philadelphia-based non-profit organization provides one of the most successful dance training programs in the nation, along with captivating performances at the Kimmel Center.

Highlights

PHILADANCO! returns to the Kimmel Cultural Campus Perelman Theater stage in spring 2023 for Moving… Beyond Forward (April 21-23, 2023).

For a full list of PHILADANCO! The Philadelphia Dance Company’s upcoming performances, click here.

Philadelphia Ballet

The Nutcracker 2018 Pennsylvania Ballet now Philadelphia Ballet
George Balanchine's The Nutcracker. Photo by A. Iziliaev.

About Philadelphia Ballet

Philadelphia Ballet (formerly Pennsylvania Ballet) was started in 1963 by George Balanchine protégée Barbara Weisberger and is considered one of America’s leading ballet companies, performing at the Academy of Music, the oldest opera house in the United States.

Highlights

Philadelphia Ballet’s 2022-2023 season will feature performances, including  New Works (February 3-11, 2023), The Sleeping Beauty (March 2-12, 2023), Balanchine (March 16-19, 2023), and Coppélia (May 11-14, 2023).

Philadelphia Theatre Company

Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Theatre Company.

About Philadelphia Theatre Company

Founded in 1974, Philadelphia Theatre Company has presented over 150 world and Philadelphia premieres, many of which have moved on to New York and other major cities, helping to earn Philadelphia a national reputation as a hub for new play development. The theater is housed in the Suzanne Roberts Theatre on the Avenue of the Arts.

Highlights

Philadelphia Theatre Company’s 2022-2023 season called Song & Liberation includes shows Empathitrax (February 10 – March 5, 2023) by local writer and actress Ana Nogueira, who appeared on “The Vampire Diaries” and originated the role of Eliza in early workshops of Hamilton, and Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill (April 7-30, 2023), a modern classic about one of Billie Holiday’s final performances in the City of Brotherly Love.

To learn more about Philadelphia Theatre Company’s 2022-2023 season, click here.

The Curtis Institute of Music

Curtis Institute of Music. Photo by D. Swanson.

About The Curtis Institute of Music

The renowned, exclusive conservatory, the Curtis Institute trained the likes of Leonard Bernstein and Samuel Barber and offers student recital series, Curtis Symphony Orchestra, Curtis Opera Theatre, Family Concerts, and more.

Highlights

The Curtis Institute of Music presents digital performances, including student recitals and ensembles, online via its Facebook and YouTube pages.

For the latest calendar of performances at The Curtis Institute of Music, click here.

The Kimmel Cultural Campus

Neighborhood: Center City
Address: 300 S Broad St.

About The Kimmel Cultural Campus

The state-of-the-art performance venue, the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts is home to the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia and Philadelphia Chamber Music Society concerts and also hosts touring Broadway productions and world-renowned artists at historic venues and theaters including the Academy of Music, Miller Theater and Forrest Theater.

Highlights

The Kimmel Center Cultural Campus’ 2022-2023 Broadway Philadelphia series kicks off in October 2022 and runs through September 2023. The season includes A Soldier’s Play (January 24-February 5, 2023), Come From Away (February 7-12, 2023) and 1776 (February 14-26, 2023). Rolling into the spring are CATS (March 14-19, 2023) and SIX (March 21-April 9, 2023). Other shows include Jesus Christ Superstar (May 2-7, 2023), Beetlejuice (May 30-June 11, 2023), and Moulin Rouge! The Musical (July 5-30, 2023). The 2022-2023 Broadway season finishes strong with Disney’s The Lion King (August 16-September 10, 2023). 

Other shows at The Kimmel Center Cultural Campus include FRIENDS! The Musical Parody (April 19-20, 2023) which will bring the beloved TV sitcom to life on stage.

For the youngest of arts lovers, the Kimmel’s Family Discovery Series returns for its seventh year. With kid-friendly favorites and re-envisioned family classics, shows in 2022-2023 include Divi Roxx Kids (February 25, 2023), KODO (March 7, 2023), Cats (March 14–19, 2023), Disney’s Winnie The Pooh: The New Musical Stage Adaption (March 23–26, 2023), and Step Afrika! (April 28, 2023).

