Best Local Performing Arts

Idaho Shakespeare Festival

A night at the Idaho Shakespeare Festival is one of the best dates in town. Roll up with a basket loaded with sandwiches and wine, spread a blanket (or throw down for a table) and watch the action. With a slate of dramas, comedies, tragedies and musicals—it's a near-perfect balance of entertainment and being outdoors. idahoshakespearefestival.org

2nd Place: Boise Philharmonic—Classical music isn't just the other NPR station: It's being taught in Idaho schools, on the streets and even accompanying silent movies in performances at the Egyptian Theatre. Much of that is due to Boise Philharmonic, which has extended its mission well beyond its Morrison Center performances to include an array of activities that have made it a highly visible—and audible—part of life in Boise. boisephil.org

3rd Place: Ballet Idaho—It's a tradition for parents and grandparents to take the little ones to see The Nutcracker, but Ballet Idaho also attracts new audiences with its NewDance series, classics like Swan Lake and more modern fare like works by George Balanchine.

3rd Place: LED—Performance collective LED, founded by a husband and wife creative team, propelled itself to the forefront of the Boise cultural scene with a smart mix of dance, music and multimedia, and It is now home base for some of the best dancers and musicians in the northwest. balletidaho.org, ledboise.com

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