20 Best Performing Arts Venues in Albany and Central New York, New York

Freihofer's Jazz Festival

Fodor's choice

Some of the hottest jazz musicians stop at the Freihofer's Jazz Festival in June for two days of music to kick off summer.

Capital Repertory Theatre

The Capital Repertory Theatre is an intimate space for musicals, comedies, and dramas.

Cooperstown Chamber Music Festival

National and international groups perform at the Cooperstown Chamber Music Festival, held at the Farmers' Museum throughout August.

Recommended Fodor's Video

Empire State Performing Arts Center

Though balanced on a platform that reaches six stories underground, the futuristic Empire State Performing Arts Center, known as the Egg, appears to float above the plaza like a UFO. Shows here include acts by big-name artists, touring pop and folk musicians, comedy routines, and modern dance performances.

Freedom Park

Freedom Park comes alive from June through August with free outdoor concerts of jazz, blues, rock, and polka. Shows start at 7 pm on Wednesday.

Glimmerglass Opera

Area opera devotees staged a performance of La Bohème at the local high school in 1975. Twelve summers later the company they went on to form was successful enough to merit its own space. In 1987 the Glimmerglass Opera held its first production in the 900-seat Alice Busch Opera Theater. The company presents four operas during its July–August season. Picnics on the grounds are a good way to spend time before a performance.

7300 State Highway 80, Cooperstown, New York, 13326, USA
performing-arts Details
Rate Includes: tickets $28–$92 weekdays, $56–$100 weekends

Lake George Opera Festival

Free pre-opera talks provide some background on the operas performed at the Lake George Opera Festival, which runs for two weeks at the start of summer.


During the daylong, early September street festival Larkfest, more than 100 crafts and food booths line the streets. A separate area for kids has games and rides. Local bands perform, in addition to area dancers and magicians.

Music Haven Concert Series

Local, national, and internationally known musicians perform as part of the Central Park Concert Series. The outdoor concerts start at 7 pm on Sunday in July and August.

New York State Theatre Institute

The New York State Theatre Institute, a family-oriented professional theater company, presents plays and musicals from September to May.

Palace Theatre

The spectacular Palace Theatre, a restored movie-and-vaudeville house, hosts pop concerts and touring Broadway shows. It's the home of the Albany Symphony Orchestra.

Proctor's Theatre

Proctor's Theatre, a 1926 vaudeville theater with chandeliers, balconies, and 2,700 seats, is one of the crown jewels of the capital region. Year-round schedules include Broadway shows performed by national touring companies; concerts; dance performances; and second-run movies. A recent expansion added the GE Theatre, with a huge screen.

Revolution Hall

Local and touring bands play the popular The converted 18th-century warehouse hosts jazz, blues, and folk acts.

Saratoga Chamber Music Festival

The Saratoga Chamber Music Festival, a celebration of music written for ensemble groups, is offered for several days through the Saratoga Performing Arts Center but presented at the more intimate Spa Little Theatre, next door.

Saratoga County Arts Council

Changing exhibits in this 2,000-square-foot art gallery and theater-performance space showcase works by local as well as nationally known artists. At the theater here the Saratoga Film Forum shows mostly art-house movies (tickets $6) Thursday and Friday nights in fall, winter, and spring.

320 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, New York, 12866, USA
performing-arts Details
Rate Includes: $16

Saratoga Performing Arts Center

The Saratoga Performing Arts Center is the summer home of the New York City Ballet and the Philadelphia Orchestra. The open-air venue, with both assigned amphitheater seats and lawn seating, also hosts concerts by big-name pop acts.

Stanley Center for the Arts

At the 2,945-seat Stanley Center for the Arts you can see touring Broadway shows and enjoy performances by the Mohawk Valley Ballet and the Utica Symphony Orchestra. The Mexican-baroque center was built as a movie house in 1928. It has an ornate marquee and terra-cotta and mosaic tile accents on its exterior; inside, walls are adorned with gold-leaf lions and angels, and the ceiling is scattered with stars.

Troy Savings Bank Music Hall

The beaux arts Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, considered one of the few acoustically perfect concert halls in the world, attracts top international and U.S. musicians. A full lineup of classical, pop, and jazz concerts is held throughout the year, and the Albany Symphony plays a seven-concert season here from October through May.

Tulip Festival

Hundreds of thousands of tulips are at their peak during the Tulip Festival, a three-day weekend festival in mid-May celebrating Albany's Dutch heritage. Traditions include scrubbing the streets and crowning a Tulip Queen. On Saturday and Sunday, Washington Park has music, concerts, and food vendors.