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131 W. 55th St., nr. Seventh Ave. (Midtown West)
New York, NY
(1) 212-581-1212 | www.nycitycenter.org
HOURS/TIMESVaries by event
PRICEVaries by event
POPULAR TIMESWeekends; festivals
RESERVE IN ADVANCEYes - book online or call CityTix at (1) 212-581-1212
WAIT TIME WITHOUT RESERVATIONVaries by performance; advance tickets often required
HIGHLIGHTSFall for Dance Festival; Encores! Great American Musicals in Concert Festival; Alvin Ailey season; American Ballet Theater season
ALLOWVaries by show
SUBWAY57th St. (F); 57th St.-7th Ave. (N, Q, R)
When it was built in 1923, this neo-Moorish landmark was intended as a meeting hall for the Ancient and Accepted Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (otherwise known as the Shriners). Fast-forward 20 years, and the building was slated for destruction until Mayor LaGuardia stepped in, arranging for it to be converted into New York City’s first performing arts center. The New York City Opera. The New York City Symphony and New York City Ballet all took up residence, and the likes of Leonard Bernstein, Orson Welles, Tallulah Bankhead, and Bob Fosse performed here. Its three theater spaces (a 2,200-seat main theater and two smaller venues) are home to the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the American Ballet Theatre, the Manhattan Theatre Club, and The Pearl Theatre Company, and it plays host to the popular Encores! Great American Musicals in Concert series and Fall for Dance festival. A USD 57 million renovation (completed in October 2011) brought in cushy seats, improved sightlines, a newly sprung stage floor, and a swanky bar, as well as restoring period features like chandeliers, moldings, and the vivid original blue-green color scheme.
GO HERE WITH
Theater or dance buffs; show tune fanatics; family; friends
WHY WE LIKE IT
We’ve always had a soft spot for New York City Center, especially the Alvin Ailey performances, the ever-upbeat Encores! show tune performances, and the eclectic mix of dance performances during the Fall for Dance festival (expect everything from hip hop to ballet to rumba). Post-renovation, we like it even more: the new seats are super comfy, the sightlines are way better, and the posh mezzanine level bar is a great spot to hang out pre-show.
WHAT WE WOULD CHANGE
The recent renovation took care of our grumbles about the center’s outdated elements, so we’re free to enjoy the excellent performances with nary a wrinkle.
GOOD TO KNOW
Wheelchair-accessible seats and assisted listening devices are available; call CityTix at (1) 212-581-1212 for more information. One for the history buffs: Mayor LaGuardia himself opened the New York City Center, conducting a performance of the national anthem by the New York Philharmonic. The New York City Center runs Young People’s Dance Series, a program that sends professional dancers into NYC public schools.
All information within this website was checked for accuracy at the time of publication. But since the world moves quickly, things may have changed. Pardon us for any errors as we strive to give you the most up-to-the-minute details!