Live Entertainment Venues in Milwaukee, WI
NBA basketball, arena football, AHL hockey - the Bradley Center is top notch when it comes to hosting athletic events. But the Bradley Center is so much more than a sports center. As an entertainment venue, the Bradley Center is where acts perform when they want to pack seats to the rafters, rain or shine. Bradly’s event schedule has it all for the whole family -- from major league children’s shows by Sesame Street Live to spectacular Cirque du Soleil performances. For music fans, Bradley Center’s stage has even seen almost every major musician from 50 Cent to ZZ Top.
When a Broadway show comes on tour to Wisconsin, their first stop is at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. Since its award-winning construction in 1969, the stage has seen hundreds of Broadway and off-Broadway stage productions like Fiddler on the Roof and Wicked. However patrons don’t have to be fans of musical theater -- the venue is also home for a number of performing arts groups, including the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, the Florentine Opera Company, the Milwaukee Ballet and First Stage Children’s Theater. Guests who come early can shop in the Morning Glory Gallery for local, handmade art and handicrafts created by artisans of the Wisconsin Designer Crafts Council.
As an outdoor amphitheater in wintery Wisconsin, weather forces this venue to offer only seasonal shows -- but Marcus Amphitheater uses the few months they have to pack the stage with headliners. The venue takes its slogan “Where The Main Acts Go..” seriously booking performers like Britney Spears, The Black Keys, Katy Perry, Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow. For fans of ‘80s music, Marcus Amphitheater books gigs like Def Leppard and Peter Gabriel. While the acts are the main draw, the amphitheater’s location on the coast of Lake Michigan is a huge bonus. Watching the boats and waves on Milwaukee Bay while waiting for the show to begin is a great way to pass the time.
For over 57 years, the Milwaukee Repertory Theater has been staging theater productions and organizing creative educational programs for the community. Originally, the company launched with the idea that familiar Broadway shows and well-known performers were the way to build up the theater community in Milwaukee. Today the Rep has evolved into a company that includes classic plays and new works by current playwrights in their repertoire. This new philosophy has resulted in an event schedule packed with diverse performances from light comedies to bittersweet love stories. If new plays aren’t your thing, the Rep still performs a number of classics each season - such as To Kill a Mockingbird and A Christmas Carol.
For over 100 years, the Pabst Theatre has been part of the Milwaukee entertainment scene, seeing legendary performances like Louie Armstrong and Liberace throughout the century. Originally constructed as a German language opera house, the ornate hall has a capacity for over a thousand guests. Today, the Pabst Theater Organization has three venues under its umbrella including the original Pabst Theater, the historic Riverside Theater and the Turner Hall Ballroom. Musicians famous and unknown are the main focus of the three venues, but the locations also host other performances such as stand-up comedians, musicals and children’s shows.