Culture + Style

Open Your Eyes — and Mind — Through Utah’s Top-Shelf Cultural Arts Scene

No longer a sleepy hamlet, Salt Lake City’s cultural arts scene is thriving. From world-class theater to opera, ballet and gallery strolls, experience Salt Lake’s sophisticated side with a night out on the town.

The George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Theater

Boasting a playbill of top-touring Broadway shows, musical concerts and comedy, this inviting, 2,500-seat theater is fast revitalizing Salt Lake City’s downtown cultural scene. Step inside the modern six-story lobby, overlook Main Street on the outdoor patio and then take your seat in the theater under a ceiling of simulated stars to await the curtain opening.

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Inside the Eccles Theater. (Photo: Salt Lake County Center for the Arts)

Acclaimed Broadway hits like “Book of Mormon” and “Hamilton” have recently graced the stage to sold-out crowds, and classics like “Phantom of the Opera,” “Wicked” and “Rent” are on tap next — along with nationally touring new musicals.

Hale Centre Theatre

Immerse yourself in a world of newsies peddling papers or Dorothy’s journey along the Yellow Brick Road at this all-new, cutting-edge theater in the Salt Lake suburb of Sandy. Billed as a family-friendly professional theater, Hale Centre stages shows ranging from celebrated favorites like “The Scarlet Pimpernel” and “A Christmas Carol” to pioneering newcomers and Disney classics.

Hailed as one of the country’s most technologically advanced performance venues, Hale Centre made its fame with in-the-round shows and now boasts two theaters — doubling its previous audience size.

The Centre Stage theater can raise, lower and spin its stage on demand to create dynamic, quick-changing sets that keep the audience close to the action. The proscenium-arched Jewel Box Stage dazzles with rotating inner and outer rings and a thrust-out design to give all patrons perfect views.

Capitol Theatre

Turn-of-the-century architecture is the draw of this 105-year-old theater that serves as the performance space for Ballet West, the Utah Opera and Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company. Catch the celebrated Ballet West dance troupe performing the classic “Swan Lake” or the operatic masterpiece of “Romeo & Juliet” on a stage originally built as a vaudeville venue.

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Before the show. (Photo: Salt Lake County Center for the Arts)

Recently reinvigorated with a new orchestra pit, renovated lobby and upgraded seating, this national downtown landmark feels comfortably modernized but retains all of its classic character of old.

Abravanel Hall

Home to the Utah Symphony and countless concert events, Abravanel Hall is a Salt Lake landmark renowned for its acoustic perfection and opulent design. The 24-karat, gold-leafed grand staircase; new outdoor plaza; and 30-foot-tall Dale Chihuly glass art piece add to the space’s beauty.

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The acoustically perfect hall. (Photo: Salt Lake County Center for the Arts)

The hall’s architecturally acoustic auditorium means you’ll hear each note as it’s meant to be played — without lobby noise or echoes. Experience a modern take on the Utah Symphony’s 78-year-old ensemble with events pairing cult-classic films and superstar musicians with symphonic sounds.

Salt Lake Acting Company

For a Salt Lake theater experience full of local flair, the Salt Lake Acting Company’s downtown stage is the place for plays satirizing life in the Beehive State.

“Saturday’s Voyeur” is its most famous creation and is the second-longest-running annual musical satire in the country. The original script is spit-out-your-drink funny and freshly written each year as a mockery of Utah’s unique culture and politics. Celebrating 40 years in 2018, the “Voyeur” is a summer institution for Utahns and one of the best ways to learn about the bizarre and fascinating aspects of Salt Lake City living.

Salt Lake Gallery Stroll

If you’d rather amble through artistic action than watch it performed, take to Salt Lake’s streets on the third Friday of each month for this free event celebrating the local visual arts scene.

Grab a map at any participating gallery and sip on complimentary refreshments as you enjoy live music, artist lectures and current art collections all evening long. First launched in 1983, the Gallery Stroll has grown to include most of the city’s fine art galleries.

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This article appears as a part of a paid partnership with Visit Salt Lake.