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.