Kentucky's 10 Best Live Theater Venues!

There’s nothing like the theater. For a memorable night out, opt to see a live performance at one of Kentucky beautiful theaters and art centers. Whether it’s a Broadway-caliber event or a performance from highly-talented amateurs, Kentucky has just the right spaces for you to enjoy them to their fullest. Here are the 10 best places for live theater in the state. 

1. Singletary Center for the Arts, Lexington, KY

The Singletary Center for the Arts in Lexington, Kentucky, hosts over 400 events each year. Dr. Otis A. Singletary was the eighth president at the University of Kentucky for which the center is named. Each year, the Singletary Center puts on shows for the university community, the Lexington community, and the Commonwealth of Kentucky. You can go online or purchase tickets for performances via the website or by purchasing them in person at the Singletary Center. There is a magnificent stage with plenty of room for you to stretch and enjoy a great live performance. 

2. Lyric Theatre & Cultural Arts Center, Lexington, KY

The Lyric Theatre & Cultural Arts Center in Lexington, Kentucky, is an homage to the jazz, soul, and R&B era of music from the 1950s by creating an aura of imagination. The Lyric once hosted Count Basie, Ray Charles, B.B. King and countless others. The Lyric is a staple for the Lexington community and the Commonwealth of Kentucky when it comes to music, art, and performance theatre. You can catch one of their multiple shows each month by contacting their box office online. Check the Lyric out as soon as you can for your next live performance! 

3. Lexington Opera House, Lexington, KY

Lexington Opera House has a 210-year history with a multitude of experience hosting live performances. Its host of events are nothing short of spectacular. For performers, the Lexington Opera House is a must. For audiences, the Lexington Opera House is a privilege. You can read more about the history and legacy of the Lexington Opera House on their website or visit them in person for a tour. This is one of the best places in Kentucky to see a live performance.

4. Louisville Palace, Louisville, KY

The Louisville Palace first opened its doors in 1928 and has undergone preservation multiple times to ensure its legacy lives on as one of the best theatres in Kentucky. Spanish baroque-style interior captures the essence of the artists alive centuries ago. Everywhere you look in the Louisville Palace there are detailed sculptures, paintings and masterful designs. The Louisville Palace hosts the best of the best performances from around the world each year, right in downtown Louisville, Kentucky. Tickets vary by event and usually sell out quickly for large shows. You can purchase them on Ticketmaster or online on their website.  

5. Actors Theatre of Louisville, Louisville, KY

For several decades now, the Actors Theatre has been known for its intimate setting with incredible live performances. Recognized as a National Historic Landmark, this theatre lives up to its reputation. An impressive lobby sits just outside of the theatre for all to marvel and discuss the production which is taking place. Tickets are very affordable, giving you much more than the price of admission. 

6. Woodford Theatre, Versailles, KY

For 30 years, the Woodford Theatre in Versailles, Kentucky, has provided the community with the best live performances available in the area. A handful of great plays take place here each season. You can purchase a ticket for under $25 for an adult or $15 for students. They make sure to provide their patrons with workshops, development for young artists, and they give back to the community each year. You can support this local theatre and experience for yourself why it makes the cut for best live theaters in Kentucky. 

7. Pioneer Playhouse, Danville, KY

Pioneer Playhouse in Danville, Kentucky, is the oldest outdoor playhouse in the state. Founded in 1950, Pioneer Playhouse, the hand-hewn rafters built by prisoners from the Danville County Jail are a unique setting. The vision of this space was to create an outdoor drama venue for the golden age of cinema. The founders wanted to bring an aesthetic of modernity to Danville, Kentucky, and did so by creating this playhouse. You can visit their website and purchase tickets in person when you come to a live performance in Danville. 

8. Kentucky Center for the Arts, Louisville, KY

The Kentucky Center for the Arts is both a center for education as well as teaching the ways of performing in front of a live audience. Many actors, musicians, and performances are always taking place at this wonderful Kentucky theater. You might catch a riveting ballet performance or an astonishing orchestral concert at the Kentucky Center for the Arts. Seating is hospitable and comfortable here as is the acoustics within the theater itself. For many years, this theater has maintained a loyal fan base within the community as well as the Commonwealth of Kentucky. 

9. Jenny Wiley Theatre, Prestonsburg, KY

Jenny Wiley Theatre in Prestonsburg, Kentucky, is a great place for outdoor entertainment, opened since 1964. Located in rural Kentucky, Jenny Wiley Theatre is puts on several live theater performances each year for locals and tourists alike. The theatre has wireless microphone capabilities helping the auditory issues of the past. You can find a great live performance throughout the year and even camp with the family while doing so. 

10. The Carnegie, Covington, KY

The Carnegie in Covington, Kentucky, was first opened in 1972. Since then it has been producing some of the finest creativity with regards to live performance. Whether you want to see a musical, a reproduction of a Roald Dahl or catch an upcoming actor, you can do all that and more at the Carnegie. This theater also hosts the Cincinnati Ballet, NKU theatre, Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra and the Human Race Theatre productions. Membership and ticket sales go towards funding for the theatre and help carry on the legacy of live theater in Kentucky.

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