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San Jose Performing Arts

Historic venues present Broadway, Bach, and more

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Culture hounds have plenty to do in California’s third largest city. Downtown, the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts hosts Broadway traveling productions, as well as a full calendar of international artists. Ballet San Jose also graces the stage here. Big names are often the draw at the handsome City National Civic; The Who kicked off their first headlining U.S. tour here in 1968, and other big stars, including Barbra Streisand, The Rolling Stones, and Frank Sinatra have all performed in this beautiful space, which debuted a multi-million dollar renovation in 2012.

The 1927 California Theatre, originally a grand movie palace, creates a lavish backdrop for performances by Symphony Silicon Valley and Opera San Jose, presenting classical works and chorale events. Even if you don’t step inside the beautiful theater, take special notice of the marquee out front. It’s decorated with a motif of California poppies, based on historic drawings and photographs, and meticulously recreates the look, size, and detail of the theater’s original sign.

For plays and musicals performed by local companies, check the schedule at the1936 Montgomery Theater, an intimate and elegant venue.

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