Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so the architects of Milan's La Scala Opera should feel flattered by The Academy of Music in Philadelphia. It closely mirrors their own creation in Europe, and that's exactly what its designers were going for when they drew up the plans in 1857. The opera house has remained open and thriving since then, making it the oldest one of its kind anywhere in the country.
So for a taste of history and culture in one foul swoop, make the quick trip from Rittenhouse Claridge to The Academy of Music. Its resident performers include the Broadway at the Academy actors, the Opera Company of Philadelphia musicians, and the Pennsylvania Ballet dancers. When any of them grace the stage, do your best to tear your eyes away from the lavish 5,000-pound crystal chandelier in the lobby and hurry to your seat because the ensuing show will be spectacular. Performances include many Broadway-born productions such as Evita and Newsies.
The Academy of Music
240 Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102