Chicago Theater Week may be over, but in other theatre news, there's a new theater district in town. A joint project between the Lakeview Chamber of Commerce and the Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce, the Belmont Theater District launched late last month. The goal? To remind locals and visitors that there's more to the Chicago theater scene than what you can find in the Loop.
North of downtown, the district focuses on the theaters within a mile of the Belmont "L" stop in the Lakeview neighborhood. More than 20 theaters and 100 bars and restaurants are included. But it's more than location that sets these theaters apart. From burlesque to improv and dance to drama, the shows here are a little edgier than the big productions staged in the Loop, and generally, a little more affordable, giving the district an "Off Broadway" feel.
While the area is home to several iconic spots, such the Athenaeum Theater which dates back to 1911, a spate of newcomers (the Public House Theater, the Laugh Factory and Kokandy Productions are just some of the more recent additions), have added to the area's stage presence.
The Belmont Theater District's website, btdchicago.com, serves as a one-stop shop for playgoers. Here, you can search through hundreds of performances by date or type, as well as find deals for nearby dining and lodging to help make a night (or long weekend) out of it.
For a full listing of participating theaters and businesses, check out btdchicago.com.