5 deals for a date night from the symphony to the stage

Looking for a cheap date? These days you can catch a night at the theater or symphony without breaking the budget.

From free evening performances at The Kennedy Center for the Arts to reduced-priced tickets at Baltimore's Center Stage, there's a way to take in a little culture and still have cash left to pay a sitter.

Performance Kennedy Photo by Teresa Wood WFree performance at the Kennedy Center's Mellinnium Stage. Photo by Teresa Wood.“We are committed to providing total access to the arts,” says Garth Ross, vice president of community engagement for The Kennedy Center. “Parents need culture too! And parents can expose their children to cultural experiences without breaking the bank.”

Whether you prefer theater, music or a little improv, you'll find plenty of options in the Baltimore and Washington, D.C., area for free or reduced tickets.

The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

Every night at 6 p.m. there's a free performance at The Kenny Center's Millennium Stage. Performances range from dance and classical music to theater and comedy.

“We are able to present a diverse range of genres,” Ross says. “Many cultural and travel writers recommend it as an affordable night out.”

Tickets aren't required for most shows, but for those that require tickets, they are distributed one to two hours before the show.

2700 F St. NW, Washington, D.C.
202-467-4600, kennedy-center.org

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra

Those between the ages of 21 and 40 are eligible for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra'sPerformance BSO 1 W Passport program — $75 for almost all of the 184 BSO performances, including invitations to exclusive events. Guests are just $25.

“The BSO Passport is a great way to experience affordable, flexible and world-class music,” says Theresa Kopasec, public relations official for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. [USE BSO?] “The BSO’s Passport program brings together music lovers ... interested in exploring the Baltimore arts scene.”

The BSO also offers a “public rush” program with a limited number of tickets available at the box office one hour before certain performances for $25. Call the ticket office the Wednesday before the performance to confirm the availability of the public rush tickets.

There are several venues for performances including:
Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St., Baltimore
The Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda
877-276-1444, bsomusic.org

Click next below for more date night peformance deals.

Center Stage

Check out preview performances before opening night at Center Stage in Baltimore and Performance Center Stage Marley W"Marley" performed at Center Stage. Photo by Richard Anderson.save as much as $30 per ticket on the theater's better seating, which usually costs $55-$69.

Center Stage performances will be at Towson University's Main Stage Theatre in April and May, during renovations of the venue in Baltimore. During this time, tickets for seats with obstructed views are just $10 for all performances. The theater also offers $19 tickets for B seating at every performance.

Center Stage also offers a dining partner program. Anyone attending a Center Stage production receives discounts at area restaurants, from complimentary appetizers and desserts to 15 percent off restaurant or bar tabs. Take your admission ticket to one of the participating restaurants before the show to take advantage of the discounts.

“A show is the same length as a movie, but it’s a more unique option than going to a movie. You’ve got the energy of seeing a show in a theater that you don’t get on other dates,” says Cassandra Miller, public relations manager for Center Stage.

700 North Calvert St., Baltimore
1 Fine Arts Drive, Towson University, Towson (in April and May)
410-332-0033, Centerstage.org

DC Improv

If you’re looking for a laugh, Thursday is the night to go out. The DC Improv offers tickets starting at $15 on Thursdays. Regular ticket prices are $20-$30.

For free entertainment, check the website calendar for monthly trivia nights in the lounge where comedian Chris White challenges the crowd with obscure trivia on a variety of topics. It's best to reserve free tickets in advance because they go quickly, says manager Mike Schuster. Trivia winners receive $15 off their bar tabs.

1140 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.
202-296-7008, Dcimprov.com

Annapolis Symphony Orchestra

Become a subscriber to the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra and save 10 percent off the regular ticket prices. Tickets to the ASO, which performs at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts in Annapolis, can be less expensive than a big city symphony.

Three concerts remain in the season: one in March, April and May. Prices range from $107-$154 for all three shows when regular ticket prices range from $40-$60 per seat. Starting in August, full subscription passes to all five season shows (September through May) are available for $163-$248 depending on the seat. Subscribers may also purchase guest passes for each show for 50 percent off the regular ticket price.

The ASO is ideal if parents “want to see an excellent orchestra perform and not have to pay a high cost or make a trek to a big city,” says Liz Holdeman, patron services manager for the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra. “It’s an excellent orchestra to see.”

801 Chase St., Suite 204, Annapolis
410-269-1132, annapolissymphony.org

By Kristy MacKaben