Posh on a Pittance 

Boise arts on the cheap

Lord knows great culture ain't cheap but it needn't be cost-prohibitive. Living in a small city with big-city arts organizations allows Idahoans to enjoy the finer things in life without having to forgo our basic needs. Here's a handy rundown of some of the best cultural events that can be enjoyed for less than an Andrew Jackson.


Trey McIntyre Project: $20, treymcintyre.com

You don't have to fly to New York to get rush-ticket prices on world-class entertainment. Trey McIntyre Project is introducing a new price category, with more affordable tickets available in select sections on the floor or in the mezzanine of the Morrison Center. Or you can see them strutting their stuff on the streets with impromptu SpUrbans. But we can't give you a schedule for that.

Heirloom Dance Studio: 765 W. Idaho St., $5-$12, heirloomdancestudio.com

Fancy trying a few dance steps yourself? Heirloom Dance Studio in downtown Boise has drop-in classes five days a week ranging from beginner Lindy Hop to Argentine tango. And it's the only place you go to learn the hustle.

Also of Interest

Ballet Idaho: Family Series, $10, balletidaho.org

Idaho Dance Theatre: Economic Stimulus Night, $5 suggested donation, idahodancetheatre.org


Boise Contemporary Theater: 854 Fulton St., $12-$15, bctheater.org

Since 1997, Boise Contemporary Theater has been presenting intelligent and timely works, including seven world premieres on its main stage. Now the company's stage smarts extend to ticket prices as well. This year, BCT began offering a dynamic pricing structure that favors plan-aheaders. Rather than a fixed admission fee, tickets start at only $15 and slowly rise in price as fewer seats become available--a good incentive to get your tickets early. In addition, BCT hosts five staged readings of new works by contemporary talents. For $12, you can get an early beat on the best of tomorrow's playwrights.

Also of Interest

Idaho Shakespeare Festival: Preview Nights, $18, idahoshakespeare.org


The Record Exchange: 1105 W. Idaho St., free, therecordexchange.com

Sometimes the best things in life are free, and under that category falls in-stores at The Record Exchange. For a chance to see acoustic or out-of-the-box performances by traveling troubadours such as Band of Horses, Josh Ritter or Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, keep watching the community calendars or visit therecordexchange.com. Heck, even Smashing Pumpkins has played the joint!

Idaho Botanical Garden: 2355 N. Old Penitentiary Road, $10, idahobotanicalgarden.org

How is Idaho Botanical Garden like a fifth-grade science project? Well, if good music creates healthy plant growth, the Great Garden Escape Series has been helping keep the poppies blooming and the toes tapping since 1996. Happening every Thursday from June through September, the series features great regional bands--and a designated dance area--playing jazz, folk and acoustic rock. Garden-goers are encouraged to bring their own dinner or enjoy food and wine from Willowcreek Grill.

Also of Interest

Boise Philharmonic: Casual Classics Series, $15, boisephilharmonic.org


Story Story Night: 1402 Grove St., $5 (reservations encouraged),  storystorynight.org

Everyone wants to hear the voluntary confessions of strangers. Story Story Night, held every month at the Linen Building, is a two-part treat. First, three featured speakers deliver a 10-minute story, topics range from parental misdirection to worst jobs, followed by a trio of five-minute audience-drawn admissions. And yes, there is a trophy for the best story.

Also of Interest

Boise Poetry Slam: Poetry Slam DeLux at Neurolux (every third Monday), $5-$8, boisepoetry.com

Rediscovered Books: Local and national author events at Rediscovered Books (ongoing), free, rdbooks.org

Hyde Park Bookstore: Poetry and Prose readings at Hyde Park Books (every third Friday), free, hydeparkbookstore.com


Cult Camp: 1109 W. Main St., $5 suggested donation, @boisecultcamp

Held on a bi-monthly basis at the Gamekeeper Lounge, Cult Camp is a movie night for alternative film freaks, celebrating the best and worst of B-films, exploitation classics, noir and other obscure favorites. Previous screenings have included Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, Harold and Maude and Troll 2. Admission is donation-based, with proceeds going to a community nonprofit such as Boise Bicycle Project and the i-48 Film Festival.


Boise Museum Pass: $9 (children), $19 (adult), boisemuseums.org

Have a full week to spread out your cultural intake? A Boise Museum Pass provides entry into seven different area museums, including Boise Art Museum, Idaho State Historical Museum, Discovery Center of Idaho and World Center for the Birds of Prey. For less than $20, you can experience art, history and the best bubble-maker in the state.

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