Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts
One-stop multi-culture on the Avenue of the Arts
The brightest light on the Avenue of the Arts is the dazzling regional performing arts center, whose discreet brick exterior rises to a bold 150-foot glass vaulted rooftop for startling views of the city. The spacious and acoustically vaunted facility is rarely dark and on any given weekend might present a jazz quartet, French circus, The Philadelphia Orchestra, pops or family events. Eight resident companies and a variety of touring soloists and ensembles perform here.
The 21st century center’s mainstages are the elegant Verizon Hall, whose red mahogany 2,500-seat interior is shaped like a cello and features adjustable acoustical panels and the 650-seat Perelman Theater, with an unusual rotating stage and equipment that enables chamber music, dance and drama.
Surrounding the performance spaces, welcoming Commonwealth Plaza encourages visitors to relax, take a coffee at the PECO Café, and browse the Intermission Shop’s out-of-the-ordinary arts and kid-friendly gifts.
The Philadelphia Orchestra’s need for a modern concert hall coupled with the city’s need for a venue to serve the community and visiting artists proved the catalyst for the Kimmel, completed in December 2001 by architect Rafael Vinoly and the acoustic team Artec. The facility is named for sportswear manufacturer and Philadelphian Sidney Kimmel, the largest private donor.
Residents are the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, PHILADANCO (Philadelphia Dance Company), Peter Nero & The Philly Pops, the Opera Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Ballet and American Theater Arts for Youth. Sponsoring varied series of its own, the Kimmel also runs the Merck Arts Education Center, which provides arts classes for area youth and adults.
The Kimmel Center has an excellent French restaurant on its upper level. Cadence Restaurant and Lounge is a great option for pre-performance dinner. Sit outside on the terrace and overlook City Hall and the Avenue of the Arts.
The Kimmel’s main lobby area, Commonwealth Plaza, hosts free performances throughout the year at various times. Grab a drink at Cadence and enjoy a great view of the show below.
Play a steel drum or try on a dance or opera costume at The Merck Arts Education Center’s Interactive Room (Tier Level 2) along the Tour Route. Call Visitors Services at (215) 670-2327.
Verizon Hall (2,500-seat)
Perelman Theater (650-seat)
Broad and Spruce Streets
Philadelphia, PA 19102
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