The 10 Best Places for Live Theater in California!

California is home to some of the best performance artists in the world, with some serious top-tier productions happening at local theaters year-round. The Golden State offers a variety of opportunities to see live theater, from community efforts to major productions. Check out some of the best places to catch a show in the state!  

1. Music Center, Los Angeles, CA

The Music Center includes several different venues throughout the city, the best known of which are in Downtown L.A.: The Ahmanson, The Mark Taper, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and Walt Disney Concert Hall and showcase famous plays with stars as well as Broadway, operas, classical music and more.

2. The Geffen, Los Angeles, CA

Across the street from UCLA, The Geffen is an intimate theater that often features stars as well as local talent in plays that vary in content. The bustling theater is popular with season ticket holders and also has various educational events and other programs.

3. Pasadena Playhouse, Pasadena, CA

The Pasadena Playhouse is a historic theater with a rich history, both architecturally and culturally. The small theater puts on major productions with everyone from Hollywood luminaries to local talent. Plays both large and small come to life in the small theater with California culture.

4. Los Angeles Theatre Center, Los Angeles, CA

The Los Angeles Theatre Center offers spaces for diverse and cultural events and plays so that everyone has the opportunity to enjoy life theater and performances. Currently under the curation of The Latino Theater Company, there are a variety of plays and events held each season.

5. La Jolla Playhouse, La Jolla, CA

The La Jolla Playhouse offers the opportunity to enjoy live theater in a variety of venues. Many plays have won awards, gone on to Broadway and furthered cultural discussions. La Jolla Playhouse is dedicated to producing a variety of groundbreaking work and using community outreach and audience engagement methods.

6. San Diego Civic Theatre, San Diego, CA

The San Diego Civic Theatre is comprised of two venues: The historic Balboa Theater and the Civic Theatre, which offers a variety of music, dance and Broadway shows to audiences. The upcoming season features Broadway’s best hits, including Hamilton.

7. Orpheum Theatre, San Francisco, CA

Since the 1920s, The Orpheum has been showcasing Broadway and pre-Broadway plays. Original Broadway casts and touring companies have tread the boards at The Orpheum presenting great works and musicals.

8. Golden Gate Theatre, San Francisco, CA

The Golden Gate Theater has a rich history from its early days of the 1920s as a vaudeville theater to a movie house and then to a performing arts venue. The Golden Gate showcases Broadway classics and new hits and features the occasional film or television star in the cast.

9. American Conservatory Theater, San Francisco, CA

The American Conservatory Theater is a non-profit theater that has actor training and other programs that further the art of live theater. Catch off-Broadway performances from today’s leading playwrights and other shows of interest.

10. Berkeley Repertory Theater, Berkeley, CA

The Berkeley Repertory Theater offers two stages for live performances and is the first resident professional theater in the area. Modern classics and Tony-award winning shows are often featured, as are plays that eventually end up on Broadway.

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