Nightlife in Boston, MA
There are times when you can’t be bothered with the hair and the makeup, much less the clothes. You’re feeling a bit of attitude, and you need a night out to match. Forget the club scene and head to The Penalty Box near the Garden with a group of friends ready to get real. Because The Penalty Box is real. No pretensions, no airs…no manners, really. And not a foufy martini in sight. It’s your new favorite dive bar for a reason.
If jazz is your thing, you’re in luck; the legendary Wally’s in the South End has you covered no matter what your jazz preference. There’s Latin jazz, blues, jam sessions -- and the occasional music legend like George Clinton in the audience. With live music 365 days a year, you’re not going to be disappointed walking into Wally’s, or walking out hours later with a groove in your heart.
The legendary Middle East in Cambridge’s Central Square is where you can see local and national acts both upstairs and downstairs. Mix with college kids, grad students, and the occasional hipster and belly dancers. Sip your cocktails at the more upscale Zuzu bar. Some nights there’s a show, and some nights there’s dancing, and all nights you can get some pretty decent Middle Eastern food, too.
It doesn’t matter how juvenile you consider actors in drag, you’re going to laugh at a night out at Improv Asylum in the North End. Drawing on popular culture as well as traditional comedy schtick. Improv Asylum presents shows five nights a week, with an added Saturday midnight show that promises a step further into adults-only comedy. And with its terrific location you can step out in the surrounding neighborhood for a delicious Italian meal before the show, or for some grappa at a local cafe afterward.
A small club in Harvard Square where many well-known folk musicians got their start is still going strong -- and you just might see the next national act during one of their six-nights a week shows. This may not be where you go to get wild on a night out, but it is where you go to build a deep appreciation for the extensive and varied local music scene. Tickets aren’t over the top, so take a seat, order a drink, and take in the environment has hosted legends like Joan Baez and Bob Dylan and boosted the careers of Suzanne Vega, Shawn Colvin and Nanci Griffiths.