The most important theater in Havana  is the Gran Teatro de la Habana (Paseo de Martí #458, e/ San Rafael y San Martín, Habana Vieja, tel. 07/861-3077, CUC20 for best orchestra seats), on the west side of Parque Central. It’s the main stage for the acclaimed Ballet Nacional de Cuba, Ballet Español de la Habana, and the national opera company. The ballet is usually performed to taped music. The building has three theaters—the Teatro García Lorca, where ballet and concerts are held, and the smaller Sala Alejo Carpentier and Sala Antonin Artaud, for less commercial, experimental performances. Performances are Thursday–Saturday at 8:30 p.m. and Sunday at 5 p.m. A dress code applies.
On Friday, a symphony band strikes up at 4 p.m. in Plaza de Armas.
The Basílica de San Francisco de Asís (Calle Oficios, e/ Amargura y Brasil, tel. 07/862-9683) hosts weekly but irregular, classical concerts at 6 p.m. (CUC2–10).
For choral music, head to Hostal Frailes (Brasil, e/ Oficios y Mercaderes, tel. 07/862-9383, daily 10 a.m.–5 p.m.), hosting sacred music in the lobby.
Classical and ecclesiastical concerts are also featured in the Iglesia de San Francisco de Paula (Av. del Puerto, esq. Leonor Pérez, tel. 07/860-4210, free or CUC5) on Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m., and in the Oratorio San Felipe Neri (Calle Aguiar, esq. Obrapía) daily at 7 p.m.
Performances of the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Cuba (National Symphony) and Danza Contemporánea de Cuba are hosted at the Teatro Nacional (Av. Carlos M. de Céspedes, esq. Paseo, Vedado, tel. 07/879-6011, tnc [at] cubarte [dot] cult [dot] cu) every Friday–Saturday at 8:30 p.m. and Sunday at 5 p.m. (CUC1.80–8.90). The ticket office is open Tuesday–Thursday (10 a.m.–6 p.m.) and Friday–Sunday (3–9 p.m.).
The Teatro Mella (Línea #657, e/ A y B, Vedado, tel. 07/833-5651) is noted for contemporary dance, theater, and ballet (CUC5–10), and hosts the Conjunto Folklórico Nacional.
For something more intimate, head to the monthly Peña de Manuel Argudín (Agencia Cubana de Derecho de Autor Musical, Calle 6 #313, e/ 13 y 15, Vedado, tel. 07/830-0724, www.acdam.cu ), the last Saturday of each month at 6 p.m. The eponymous guitarist is often accompanied by such renowned performers as pianist Frank Fernández.
The last Thursday of each month, UNEAC (Calle 17 #351, e/ G y H, Vedado, tel. 07/832-4551, www.uneac.com ) hosts an open peña for chamber musicians at 6 p.m.
Teatro Cine Trianón (Línea #706, e/ Paseo y A, tel. 07/832-9648, five pesos) often features foreign classics, such as the works of Tennessee Williams, performed by the Teatro el Público Company.
The Teatro Amadeo Roldán (Calzada y D, Vedado, tel. 07/832-1168, CUC5–10) has two salas and features classical concerts year-round. The Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional is based here, with concerts in season (Thurs.–Sun. 5 p.m.); many lesser classical groups also perform.
Nearby is the Teatro Hubert de Blanck (Calzada #657, e/ A y B, tel. 07/830-1011, CUC5), known for both modern and classical plays. Shows (in Spanish) are usually Friday–Saturday at 8:30 p.m. and Sunday at 5 p.m.
The 150-seat Teatro Buendía (Calle Loma y 38, Nuevo Vedado, tel. 07/881-6689, five pesos), in a converted Greek Orthodox church, hosts performances by the eponymous theater company, considered to be Cuba’s most innovative and accomplished. It performs here Friday–Sunday at 8:30 p.m.
The Teatro Guiñol (Calle M, e/ 17 y 19, tel. 07/832-6262, CUC2), on the west side of the Focsa building, is Cuba’s leading children’s theater, with comedy and puppet shows Friday at 3 p.m., Saturday at 5 p.m., and Sunday at 10:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.