Austin may be the Live Music Capital of the World, but it’s also a great place to catch other kinds of live entertainment. The University of Texas at Austin is a major supporter of the arts, with its Texas Performing Arts program encompassing four different venues: the Bass Concert Hall, and the McCullough, Payne, and Brockett Theatres. Texas Performing Arts aims to provide “a diverse season of music, theater, dance, and conversation.” Texas Performing Arts brings many Broadway shows to Austin: shows like Cats, The Phantom of the Opera, The Lion King, and Wicked premiered in Austin at Texas Performing Arts Venues.
The Bass Concert Hall has seating for 2900 people and is the largest of Texas Performing Arts’ venues for live entertainment. The hall opened in 1981 and underwent a $14.7 million renovation in 2007. The renovation improved the building’s acoustics, expanded the lobby area, and added a number of cosmetic improvements. When Broadway shows come to Austin, they usually perform at Bass Concert Hall. Shows soon to come include The Book of Mormon, The King and I, and A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder.
Another famous Austin venue is the Paramount Theatre, which is over 100 years old. Iconic performers like Harry Houdini and Katherine Hepburn performed at the Paramount, and modern-day acts including Anthony Bourdain, Aziz Ansari, and The Wiggles have performed there as well.
In addition to conventional live theater, you can also find a great deal of popular stand-up comedy in Austin. Recent and upcoming stand-up performers include John Mulaney, Eddie Izzard, Whitney Cummings, Jim Gaffigan, and Bill Burr. Comics often perform at the Bass Concert Hall and at 3TEN Austin City Limits Live. “Austin City Limits” is a well-known public television show that has highlighted live music performances since the late 1970s. The 3TEN venue seats 350 and is a popular venue for music, comedy, and live performances of family-friendly shows like Peppa Pig’s Big Splash.
Where is the best place to see theater in Austin?
The Paramount Theatre is a throwback to a classic era and still has much of its original architecture intact. The venue hosts over 250 performances a year, so you’re sure to find something you’ll like.
What shows can I see in Austin this weekend?
To see what theater is happening in Austin this weekend, scroll up to the listings at the top of this page.
Like most theaters, Texas Performing Arts venues do not permit outside food and drink. You are, however, allowed an empty water bottle that you can fill inside at a water fountain. Bass Concert Hall does have concessions: a craft beer bar on the third level serves local Texas beer, and a dinner menu is offered at many performances.
How much will I pay for theater tickets in Austin?
Austin is one of the top theater destinations in the country, with a wide variety of venues and performances. Fans of all types are able to find a price point they’re comfortable with. For a look at ticket prices for upcoming theater, scroll to the top of the page and see events today, this weekend, and this week.
What show should I see while I’m in Austin?
There are shows in Austin for every type of theatre fan. You can scroll through the listings above to see what’s playing, or visit our Theater Page to see theater playing anywhere.