By Kaitlyn Brajcich
Dante’s Inferno: The Ballet performed at the Theatre at Meydenbauer. Photo by Fred Burmer.

From the bewitching harmonies of a symphonic movement to the precise alignment of a ballerina’s arabesque, there’s something to be said for experiencing a performance live.  Whether you’re looking for a full-blown theatrical production or simply a casual dinner with a side of entertainment, when it comes to the performing arts, Bellevue and the surrounding region have a lineup that’s sure to make jaws drop.

2013 WEBIMG_1431 Credit Jal Schrof
Two dancers perform at the Cultural Crossroads Festival. Photo by Jal Schrof.

Watch as music, dance, and theatre, are brought to life at the Theatre at Meydenbauer Center. The Theatre hosts many community events from classical ballet and orchestral productions to modern dance and cultural performances reflective of Bellevue’s ethnic diversity.

Just east of downtown, the Crossroads area is a hub of community arts and culture. Free music and dance performances take place regularly on the Market Stage at Crossroads Shopping Center and each fall, the Cultural Crossroads Festival celebrates Bellevue’s cultural diversity with ethnic music and dance. Opening in March, the new Bellevue Youth Theatre in Crossroads Park will feature student-run productions on both indoor and outdoor stages.

Get a glimpse into the world of Broadway when you head to a theatrical production at the nearby Village Theatre in Issaquah.  Village Theatre is nationally recognized for its contribution to the development of new musicals, many of which have gone on to stages throughout the world. Each season’s lineup promises fresh takes on classic musicals and at least one innovative new musical.

Bellevue is also home to two major music festivals. Thousands of adults and youth flock to Bellevue each winter for the Wintergrass Music Festival (Feb 26 – Mar 1), a 4-day bluegrass festival featuring over 200 artists. In the spring, the Bellevue Jazz and Blues Festival (May 27-31) showcases top national and regional artists at various bars, restaurants, and concert venues across town.

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Wintergrass Music Festival. Photo by Maria Camillo.

Delight both your ears and taste buds when you experience the sweet harmony of dinner and a live performance. Stop in Bake’s Place almost any night and be treated to a complete dining experience accompanied by anything from jazz and blues to pop and rock tributes. If you’re craving a faster paced evening, head to Blue Martini Lounge, where cocktails mix with live music four nights a week in an upscale club setting. If comedy is more your thing, be sure to catch one of the national headlining comedians that take the stage at Parlor Live Comedy Club each weekend.

It’s not uncommon for visitors to spend some time under the big top during their stay in Bellevue. Marymoor Park in nearby Redmond has hosted many traveling circus productions including Cavalia, Odysseo, and various Cirque du Soleil shows. The tents are currently pitched through March 22 at Marymoor for Cirque du Soleil’s latest touring show, “KURIOS – Cabinet of Curiosities.” If you’re not quite up for a full scale circus performance but don’t want to miss all the excitement, head to Suite Restaurant/Lounge in downtown Bellevue where you can watch aerialists perform choreographed routines overhead every Friday and Saturday night.

When the weather gets warmer, nothing beats listening to a tune under the summer sun (or stars!). Catch a Live at Lunch concert in downtown Bellevue during the day. Or pack a picnic and throw down a blanket at one of the summer concerts held at Marymoor Park or Chateau Ste. Michelle winery in Woodinville.

Of course, no visit to the Puget Sound region would be complete without a trip across the lake to take in Seattle’s performing arts scene. Enjoy a spectacular production at one of Seattle’s historic theatres be it an original musical at The 5th Avenue, a concert at The Moore, or a Broadway show at The Paramount. Get lost in the enchanting world of dance at one of the Pacific Northwest Ballet’s extraordinary performances or drift away with the captivating melodies of the Seattle Symphony.

With so many options in Bellevue and nearby, wouldn’t you agree that it’s time to pull out the headphones and turn off the TV and come experience the magic of watching a show live?

View upcoming performing arts events on our online calendar of events.