I enjoy writing Tripadvisor reviews, and have no affiliation with the Steel Beam Theatre, located on Route 64 in downtown St Charles. The theater was founded in 2001 by Donna Steel, and my wife and I—sometimes with friends, often alone—have attended seven performances there. There is a new play about every other month. Parking is plentiful in the city garage conveniently located directly behind the theater; the walk from the four story, free parking garage to the theater is 100 yards.
The tickets can be bought online from the main website, and although there is a small handling charge, the website ordering is simple and convenient as it permits you to select your actual seat on a chart. When you purchase, your name is at the theater on a list, so you just say your name and are shown to your seats. This theater is small and quaint, with exposed bricks and the namesake steel beam above the stage. The seats are padded theater style chairs in about 10 rows only—everyone gets a great view! The front row, typically too close in most theaters, is a wonderful favorite of my wife and I. You will see every bead of sweat and vibrating tongue for the musicals from these seats.
The performers are, in a word, exceptional. Although this is a community theater, the actors and with a long list of prior performances, in general, as noted in the playbill. It’s a credit to the reputation of this fine theater that it can attract such talent. The plays range from two-person, intimate, one setting performances, to multi-character musicals. The website is up-to-date.
There are so many places to eat locally, that you can park and have a lovely meal (ZaZa’s Trattoria in the same block is a favorite, as is McNally’s Pub) and wander up to the Steel Beam on the fourth floor and enjoy a performance, all in a fraction of the time and expense to see a Chicago play.
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