“When I moved to Tucson, I wasn’t sure that I could find the entertainment that I grew up experiencing in New York City,” Valerie, a Tucson resident for 10 years now, told me. “It didn’t take too long for my husband and I to find out that Tucson actually has a tremendous variety of entertainment options. We felt right at home in no time.”
Tucson may not be a city that comes to mind when you think of museums, symphonies, and ballet, but did you know that as 2016, Tucson ranks as the 7th Best Music City in the U.S.?
Tucson has a bustling—and thriving—entertainment scene, chock-full of galleries, music halls and venues, professional Broadway tour theaters and independent theaters, and professional dance companies. There is never a shortage of artistic venues to take in when you’re in Tucson, and it is part of what made the Wall Street Journal dub Tucson “a mini-mecca of the arts.”
Not only does the University of Arizona create and house some of the most cutting edge medical, astronomical, and scientific endeavors around the world, but the UA is also home to world-class theater, dance, photography, and art schools.
The UA campus is absolutely teeming with the finest in performing and fine arts. The Center for Creative Photography (CCP) houses photography collections from all around the world, including Ansel Adams, Aaron Siskind, Diane Arbus, and Irving Penn. In addition to the thousands of photos on display, in exhibitions, and housed within the center’s archives, the CCP also hosts rare books, manuscripts, and oral histories too.
Centennial Hall, right in the heart of campus, plays host to Broadway in Tucson, which brings the majesty and splendor of Broadway on the road and into the Old Pueblo. The 2016 season has brought Tucson Broadway classics and hits, including Annie, The Book of Mormon, Cabaret, The Sound of Music, and Chicago.
Ballet Tucson has long been delivering outstanding performances to the Tucson community. With seasonal performances, Ballet Tucson delivers innovative dance pieces from classics to modern interpretations including The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Ballet Tucson performs all around Tucson at the Temple of Music and Art, Tucson Music Hall, and the Stevie Eller Dance Theatre on the UA campus.
The Tucson Symphony is nothing-short of brilliant, and the symphony members have recently begun bringing the symphony to themed-parties and events too with Parties of Note and Moveable Musical Feasts. The Tucson Symphony Orchestra has been entertaining Tucson with classical, modern, and holiday concerts since 1929, and are just a part of what sets Tucson apart.
If you’re interested in touring bands, stand-up comedians, and headlining acts from around the world, then the Rialto Theater, Tucson’s best indoor venue 9 years running, is the place to go. The Rialto is a Tucson classic, and with acts like BB King, Beck, Tom Jones, The Fab Four, Iris Dement, and Nick Offerman, there is never a dull night Downtown.
Galleries and museums, from modern art and sculpture to contemporary and classical, have made Tucson their home. Tucson boasts seven primary museums and dozens of diverse art galleries, and each and every one is designed to inspire, move, and connect us all to the people, cultures, and experiences of our fellow citizens. Some of Tucson’s most beloved galleries include the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), the Etherton Gallery, and the Tucson Museum of Art, all of which are gems in the crown of Tucson’s art community.