Charles Playhouse

Charles Playhouse — Boston, MA


Charles Playhouse website:

Current Productions:

Blue Man Group Tickets: 800-Blue-Man or

Shear Madness Box Office: 617-426-5225 or

General Charles Playhouse Information: 617-426-6912

THE CHARLES PLAYHOUSE has had a long and varied history in Boston's Theatre District since its beginnings. The venue was originally designed and built in 1839 as the Fifth Universalist Church, by renowned architect Asher Benjamin. In 1864 it became the first synagogue in Boston, home of congregation Ohabei Shalom, before its transformation during Prohibition into a speakeasy called "The Lido Venice." In the 1940s, during the heyday of Boston's PostWorld War II nightclub scene, the upstairs (mainstage) was converted into a fashionable nightclub, "Storyland," while downstairs was transformed with hot jazz by artists such as Fats Waller and Earl Fatha Hines.

The venue became the Charles Playhouse in 1958, when the building was named home to The Actors Company, a group of Boston University graduates who included among their performers, Olympia Dukakis. The Charles Playhouse name originated from The Actors Company's first home, located at the Charles Street Playhouse at 54 Charles Street, at the base of Beacon Hill. Boston drama critic Elliot Norton wrote that the venue's rich history gave it "the proper sinned-in atmosphere to become a great theater." The Charles Playhouse quickly moved to the forefront of America's regional theater movement, premiering works by Brecht, O'Neill, Pirandello and Tennessee Williams and featured performances by many stars-to-be including Al Pacino, Jill Clayburgh and Jane Alexander. The Charles Playhouse is the current home of Boston's long-running hits, the critically acclaimed Blue Man Group in its 16th year and the longest running play in American History, the hilarious whodunnit, Shear Madness, in its 31st year. The venue is owned and operated by Broadway In Boston.

Other notes


Blue Man Group Tickets: Blue Man Tickets: 800-Blue-Man or

Shear Madness Box Office: 617-426-5225

General Charles Playhouse Information: 617-426-6912

Box Office Hours

The Blue Man Group Box Office is open from 12:00pm until one half hour after the final show of the day, except on Saturdays when the box office opens at 10:00am

The Shear Madness Box Office is open:

Monday: 10:00 am–4:00 pm

Tuesday - Friday 10:00am-8:00pm

Saturday: 10:00am-9:00pm

Sunday: Noon–7:00 pm


Tickets are available at all Ticketmaster locations and by calling 1-800-982-2787 (from within the U.S.) or 1-949-333-4001 (international callers). VISA, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover are gladly accepted.

Group Sales

For Blue Man Group, call: 617.542.6700

For Shear Madness, call 800.992.9035



Located in the Playhouse lounge, the Blue Man Group lobby and the Shear Madness theatre.

Concessions and Merchandise:

Bar service is available before the show in the Playhouse Lounge and inside both the Blue Man Group and Shear Madness theatres. Food is not permitted inside the theatre. Blue Man Group merchandise is available in the upstairs theatre lobby.

Special Event Rentals:

Spaces for pre-theater events, and post-theater karaoke in the lounge on Fridays, are available for rent. Call 617-426-6912.

Lost and Found:

Please report to House Manager or call 617-426-6912.


The Charles Playhouse is accessible via a wheelchair lift system for patrons with mobility issues. The House Staff is also available at all times to assist patrons with access needs.

Guests with accessibility questions should email the Playhouse directly at or call the House Manager at 617-426-6912.

Wheelchair Seating

Wheelchair locations are available for both Blue Man Group and Shear Madness.

For Blue Man Group, please call 617-426-6912

For Shear Madness, please call 617-426-5225

Wheelchair accessible restrooms are located on the ground level in the lounge and in the Stage II theatre.

Patrons can be dropped off and picked up in front of the theatre, but there is currently no handicapped accessible parking. Walking distance to the theatre varies based on where you’re parked and can range between one and two blocks.

Visually Impaired

Patrons who require access to seats for vision impairments should contact the theatre directly at 617-426-6912 for tickets. Tickets are also available in person at the box office or by emailing.


Smoking is not permitted.

Photography and/or recording is not permitted.


Blue Man Group appeals to all ages, but children under five (5) years of age are not permitted. Children between the ages of 5 and 13 will not be admitted unless accompanied by an adult. Everyone, regardless of age, must have a ticket to enter the theater. Please be aware that the show contains dynamic live music and utilizes a state-of-the-art sound system—there is a lot of music and percussion in the performance, as well as use of a strobe light (for just under five minutes). Since noise and strobe lighting can affect patrons of all ages, we suggest you ensure that this would be acceptable for everyone attending the performance.

Latecomers will be seated by the house manager at an appropriate pause in the performance

Silence Please: Silence digital watches, pagers and cell phones.

Doctors expecting pages are encouraged to register with the house manager.

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