- Matthew Thorsen
Burlington may be small, but its performing-arts scene upstages that of many cities. (See what we did there?) Whether you're a die-hard "Glee" fan looking for your musical fix or a comedy nut who loves the awkward thrills of improv, BTV won't let you down. Want to see something truly weird? Don't worry — we've got that, too.
101 Main St., Burlington, vermontcomedyclub.com
What's not a joke at the Vermont Comedy Club? Just one thing: its status as the state's undisputed venue for all things funny. Hilarious husband-and-wife team Nathan Hartswick and Natalie Miller opened the 150-seat theater and bar in 2015; it's served as a catalyst for Vermont's growing comedy scene ever since. In addition to showcasing major standups such as Kevin McDonald of the Kids in the Hall fame, Jen Kirkman and Nikki Glaser, VCC is home base for local improv troupe the Unmentionables. It also offers classes and workshops for locals who want to get silly. Speaking of silly, check out the club's purple "unicow" mascot.
400 Pine St., Burlington, artsriot.com
On a mission to "destroy apathy," this South End restaurant and event hub is a hip hybrid space. From local Shoebox Theatre's production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch to BikeSmut's bicycle-porn film fest (you read that right), ArtsRiot practices what it preaches.
153 Main St., Burlington, flynncenter.org
Opened in 1930, this art-deco "entertainment palace" continues to be the state's leading venue for first-class music, dance and theater. The 1,411-seat MainStage has hosted performers from gospel legend Mavis Staples to comedian Marc Maron to Vermont's own Lyric Theatre. The adjacent FlynnSpace is a 180-seat venue for more intimate shows.
60 Lake St., Burlington, mainstreetlanding.com
Main Street Landing's Black Box and Film House spaces offer an eclectic selection of local theater, dance, film and more. Return performers range from the Vermont Contemporary Music Ensemble to the Spielpalast Cabaret; the latter annually stages a rowdy, raucous take on Weimar-era variety shows.
294 N. Winooski Ave., Suite 111, Burlington, northendstudios.org
The home of the Vermont Performing Arts League is dedicated to sharing music and dance from around the globe — the annual Vermont International Festival is among its major endeavors. Throughout the year, you might catch rare and intimate concerts and dance parties with performers such as Afro-Venezuelan singer Betsayda Machado.
294 N. Winooski Ave., Suite 116C, Burlington, offcentervt.com
If you like your performing arts raw, outrageous or otherwise experimental — theatre, if you will — Off Center is your spot. The 65-seat black box is the site of the annual Burlington Fringe Festival, in which local writers and performers stage daring new and in-progress works.
384 S. Prospect St., Burlington, uvm.edu
This campus venue is home of the Lane Series, an impressive roster of concerts and performances. It hosts world-renowned classical soloists as well as contemporary folk stylings from groups such as Ladysmith Black Mambazo and East LA's Las Cafeteras.