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 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. 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

  • 2. 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

  • 3. 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

  • 4. 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

  • 5. Bargemusic

    Brooklyn Heights | Music

    Founded in 1977, this classical music series on a barge floating on the East River hosts small audiences of about 130 for intimate chamber-music...Read More

  • 6. Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts

    Dance

    Part of the Brooklyn College campus, this community-based arts center offers a variety of performances at affordable prices—their roster of...Read More

  • 7. Puppetworks

    Park Slope | Puppet Shows

    Marionette puppets have been enacting classic fairy tales like Beauty and the Beast , Goldilocks and the Three Bears , Jack and the Beanstalk...Read More

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