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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 was home to the longest play in American History, the hilarious whodunnit, Shear Madness, for over 40 years, and is the current home of the critically acclaimed Blue Man Group, currently celebrating 25 years in Boston. The venue is owned and operated by Broadway In Boston.

Before your visit, please take a look at our Code of Conduct.

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  • Selects this section on the seating chart: Orchestra,
  • Selects this section on the seating chart: Balcony,
  • Selects this section on the seating chart: Accessible Seating,

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. Please note that the lift does not reach the balcony level.

Guests with accessibility questions should email or call (617) 426-6912.

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 Shear Madness theater.

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.

Check out some awesome nearby restaurants before or after the show!

There are also several restaurants and bars nearby that offer Blue Man Group same day ticket-holders some extra deals. See details under the Boston FAQ section here.

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar

OFFER: $25 off the purchase of two entrees from our a la carte dinner menu.

RESTRICTIONS: Fleming’s is open only for dinner. Offer available in the Main Dining room only. Not valid with any other promotional offers.

Boston Chops

OFFER: Receive 10% off any food purchase.

RESTRICTIONS: Excluding alcohol, tax and gratuity.

Avenue One

OFFER: 15% off any food purchase.

RESTRICTIONS: Must present your SUBSCRIBER CARD. Exclude holiday/theatre menus and alcohol. Gratuity and tax not included.

Back Deck

OFFER: Receive 10% off any food purchase.

RESTRICTIONS: Excluding alcohol, tax and gratuity.

Fajitas and ‘Ritas

OFFER: Receive 15% off any food purchase.

RESTRICTIONS: Excluding alcohol, tax and gratuity.


Legal Sea Foods

OFFER: Receive a complimentary cup of our New England Clam Chowder with a purchase of an entrée.

RESTRICTIONS: Offer valid at Park Square location only. Not valid with any other coupons or offers.


OFFER: Receive 15% off any food purchase.

RESTRICTIONS: Only one offer per table.

MJ O’Connors

OFFER: 15% discount on any purchase

RESTRICTIONS: 15% discount on food only. Must present your SUBSCRIBER CARD.

200 Stuart Street Garage

The Charles Playhouse is happy to validate parking at the 200 Stuart Street Garage. Validation is $10.00 for up to 5 hours after 4pm during the week and on weekends. See a member of the Charles Playhouse staff to receive your validation sticker. Please note that validation is unavailable when reserving a spot in advance.