The Met Philadelphia

Neighborhood: Fairmount
Address: 858 N Broad St.

View from Grand Salle Box Seating. Photo courtesy of The Met Philadelphia.

About The Met Philadelphia

Formerly the Philadelphia Metropolitan Opera House, The Met Philadelphia was originally built in 1908 by opera impresario Oscar Hammerstein. The grand venue now hosts a variety of local, national and international touring acts, including comedians, solo artists, and chart-topping musical groups.

Highlights

For a full schedule of events at The Met Philadelphia, click here.

The Philadelphia Orchestra

Kimmel Cultural Campus
Neighborhood: Center City
Address: 300 S Broad St.

The Philadelphia Orchestra and Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin were awarded the Grammy for Best Orchestral Performance in 2022 for their recording of Florence Price’s First and Third Symphonies. Photo by J. Griffin for the Philadelphia Orchestra.

About The Philadelphia Orchestra

The legendary Philadelphia Orchestra is one of the finest music ensembles in the world with leaders such as Leopold Stokowski, who developed the “Philadelphia Sound,” and Eugene Ormandy, who toured the orchestra in China as global ambassadors. The “Fabulous Philadelphians” continue to break new ground under the direction of Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

Highlights

The Philadelphia Orchestra’s 2022-2023 season is jam-packed with stellar performances including Rachmaninoff 150 featuring Yuja Wang (January 26 & 27, February 4 & 5, 2023), Shaham Plays Brahms (February 9-11, 2023), Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 3 (February 23-25, 2022), and Emanuel Ax Plays Mozart (March 3-5, 2023). Don’t miss Marvel Studios’ Black Panther (March 17-19, 2023), as the Orchestra performs Ludwig Göransson’s Oscar-winning score from the groundbreaking film. Spring shows include Blessed Earth (March 30, April 1 & 2, 2023), Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 (April 20 & 22, 2023), Symphonie fantastique (May 11-13, 2023), and many others.

The Philadelphia Orchestra also continues to present works via their Digital Stage, which allows audiences from around the world to enjoy the sound of Philadelphia from the comfort of their homes.

To explore the rest of The Philadelphia Orchestra’s 2022-2023 season, click here.

The Philly POPS

The Philly POPS performing John Williams' classic Star Wars score at Verizon Hall. Photo courtesy The Philly POPS.

About The Philly POPS

The largest standalone pops orchestra in the United States, the Philly POPS is a 65-piece orchestra, under the direction of Todd Ellison, performing at both The Kimmel Center and the Met Philadelphia.

Highlights

The Philly POPS’ 2022-2023 season includes shows like Ella & Louis Sing Porgy and Bess & More! (February 17-19, 2023), POPS Rocks Paul Simon, James Taylor & Billy Joel (March 24-26, 2023), A Sondheim Celebration (April 21-23, 2023), and lastly POPS Rocks Hollywood: Bohemian Rhapsody, Rock of Ages & Tommy (May 19-21, 2023). The season will conclude with Star Wars: A Galaxy of Music (June 23-25, 2023).

For The Philly POPS full 2022-2023 season overview, click here.

Walnut Street Theatre

Neighborhood: Center City
Address: 825 Walnut St.

The Walnut Street Theatre is America's oldest theater and is found just a short walk from Independence Hall along Walnut Street. Photo courtesy of Walnut Street Theatre.

About Walnut Street Theatre

Founded in 1809, the Walnut Street Theatre is America’s oldest theater and is also the official State Theatre of Pennsylvania and a National Historic Landmark. Walnut Street Theatre produces an exciting season of Broadway-quality musicals and plays, along with its acclaimed WST for Kids series and Independence Studio on 3 season.

Highlights

The Walnut Street Theatre’s 2022-2023 Mainstage Shows include Last of the Red Hot Lovers (January 10 – February 12, 2023), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (February 14 – March 19, 2023), and Jimmy Buffett’s Escape to Margaritaville (March 28 – April 30, 2023).

To learn more about the Walnut Street Theatre’s 2022-2023 lineup, click here.

For more arts and culture experiences in Philadelphia, click here.

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