Boston  has always been a great town for theater. Back in the golden days of the Great White Way, shows would debut in Boston weeks before they went on to Broadway, often tweaking the performances based on the reviews of the literate local critics and audiences of the day.
The tradition has been revived somewhat in the last decade, with many of the old classical theaters getting facelifts and new shows trying their luck in Beantown before retooling for New York . When they do, they come to one of the grand theaters in the Theater District, an extension of Tremont Street sandwiched between the Back Bay  and the South End .
During the day, the area can be one of the seedier parts of town, where suspicious characters linger around the doorways of convenience stores and dive bars. Like much of downtown, however, the Theater District has gotten spiffier in the last decade, especially since Emerson College moved some of its classrooms in to imbue it with a lively dose of student energy.
On weekend nights, however, all the glamour of the neighborhood’s heyday returns, with the corner of Tremont and Stuart Streets becoming a morass of cabs and limousines disgorging young lovelies in strapless black dresses and men with camel-hair overcoats into the brightly lit mouths of the Wang, Schubert , Colonial , and Wilbur .
After the performances let out, the restaurants and nightclubs along the street raise their own curtains to keep the show going.