There is nothing quite like live theater. The performers and the audience share in an experience that is uniquely their own during each performance. This month marks the start of the Broadway season, not just in New York City, but across the great state of Michigan. Here are the best places to a Broadway show in Michigan.
In Motown, the Fisher Theatre is a staple. The venue originally opened as a movie and vaudeville house in 1928. It went through a redesign in 1961 that features rosewood and brass in a style that is definitely of its time. That is to say, the theater looks pretty dated these days, but the building that houses it, is quite majestic. Come early and wander the halls. Then nestle in for some of the best productions that will grace our state this season. The lineup includes:
- Funny Girl: September 26-October 8, 2023
- Company: October 17-29, 2023
- Doubtfire: November 14-26, 2023
- Frozen: November 29-December 17, 2023
- Wicked: January 24-February 18, 2024
- Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird: March 5-17, 2024
For great dining options in the area, consider The Whitney, nestled in an opulent and seemingly haunted old mansion. For something different, try Baobab Fare, an East African restaurant, serving up tastes inspired by Burundi, the birthplace of the owners. Chartreuse Kitchen & Cocktails is known for its farm-to-table freshness and innovative dishes.
The theater program at Michigan State University is world class, and so is the college’s performing arts center. The Great Cobb Hall, where seats 2,254, making it one of the best places in Michigan to see a Broadway show. Meanwhile the neighboring Pasant Theatre seats just 600, for more intimate entertainment experiences. In addition to the fantastic national touring shows coming through the building this season, see some rising stars by catching a production from the university’s theatrical department. This year’s Broadway series is:
- Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird: October 3-8, 2023
- Hairspray: November 28-December 3, 2023
- Mama Mia: January 16-21, 2024
- Funny Girl: February 6-11, 2024
- Moulin Rouge: April 2-14, 2024
- Six: May 14-19, 2024
If you want to catch a meal before or after the show, there are several wonderful options. Dusty’s Wine Bar in nearby Okemos offers a sophisticated experience with small plates, steaks and a rich wine menu. For a college town experience try Harrison Roadhouse or get an famous burger from Crunchy’s.
Located within DeVos Place, the city’s convention center, this venue seats 2,543 for a wide range of offerings. In addition to concerts and visiting shows, the performance hall is also used by the Grand Rapids Symphony, Opera Grand Rapids, and the Grand Rapids Ballet. This season’s Broadway offerings include:
- Funny Girl: September 19-24, 2023
- TINA –The Tina Turner Musical: November 7-12, 2023
- Disney’s Aladdin: January 16 –21, 2024
- Les Misérables: March 5-10, 2024
- Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird: April 23-28, 2024
- Wicked: May 15-June 2, 2024
- MJ: July 9-14, 2024
Situated on the campus of Western Michigan University, Miller is one of the premier performing arts venues in West Michigan. It opened in 1968, and offers a wide range of programming including live concerts, comedy events, family shows, and of course Broadway shows.
- Mean Girls: October 24-25
- Jagged Little Pill: January 16-17, 2024
- Come From Away: January 30-31
- My Fair Lady: March 10
- Jesus Christ Superstar: March 26-27
- Annie: May 6, 2024
You can find casual, eclectic, and fine dining experiences all over Kalamazoo. Try 600 Kitchen & Bar for farm-to-table with outstanding craft cocktails. Excellent Indian cuisine can be found at Saffron. Beer lovers should know that this is the town that started our state’s modern beer industry, so consider hopping over to Bell’s Eccentric Café, to sample the pints that started it all.
As you can see, some of these theaters will be welcoming the same productions, so if you can’t make it to a show at the venue closest to you, it may be possible to find it elsewhere in the state. Plus, it’s fun to get on the road and enjoy something you love in a place that’s new to you.