El Paso's entertainment scene is spread throughout the city, and remarkably diverse. The El Paso Performing Arts Center, the beautifully restored Plaza Theatre, the McKelligon Canyon Amphitheatre, the outdoor and indoor stages at Chamizal National Memorial, and the facilities at the University of Texas at El Paso all host regular performances. Fans of rock, country, Tejano, and jazz will likely find what they're looking for at the city's bars and clubs. The UTEP college scene is centered on Mesa and Cincinnati streets.
The free, monthly El Paso Scene and its online counterpart, www.epscene.com, are the best places to start for exploring arts-and-entertainment opportunities. The Friday El Paso Times (www.elpasotimes.com) also features performance listings, as does The Prospector, UTEP's student newspaper. Tickets for many events are available through Ticketmaster (tel. 915/544-8444; www.ticketmaster.com).
The Performing Arts
El Paso Opera, 310 N. Mesa St., Ste. 601 (tel. 915/581-5534; www.epopera.org), produces spring and fall shows annually, with a Thursday and Saturday performance of each held at the Plaza Theatre downtown. Spanish and English subtitles are projected for every performance. Tickets run $15 to $90 for a single event. El Paso Pro-Musica, 6557 N. Mesa St. (tel. 915/833-9400; www.elpasopromusica.org), presents several concerts a year, including the El Paso Chamber Music Festival every January. Concerts are held at numerous locations with ticket prices of $5 to $25. El Paso Symphony Orchestra, 1 Civic Center Plaza (tel. 915/532-3776; www.epso.org), puts on about a dozen different concerts annually. Tickets for single performances run between $10 and $40, with discounts for children and seniors. At Franklin Mountains State Park, the outdoor McKelligon Canyon Amphitheatre, 2 McKelligon Canyon Rd. (tel. 915/565-6900), annually hosts Viva! El Paso (tel. 915/588-7054; www.viva-ep.org) from mid-June to early August. Tickets are $10 and $24; barbecue-style dinners are available.
The El Paso Playhouse, 2501 Montana Ave. (tel. 915/532-1317; www.elpasoplayhouse.org), stages a new production almost every month. There's also a children's company, Kids-N-Co., which produces timeless fairy tales and other light fare. Tickets are usually less than $10. The University of Texas at El Paso Dinner Theatre, Union Ballroom on the UTEP campus (tel. 915/747-6060 or 747-5234; www.utep.edu/udt), is a tradition, producing student musicals since 1983. Today, the theater presents plays Wednesday through Sunday at 7pm during the school year. Dinner might include prime rib, baked potato, and a cookie sundae. Recent productions have included The Full Monty, The Rocky Horror Show, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Tickets run $35 to $40, except for Sunday matinees (2:30pm), which are about $20 but don't include dinner.
The Club & Live Music Scene
Blu, 209 S. El Paso St. (tel. 915/351-8258), is a downtown dancing hot spot featuring both DJs and local and national musical acts. Stampede, 5500 Doniphan Rd. (tel. 915/833-6397), is an El Paso country-and-western institution that features recorded and live music. Club 101, 3233 N. Mesa St. (tel. 915/544-2101; www.club101.com), is a live music venue featuring touring rock and pop acts.
The Bar Scene
Downtown, the Tap, 408 E. San Antonio St. (tel. 915/532-1848), is a classic watering hole, serving plenty of cold beer and spicy Mexican dishes. Offering cayenne-spiced Cajun dishes and daily beer specials, Crawdaddy's, 212 Cincinnati St. (tel. 915/533-9332), is a cozy-but-rowdy haunt favored by the UTEP crowd. It's located amid a strip of bars and restaurants on Cincinnati Street, one of the city's livelier blocks at midnight. One of the most regal places in the Southwest to sip a cocktail, Dome Bar, 101 S. El Paso St. in the Camino Real Hotel (tel. 915/534-3000), is light-years beyond a typical hotel bar. Rosa's Cantina, 3454 Doniphan Dr. (tel. 915/833-0402), was made famous by country legend Marty Robbins in his 1959 hit "El Paso" -- or perhaps merely inspired by it after the fact.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.