Music & Performing Arts



Aragon Ballroom

Now renamed the Aragon Entertainment Center, it will probably always be known by its former name. Some people refer to it as the Aragaon Brawlroom. Great live rock music.

Chicago Theatre

A beautiful sit-down venue featuring musicians from many genres.

Double Door

A bar and live music venue for rock and alternative.

Empty Bottle

Also a bar and live music venue that features indie-rock, electronic, experimental, jazz, etc.

The Hideout

According to its website, “The Hideout is music, art, performance, plays, poetry, rock and rebellion.”

House of Blues

Now a national chain, this concert hall is located in downtown Chicago and features artists from many genres, including rock, blues and gospel.


A mix of well-established bands and up-and-comers makes this an exciting venue. Check out the upstairs balcony!

The following three venues are all run by Jam Productions:

Park West

A nice space for catching nationally recognized entertainers.

Riviera Theatre

Originally built as a movie theater, this beautiful location features live performances.

The Vic

Originally a vaudeville house, this refurbished space is home to live music and the Brew & View, a place to watch a movie with a drink!


An old-time Chicago tavern that features smaller, lesser-known artists.


Old Town School of Folk Music

Located in Lincoln Square, the Old Town School features performances, classes, a store and café. Lincoln Square is a wonderful locale to visit, and is home to some of the best German food in Chicago.

Uncommon Ground

With two neighborhood locations in Lakeview and Edgewater, Uncommon Ground is a restaurant, bar and music venue that offers organic, locally produced food.



Featuring primarily local artists, B.L.U.E.S. is a no-frills bar with an intimate feel.

Buddy Guy’s Legends

Voted “best blues club”, this location also houses a Cajun restaurant.

House of Blues

Now a national chain, this concert hall is located in downtown Chicago and features artists from many genres, including rock, blues and gospel.

Kingston Mines

A legendary blues bar with two bands and two stages every night.


Andy’s Jazz Club and Restaurant

According to its website, “Local performers cover a range of styles from Traditional to Swing to Bop, Fusion, Latin and Afro-Pop”. Andy’s is conveniently located in downtown Chicago.

Green Mill

Home to the Uptown Poetry Slam, the Green Mill is a historic bar that features all types of jazz.

Jazz Showcase

This club is open in a new location in the south loop.

Pops for Champagne

Live music starts at 9 pm Sundays through Tuesdays. The restaurant features hors d’oeuvre and an extensive champagne and wine menu.


Chicago Cultural Center

This beautiful downtown building features not only free music but also dance, theater, films, lectures, art exhibits and family events.

Grant Park Music Festival

Located in Millennium Park (home of “the Bean”), the Jay Pritzker Pavilion is the first permanent outdoor installation of its kind in the U.S. It is home to the Grant Park Orchestra and the Grant Park Chorus. You may be able to catch a performance by happening by the pavilion.

Performing Arts



Bank of America Theatre and Cadillac Palace Theatre

Both operated by Broadway in Chicago, these theatres present touring Broadway productions and feature significant architecture and history.

Chase Auditorium

If you’re a fan of Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me! you may be able to catch a live performance of the show here.

Chicago Shakespeare Theater

Housed at Navy Pier, this non-profit theater company performs in a state-of-the-art facility virtually all year long.

Goodman Theatre

Recipient of the Special Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre, the Goodman is recognized worldwide for its artists, productions and directors.


This theatre, located in an unassuming venue on Chicago’s north side, is home to some of the most bizarre and funny productions available. These include Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind (an attempt to perform 30 plays in 60 minutes) and The Strange and Terrible True Story of Pinocchio (the wooden boy) as Told by Frankenstein’s Monster (the wretched creature).

Royal George Theatre

A major theater complex with a Broadway-sized mainstage, a cabaret space and a studio space, the Royal George gets great reviews for its wonderful productions, excellent spaces and proximity to dining and shopping.

Steppenwolf Theatre

“Now in its fourth decade as a professional theater company, Steppenwolf has received unprecedented national and international recognition from media, theater critics, and audiences alike.” This theatre is located on the north side of Chicago, close to restaurants and shopping.

Theater Wit

“13 companies, 32 productions, over 570 performances”… “Theater Wit dedicates itself to producing plays that are both funny and smart.”

Victory Gardens Theater

Formerly the Biograph Theater (infamous for being the site of John Dillinger’s killing), Victory Gardens Theater is proud if its history of promoting an ethnically and culturally diverse community of artists, and of producing more world premieres than any other theater in Chicago.


Annoyance Theatre

“For 24 years, The Annoyance Theatre has created some of Chicago’s finest comedy. Home of the longest running musical Co-ed Prison Sluts, The Annoyance uses improvisation to create new and original plays, musicals, sketch-comedy and more in a vibrant, uncensored atmosphere.”

Apollo Theater

The Apollo (no relation to the New York Apollo) is home to a main stage featuring smash hits such as Million Dollar Quartet, and a studio theater for comedy, sketch, upstart theater companies and improv. It is also home to the Emerald City Theatre Company, Chicago’s largest children’s theater company.

Chemically Imbalanced Comedy

For 11 years, this theater has featured emerging comic talent from the Chicago area doing improv, sketch, plays, stand-up and short films.


Billing itself as “Chicago’s Best Improv Comedy”, iO’s alums include many who went on to Saturday Night Live, the Daily Show, MADtv, etc.

The Second City

Synonymous with Chicago, “The Second City specializes in sketch comedy and improv and has been delighting audiences for over 50 years.” An unbelievable cast of alumni has graduated from this space to go on to bigger and better things.



“The best standup comedy every week!”

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