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As town that is constantly praised for its quality of life, it is not a surprise that Duluth offers a variety of homegrown arts. Music and theater are most widely available. Visual arts and other artistic disciplines are also regularly exhibited in Duluth.
There is a surprising amount of theater for a community this size. Renegade Theater Company, one of the region's premiere professional companies,
offers a mainstage season of some of the boldest, newest and most
imaginative works in theater today. In addition, Renegade Improv
performs live Improv comedy every Friday and Saturday night at 10:30 pm
for just $5. The Duluth Playhouse
is one of the oldest community theaters in the country, and has opened a
second venue, The Underground, to serve the community as a meeting place for culture and conversation. Recently, Wise Fool Shakespeare was founded with a focus on staging professional quality productions of Shakespeare as well as other classic works. Further afield, the County Seat Theater offers
family-friendly productions in Carlton. Two dinner theaters, Bennett's
(in Duluth) and the Shack (in Superior) stage roughly three productions
each per season. Finally several university theater departments offer
performances throughout the year, including summer.
The Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra is a small group of musicians, composers, and vocalists. Their intimate orchestrations permit greater experimentation with musical forms and styles.
During the summer, several groups including the Chamber Orchestra congregate for annual festivals. The Bayfront Reggae Festival, Duluth Festival Opera, and Sier Du Luth Summer Arts Festival offer entire music series and program subscriptions. This may call for casting a blanket on a lawn or sitting comfortably in an auditorium.
The Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua combines the best of both worlds for the audience. It is a 900-seat venue enclosed with a huge canvas tent. It provides fresh air, food and spectacular entertainment. This includes musical theater, theater, and local musicians who perform live on the main stage. The Big Top is on the way to the Apostle Islands in Bayfield, Wisconsin. Some travelers prefer to simultaneously coordinate both day trips.
The best way to find out what performances are going on is to check the papers. The Duluth News Tribune runs a weekly entertainment section called "The Wave" on Thursdays. The Northland Reader, a free weekly alternative paper which also comes out on Thursdays, also has a thorough entertainment calendar. Finally, The Transistor, a small independent arts publication, features an entertainment calendar as well; it is free and published on Tuesdays.