New York City

The streets of New York alone are stageworthy. With so many people faking it 'til they make it, daily life can take on the feeling of performance—to exhausting, and inspiring, effect. No wonder that the city draws a constant influx of actors, singers, dancers, and musicians from around the globe, all striving for their big break
The streets of New York alone are stageworthy. With so many people faking it 'til they make it, daily life can take on the feeling of performance—to exhausting, and inspiring, effect. No wonder that the city draws a constant influx of actors, singers, dancers, and music
The streets of New York alone are stageworthy. With so many people faking it 'til they make it, daily life can take on t

The streets of New York alone are stageworthy. With so many people faking it 'til they make it, daily life can take on the feeling of performance—to exhausting, and inspiring, effect. No wonder that the city draws a constant influx of actors, singers, dancers, and musicians from around the globe, all striving for their big break and infusing the city with a crackling creative energy. This fiercely competitive scene produces an unrivaled wealth of culture and art that many New Yorkers cite as the reason they're here, and that millions more are determined to travel for.

Although costly ticket prices can make attending a Broadway show a less common outing for even the most devout theater-loving New Yorkers, that's not true of many other kinds of more affordable performances. Whether the audiences are primarily local or not, it's their discernment that helps drive the arts scene, whether they are flocking to a concert hall to hear a world-class soprano deliver a flawless performance, or crowding into a cramped café to support fledgling writers reading from their own work.

New York has upward of 200 "legitimate" theaters (meaning those with theatrical performances, not movies), and many more ad hoc venues—parks, churches, lofts, galleries, rooftops, even parking lots. The city is also a revolving door of special events: summer jazz, one-act-play marathons, film festivals, and music and dance celebrations from the classical to the avant-garde, to name just a few.

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  • 1. Anthology Film Archives

    East Village | Film

    Dedicated to preserving and exhibiting independent and avant-garde film, Anthology Film Archives consists of two intimate screening rooms (seating...Read More

  • 2. Brooklyn Academy of Music

    Fort Greene | Arts Centers

    Founded in 1861 and operating at its current location since 1908, BAM is a multidisciplinary performing arts center that has grown to span three...Read More

  • 3. Carnegie Hall

    Midtown West | Music

    Internationally renowned Carnegie Hall has incomparable acoustics that make it one of the best venues in the world to hear classical music,...Read More

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  • 4. Film Forum

    West Village | Film

    In addition to premiering new international features and documentaries that are otherwise hard to catch on the big screen, this nonprofit with...Read More

  • 5. Joyce Theater

    Chelsea | Dance

    Set within a former Art Deco movie house in Chelsea, the 472-seat Joyce Theater has superb sight lines and presents a wide range of classical...Read More

  • 6. Kings Theatre

    Dance

    Dormant since 1977, this grand and opulent 1929 movie palace reopened as a 3,000-seat performing-arts venue in 2015, with an exciting schedule...Read More

  • 7. Monday Night Magic

    Greenwich Village | Theater

    Since 1997, Michael Chaut and three other magician producers have been running these weekly performances in and around Greenwich Village (they...Read More

  • 8. Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) films

    Midtown West | Film

    You'll find some of the most engaging international film repertory around at Roy and Niuta Titus Theaters 1 and 2, in the MoMA's lower level...Read More

  • 9. New York City Center

    Midtown West | Arts Centers

    Pause as you enter this neo-Moorish building, built in 1923 for the Shriners (cousins of the Freemasons), and admire the ornate decorative details...Read More

  • 10. Nitehawk Cinema

    Williamsburg | Film

    The only movie theater of its kind in the New York City area, Nitehawk shows first-run and repertory films in three theater spaces and serves...Read More

  • 11. Nuyorican Poets Cafe

    East Village | Readings/Lectures

    The reigning arbiter of poetry slams, the Nuyorican Poets Cafe hosts open-mic events and the influential granddaddy (b. 1989) of the spoken...Read More

  • 12. Park Avenue Armory

    Upper East Side | Arts Centers

    Completed in 1881 and occupying an entire city block, this Gothic-style brick building now serves as a splendid arts center but was originally...Read More

  • 13. Radio City Music Hall

    Midtown West | Arts Centers

    This landmark was built shortly after the stock market crash of 1929; John D. Rockefeller wanted to create a symbol of hope in what was a sad...Read More

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  • 14. Shakespeare in the Park

    Upper West Side | Theater

    Some of the best things in New York are, indeed, free—including this summer festival presented by the Public Theater and performed at an open...Read More

  • 15. St. Ann's Warehouse

    DUMBO | Art Galleries–Arts

    The latest iteration of this cutting-edge arts institution (originally launched in the East Village in 1980) occupies a stunningly refurbished...Read More

  • 16. The Greene Space

    SoHo | Music

    The local public radio stations WNYC and WQXR invite the public into their intimate (125 seats) studio for live shows featuring classical, rock...Read More

  • 17. The Moth

    SoHo | Readings/Lectures

    Dedicated to first-person storytelling, this roving series has spread far beyond New York, where it was founded in 1997 by the writer George...Read More

  • 18. The New Victory Theater

    Midtown West | Arts Centers

    In a magnificently restored space from 1900, The New Victory Theater presents an international roster of supremely kid-pleasing plays, music...Read More

  • 19. The Public Theater

    East Village | Theater

    Fresh, exciting theater keeps people talking about the Public Theater, which was founded in 1954 but has most recently seen such hits as Lin...Read More

  • 20. 92nd Street Y

    Upper East Side | Arts Centers

    Well-known soloists, jazz musicians, show-tune stylists, and chamber music groups perform in 92Y's 905-seat Kaufmann Concert Hall. But the...Read More

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