Most people never realize that Detroit has one of the finest theater districts in the nation. In fact, it is widely said that the city has the second largest theater district – falling only to the Great White Way in New York City. If you consider how many more theaters are in the tri-county area of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties, you have one of the most diverse settings in the country for live performances.
Many of these venues date back to Detroit’s heyday, so the interiors truly match the quality of the work on stage. As a large portion of the city’s population moved to the suburbs, more theaters popped up to give the outlying areas access to the stage. There also are a growing number of children’s theaters whose aim is to cultivate a love of the arts in every age.
Detroit has the best of Broadway, from classics to modern-day smashes, from Shakespeare to Chekhov to Billie Joe Armstrong. There are musicals, dramas, comedies and everything in between. There are improve comedy reviews and serious acting troupes. There also are incredible venues like Detroit’s PuppetArt, which takes imagination and puppetry to new heights.
So whether you want to feel like the actors are beside you at the tiny 192-seat Century Theatre or you’d rather lose yourself in the vast and overwhelmingly beautiful 5,000-seat Fox Theatre, there is something for every price point and interest level within Southeast Michigan. All it takes is a ticket and a willingness to try. (Karen Dybis)