Arie Crown Theatre is attached to McCormick Place, a large (and growing) convention complex near Chicago's lakefront.  Originally Arie Crown Theatre was utilized for the showing of touring Broadway shows, nearly always musicals,  up until the mid-1980's; at that point touring Broadway shows greatly diminished in number.  When Broadway shows did tour they generally played at theatres in Chicago's Loop and not at Arie Crown.

Arie Crown Theatre is huge and not terribly intimate and actors did not enjoy playing it - and occasionally showed their lack of enjoyment from the stage in the quality of their performances.  Despite a major design overhaul after the mid-1980's the theatre, which is owned by the government of the City of Chicago, is not booked frequently for the public.  Perhaps it is more often used for conventions or governmental or educational events (U.S. Citizenship swearings-in and so forth), which is too bad as it is easily accessible by public transportation and taxis, has its own parking for those who wish to drive there,  and one can walk from a nearby hotel.  The opportunities for tourists to attend an event at Arie Crown Theatre are limited, unless an event is associated with a convention.

But, Arie Crown Theatre will be re-opening for a theatrical engagement in February-mid-March 2009 for "Rob Roy - The Musical."  As Arie Crown Theatre hosted quite a few musicals while in previews in the past, some very good ("Sugar Babies") some reportedly not so good ("Little Johnny Jones") and some reportedly  awful ("Odyssey"), time will tell how well suited to today's musical theatre Arie Crown Theatre stands.