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Live Theater on the Line

When was the last time you attended a live theatrical performance? With so many options in the northwest suburbs you don’t have to take the train all the way into the city to enjoy a show. If you live in the city you may to venture out and see what the suburbs have to offer. Here is a list of terrific theaters, many of which are extremely affordable.

Woodstock Opera House 121 West Van Buren Street Woodstock, IL 60098 Phone: 815-338-5300


Woodstock Opera House

The Woodstock Opera House sits prominently on Woodstock Square and dates back to 1889.  The theater has a rich past with many famous actors having performed there including Paul Newman and Orson Welles. The Opera House has been fully modernized and host live theater, concerts, dance productions and lectures. The theater is minutes from the Woodstock Metra Station and there are a number of restaurants in the area for dining before or after the show. One restaurant we can recommend is La Petite Creperie & Bistot which is located less than a block from the Opera House.

To get to the Opera house from the Woodstock Metra Station head southeast on Wheeler St. then continue on to Main St. Take a right on Cass St., left on N. Johnson St., then left on Van Buren. This should be  about a 5 minute walk.

Crystal Lake

 Raue Center For the Arts

Raue Center For The Arts 26 N. Williams Street Crystal Lake, IL 60014 Phone: 815-356-9212

The home of the Raue Center for the Arts dates back to 1929 when it first opened it’s doors as the El Tovar. The building was primarily a movie theater and after years of use, the theater needed a face lift. In 2001 after many renovations the theater reopened as the Raue Center for the Arts. The Raue has been fully modernized and yet retained it’s original charm. Today in addition to live theater the Raue hosts stand up comedy, musical acts, ballets and other visual performances. The theater is located in the heart of downtown Crystal Lake and within walking distance from the train. There are a number of restaurants in Crystal Lake, such as Georgio’s Chicago Pizzeria & Pub, a Crystal Lake favorite known for their Pizza or Dukes Alehouse and Kitchen featuring great food and outstanding craft beers. Duke’s is also known for using locally sustainable meat and produce as well as offering many vegetarian dining options.

To get to the Raue Center for the Arts head northwest on Railroad St., left on Grant St., left on West Woodstock St., and then left on Williams St. This is an easy walk and should only take about 6 minutes.

Arlington Heights


Metropolis 111 West Campbell St. Arlington Heights, Il 60005 847-577-2121


The Metropolis is a state of the art venue and the 10th largest professional theater in the Chicago land area. The theater opened in 2000, and in addition to live theater there are musical performance, comedy, family series, and other special events. The Metropolis is also home to a school of performing arts. The Metroplis is within walking distanced of the Downtown Arlington Heights Station and several restaurants.

To get to the Metropolis from the Downtown Arlington Heights Metra Station, head south on North Vail Ave., then right on W. Campbell St. This theater is only a 2 minutes walk from the station.

Edison Park

The James Downing Theater

The James Downing Theater is a program of the Edison Park United Methodist Church and housed in The John Waldron Arts Center. Ticket prices are extremely affordable and the theater features many original and well known plays. The theater is located only 2 blocks from the train and less than a block from all of the great Edison Park restaurants.

The theater is only a 3 minute walk from the Edison Park Metra Station. Head southeast on N. Olmstead Ave., then left on N. Oliphant Ave.

The James Downing Theater
6740 N. Oliphant
Chicago, IL  60631

P: 224- 725-3696

Jefferson Park

the gift theatre 4802 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, IL 60630 773-283-7071

The gift theatre company

The gift theatre company is a small (Only 50 seats) theater offering original performances in an intimate setting. In addition to live theater the gift theater company has an improv group called Natural Gas. On most Wednesdays and occasional Fridays, you can enjoy 50 minutes of improv for only $5.00. Before the show you may want to enjoy dinner at The Gale Street Inn a Chicago-land favorite known for their ribs and conveniently located across the street from the Jefferson Park Metra Station.
To get to the gift theater company form the Jefferson Park Metra Station just head southeast on N. Milwaukee St. for about 5 minutes.

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