From Philadelphia’s yearly favorite George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker to world premieres of contemporary pieces, The Pennsylvania Ballet is always in the city spotlight. The Pennsylvania Ballet presents fourteen ballets in Philadelphia every year featuring classic favorites, new works, and commissioned pieces that always attract an audience.
If you’re looking for the classic ballet experience, visit the majestic Academy of Music on Broad Street during the holidays to see Nutcracker or in the summer to see Romeo and Juliet. The Ballet also performs at the Merriam Theater, which is getting up-to-snuff on the theater scene after having been taken over by new management.
If you have never attended a ballet, the Pennsylvania Ballet is a world-class experience. The dancers are beautiful, the full orchestra is enchanting, and being in a 153-year old theater (Academy of Music) where thousands of people have seen hundreds of ballets before you is quite the feeling.
To witness the finer side of performing arts, the Kimmel Center is the place to be in Center City. The Kimmel is operating multiple venues (the Academy of Music and Merriam Theater, along with its namesake venue The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts) on the Avenue of the Arts. There are not many places in the area where you could witness everything from Neko Case to Lyle Lovett to The Vienna Philharmonic.
The Academy of Music, one of Philadelphia’s oldest and most prestigious theaters, showcases one of the most robust Broadway series outside of New York City. With offerings like Dream Girls and the revival of South Pacific, there is a show for every taste. The Kimmel Center’s in-house presenter hosts a variety of programming every year with some of the most respected and revered musicians, dancers and performers in the world. And for those who don’t like the commitment, there are informal free performances in the beautiful, expansive lobby every Friday night.
If you enjoy the art of a building as opposed to a performance, the Kimmel Center is one of the most famous designs from architectural designer Rafael Viñoly. The building is an entire city block of vaulted glass roof and makes any first-time visitor gasp in amazement.