The Chronicle’s Theater Guide


Jocelyn Moreno

The Chronicle’s Theater Guide

By Molly Walsh

On State Street, that great street, I just want to say, they do things that they don’t do on Broadway,” Frank Sinatra sang in his  song “Chicago.” Although New York City has The Great White Way, thespians and Columbia students alike should not take Chicago’s theater district for granted.

The Chronicle has cultivated a list of some of the theaters and production companies around town offering college discounts and programs so students can snag a ticket, take a seat and enjoy the show.

The Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St., offers a variety of opportunities for college students to see its productions, according to Aaron Wegner, a marketing associate at the theater.

The Goodman offers discounted seats through its student ticket program, 10TIX, as well as on its College Nights, Wegner said.

For the 10TIX discount, students can purchase tickets online for any Goodman production for only $10. Students can then pick up their tickets at Will Call by presenting a valid student ID before the show, Wegner said.

Goodman College Nights also include tickets discounted at $10, which include pizza and a discussion with an artist before the show, Wegner said.

The first College Night took place Sept. 27 and included a performance of “We’re Only Alive for a Short Amount of Time,” a musical memoir written and performed by David Cale about hope, family and adversity, according to a March 22 Goodman Theatre press release.

Wegner said the Goodman has two other College Nights planned for the season, scheduled for Feb. 13 and March 13.

Wegner said the student discounts allow younger people to experience great theater now, rather than when they are middle-aged and wealthy enough to buy full-price tickets.

“Theater is one of the few places you’ll go and hear a story that is not on your Facebook feed,” Wegner said. “There is value in that, and it helps us learn to empathize with other people.”

Production company Broadway in Chicago offers discounted tickets for performances at the Cadillac Palace Theatre, Oriental Theatre, CIBC Theatre, as well as the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University and Broadway Playhouse, according to BIC’s website.

Broadway In Chicago’s Executive Director of Sales Gemma Mulvihill  said most shows have day-of “rush” tickets at $25 for students, and for some shows, the discount is available to anyone.

BIC offered $35 balcony seats for  performances of “Tootsie” the musical for $18.50 during the week, Mulvihill added. “Tootsie” premiered at the Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph St., Sept. 11 and played for five weeks, as reported Aug. 28 by The Chronicle.

Mulvihill said there is also a discount for select productions on the 25th of every month, during which tickets sell for $25.

Lyric Opera of Chicago opened its 64th season with opera production of “La bohème,” Oct. 6 and offered $20 tickets to students, according to a Sept. 10 Lyric Opera press release.

Lyric Opera Marketing Associate and Special Programs Director Sarah Sabet said the theater has a student program called “NEXT,” which offers $20 tickets to undergraduate, graduate, law and medical students.

“We also have a subscription series called ‘NEXT Now,’  but it’s a ticket package to three or more shows of the season [and] also for select dates,” Sabet said. “We do offer two to three dates per opera and the musical. There’s a good range to choose from, and we always include at least one date that’s on a weekend, so it won’t conflict with night classes or any other studying that goes on in the week.”

Sabet added that regular-priced tickets can be as expensive as $229, so the options available are great discounts.

Sabet said attending a theatrical performance is a mental health break, educational and relevant to college classes.

“A lot of our operas this season are applicable to courses that are taught in universities, like Greek mythology,” Sabet said. “We have baroque and early music, which definitely pops up in music history classes—you can really find an opera for anything you’re interested in.”

Notable Chicago comedy theater The Second City recently announced its Student Rush Ticket  Program offering affordable tickets to high school and college students, according to an Oct. 9 press release from the theater. Current students with valid student IDs will be able to purchase $15 tickets for all available Second City performances one hour or less before curtain time at the box office of the theater, 230 North Ave. In addition to this program, the theater is also offering $10 tickets to two improv shows currently running, the Improv Comedy Hour on Mondays at 8 p.m. and its late-night improv show After Hours at 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. These tickets can be purchased online in advance using the promo code “STUDENT.”