Theatre, Music and Ballet


Most (if not all) plays are in Dutch, which could be a bit of a challenge for you. The most important and  gay-oriented theatre group is Toneelgroep Amsterdam, led by Ivo van Hove.

However, the Queen’s English Theatre Company is an English language theatre company. The company brings English or American gay classics on stage like the Torch Song Trilogy. See for an up to date program. It’s been a bit quiet with QETC, so make sure you double check.

Stadsschouwburg (Leidseplein 26; in the `Bovenzaal’, which is a small theatre upstairs, in the same building, gay plays have been performed quite often).

In the Hilton Hotel (Apollolaan 138) you can find stand up cabaret performances by an organisation called Toomler (tel. 670.74.00). Stand up comedians who perform in English can be found in the Rozentheater at the Rozengracht 117, Amsterdam.

Nieuwe de la Mar Theatre (Marnixstraat) was opened a few years ago and it offers a wide range of plays, musicals and music. The restaurant of the theatre has received very good reviews.


When in Amsterdam, don’t miss the illustrious Concertgebouw (concert hall), where famous gay Russian pianists Vladimir Horowitz and Yuri Egorov performed (Egorov was fond of Amsterdam, and settled there). In the modern Muziektheater (opera house) at Waterlooplein, you can see opera and ballet productions.For musicals, Carré (a big, late 19-century theater at the river Amstel) is the place to go.

In the Muziekgebouw aan het IJ (close to the Central Station, not far from the Passengers terminal) you can listen to all kinds of modern music. In the Bimhuis (same location) is specialised in jazz and improvised music. The grand cafe on the ground floor has one of the best terrasses in Amsterdam overlooking the IJ river.

In the Melkweg (Lijnbaansgracht 234/A) you are likely to find World Music or, sometimes, female bands. Paradiso (Weteringschans 6/8) is also a centre of off-the-beaten-track music. David Bowie started some of his world tours in this theatre. And, finally, don’t forget the Vondelpark Theater, an open air theatre in the park. Can be very cosy on a summer’s day, especially in the weekend.

More music in the south east of the city near train and metro station Amsterdam Arena. Here you will find the Heineken Music Hall. Their Black Box (main hall) is well known for its excellent acoustics. They also organize after parties and other events. Check their agenda for an event if you’re in town.
Not far from the Heineken Music Hall you’ll find the Ziggo Dome. Here you can expect concerts from various singers and bands.
Nearby is Pathe Arena, showing over 20 movies per day.


As far as ballet is concerned, the language isn’t too unimportant. The Nederlands Dans Theater (Dutch Dance Theater) is regarded as one of the best ballet groups in the world. Dutch Ballet is famous for three famous Dutch choreographers Hans van Manen, Toer Van Schayk and Rudi van Dantzig. The latter, who is also a writer, is famous for his ballet Monument for a Dead Boy (1965), which was probably the first ballet ever with male homosexuality as its theme. Ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev was a friend of Rudi van Dantzig, who created some ballets especially for him. Hans van Manen often portrayed homo-eroticism in his ballets. In an article he said: `I have made many gay and lesbian pas de deux.’ He also is an accomplished photographer, often of gay-sensitive subjects.

The Muziektheater (opera house) is the place for ballet performances. Address: Muziektheater, Waterlooplein 2, tel. 551.89.11.


For information or reservations: AUB Ticketshop (Leidseplein 26, tel. 621.12.11) or their website (unfortunately not in English).

. Better visit and look for events or what’s on.

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