The Broadway spectacles in New York City are smashing, but if you expect to get a ticket for $50 or a front-row seat, good luck. In intimate theaters around the West, you can easily find deals on ducats and get close to theatrical magic.
- ARTISTS REPERTORY THEATRE Portland. Local premieres of major contemporary plays. Don’t miss the Tony Award–winning History Boys (April 29 to June 8). Sunday night tickets $25. www.artistsrep.org .
- AURORA THEATRE COMPANY Berkeley, Calif. This group produces serious contemporary and classic works in a theater with faultless sight lines—just the place to see Ellen McLaughlin’s vivid adaptation of The Trojan Women (April 4 to May 11). www.auroratheatre.org .
- COMPANY OF FOOLS Hailey, Idaho. This company’s home, the 240-seat Liberty Theatre, is a 1930 art deco cinema renovated by its owners, part-time locals and ex-couple Bruce Willis and Demi Moore. www.companyoffools.org .
- EGYPTIAN THEATRE COMPANY Park City, Utah. Here you can find big musicals such as Cabaret (February 22 to April 5) in a 1920s theater. The best seating goes for $38. www.egyptiantheatrecompany.org .
- EQUINOX THEATRE COMPANY Bozeman, Mont. Equinox presents comedic works by contemporary artists in its 90-seat black box home, where the priciest tickets go for $15. The company’s Broad Comedy, an ever-evolving sketch production starring a clutch of funny women, has won national acclaim and is the brainchild of Katie Goodman, one of the theater’s artistic directors. (406) 587-0737, www.equinoxtheatre.com .
- FOOTHILL THEATRE COMPANY Nevada City, Calif. The most expensive tickets are $28 at this 242-seat house. Urinetown: The Musical runs February 28 to April 6. www.foothilltheatre.org .
- OFF SQUARE THEATRE COMPANY Jackson, Wyo. This year-round company puts on everything from musicals to puppet shows in a new $35 million, 500-seat pavilion, one piece of a town-center arts complex. (307) 733-3021, www.offsquare.org .
- PERSEVERANCE THEATRE Juneau, Alaska. In 29 seasons, Perseverance has premiered more than 50 new plays in its 150-seat main stage and 40-plus-seat second stage. Dedicated to producing Alaskan playwrights’ works, it also supports a resident acting company. (907) 364-2421, www.perseverancetheatre.org .
- PLAN-B THEATRE COMPANY Salt Lake City. Socially conscious new works and re-envisioned classics. Hot ticket: The End of the Horizon (March 14 to 30), the tale of a young man who disappeared in Utah’s canyon country in 1934. www.planbtheatre.org .
- THE RIVER THEATER Astoria, Ore. Drama to comedy, in a 93-seat theater on the Columbia River. www.rivertheater.com .
Photography by Mark Maziarz
This article was first published in January 2008. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.