Malaysia Performing Arts Venues

If you are into performing arts – like theatre performances or musicals, these are the venues to check out for:

1. Istana Budaya
The RM210 million infrastructure is overseen by the Ministry of Arts, Culture & Heritage. It mainly focus on big budget local productions (mainly Malay themes though they do have other languages performances at times). The most notable shows held here are like Puteri Gunung Ledang Musical, P. Ramlee The Musical or more modern themes one like Cuci The Musical.

2. Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (KLPAC)
Nestled in a beautiful area, the KLPac is home to many local productions & foreign productions that have converted locally. They have shows in different languages but are stronger for the ones in English & Chinese. The local theatre production house, Dhama Orchestra perfroms twice here – which are mainly sold out.

For tourists into performing arts, one should check this place out when in Malaysia.

The sister branch in Penang, PenangPac, shows mainly the same shows – usually after their run in KL.

3. The Actor’s Studio

Couple Joe Hisham & Dato’ Faridah Merican set up The Actor’s Studio back in 1989. It has staged a variety of performances from dances to stand up comedies and other theatre works. The stage is smaller compared to the above two places – which somewhat provides an ‘intimacy’ with the performers on stage.

4. Dewan Filharmonik Petronas

This performing centre is home to the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) and also stages classical performances – at very affordable prices (as low as RM30 for some).

It has hosted some of the biggest names in the industry – Mstislav Rostropovich, soprano Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, conductors Lorin Maazel, Sir Neville Marriner, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Sir Andrew Davis and the late Yehudi Menuhin.

The only criteria – formal attire (that is long pants for the guys) is required. But if you don’t have one, then they will provide you with one, that is if the size is available. And no sports shoes – please.

5. Plenery Theatre @ Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre

Located in the heart of the city, the Plenery Hall is an auditiorium which is used for both conventions and also performing arts. Amongst others – musical performance like Shrek, international singer Lea Salonga, and also Korean famous cooking entertainment show Nanta has performed here.

6. Amphitheatre @ Sunway Lagoon

This open air theatre brings overseas musicals targeted at the young.

7. Genting Arena Of Stars

2 main things that comes to mind when mentioned about The Arena of Stars in Genting Highlands. First. it is known for some having held some Chinese entertainment mega star concerts like Alan Tam, Aaron Kwok, Sammi Cheng, Andy Lau, Jacky Cheung.

Secondly, it houses many magical productions.

But of course, on top of that, it has also hosted the glamorous Miss Malaysia Chinese International Pageant and MTV Asia Awards 2008.


Malaysia also has other concert venues – where international & local artistes performs. Usually, these concerts are held in Stadium Merdeka or the National Indoor Stadium in Bukit Jalil, and once in a while in other cities like in Kuching, Kota Kinabalu or Penang.