Tacoma’s Broadway Center for the Performing Arts (www.broadwaycenter.org) contains a trio of outstanding theaters downtown near the intersection of 9th and Broadway Streets. Newest is the state-of-the art Theater on the Square, a 302-seat theater that is home to the nationally acclaimed Tacoma Actors Guild (253/272-2145), which performs through the winter season.
An adjacent spot of green contains waterfall park, a fine place on a hot summer day. Also nearby are bronze performance masks representing various cultures.
In two lovingly restored 1918 buildings, the Pantages Theater and Rialto Theater (253/591-5894 for both) offer a taste of Tacoma’s glory days in the Broadway district. Pantages is a large and ornate vaudeville palace where there’s always something going on—plays, acrobats, and concerts. Get tickets early because many events sell out. The beaux arts–style Rialto is used for films, symphonies, lectures, and touring troupes.
Also check the 1,650-seat Temple Theatre (47 St. Helens, 253/272-2042) for more theatrical events, including Broadway plays, comedy shows, and concerts. Built in 1926, the Temple is one of the grandest halls in the Northwest.
In existence for more than 75 years, the Tacoma Little Theater (210 N. I St., 253/272-2281, www.tacomalittletheatre.com) in the Stadium District, claims to be the oldest theater to stage continuous performances west of the Mississippi.
The Tacoma Philharmonic (253/272-0809, www.tacomaphilharmonic.org) plays at the Pantages Theater five times a year. The Tacoma Symphony (253/756-3396) brings in several guest artists each year; enjoy classical music in the theater and free pops in the parks during the summer.
Tacoma Musical Playhouse (253/565-6867, www.tmp.org) features mystery dinners and other musicals all year. The Tacoma Youth Symphony (253/627-2792, www.tacomayouthsymphony.org) has 250 school musicians performing several concerts each year. The Tacoma Master Chorale (253/565-6867) performs a series of Christmas and folk concerts each winter.
BalleTacoma offers several performances each year, including the annual Nutcracker (253/272-9631) for more information. The Tacoma Opera (253/627-7789, www.tacomaopera.com) has English-language performances at the Pantages Theater. Call the Arts Hotline (253/383-9000) for upcoming events around Tacoma.
© Ericka Chickowski from Moon Washington, 8th edition