New York theatre is the best of the best. Of course there is Broadway, off-Broadway, and the many theatres at Lincoln Center. But if you’re an Upper West Sider looking for something a little different, there are a few other interesting performance spaces right in your neighborhood.
The Beacon Theatre
Built in 1929, the Beacon is a legendary theatre for bands, events, plays, and award shows. This theatre has over 2,800 seats, and yet with its three-tiered arrangement, you really feel like you can see from wherever you are. The Beacon hosts a wide variety of performances.
I have personally seen The Shape Of Things, a Neil LaBute drama starring Paul Rudd and Rachel Weisz and Banana Shpeel, a bizarre blend of Cirque Du Soleil and vaudeville, although the theatre is currently best known for its musical concerts. This year, it was also the venue for the 2011 Tony Awards, providing a more intimate setting than the former location, Radio City Music Hall.
See who’s performing at the Beacon in 2017!
Check their website to see the full schedule of amazing musical artists that are performing at the Beacon. Highlights in late October are Regina Spektor and Martina McBride, and in November, Chris Isaak and Grace Potter and The Nocturnals. I saw Chris Isaak in concert a couple years ago, and he gives a great performance!. His voice is incredible, still smooth and luscious with that distinctive flip up into falsetto. I am also a big fan of the latest albums by both Regina Spektor and Grace Potter. (Can we still call them albums, even though it is all purchased on iTunes now?). The Beacon is also a cool place to see top comedians, including Brian Regan and Bill Maher. So call the box office and get tickets for some terrific shows!
Symphony Space is a multi-disciplinary performance venue, offering a broad range of shows. Music, film, theatre, literature, and family events can all be found here. You can also participate in their book club or trivia nights! Be sure to visit the website for the calendar of activities.
You can purchase a subscription to a particular category of shows, such as their “Selected Shorts”, “Film Club” or “Just Kidding” (Sunday family events), or simply buy individual tickets. Or you may want to consider becoming a member. Being a member at Symphony Space allows you to support the arts while getting a multitude of benefits, such as priority seating, discounts to many Upper West Side places, and invitations to special events.
In addition to shows, Symphony Space also has educational programming. Camps for kids, writing workshops, and classes on global arts, are just a few of the programs available. Symphony Space has studios for rental as well, if you’re looking for a place to rehearse or record.
With such a wide variety of activities, it is definitely worth your time to check out Symphony Space for a unique experience.
158 West 72nd Street
The Triad is a more up-close and personal type of venue with only 130 seats, but it also offers many different types of performances. You could see a solo cabaret, musical theatre show, comedians, a celebrity autobiography, or an evening of burlesque! There is always something exciting and entertaining happening here. I have seen several friends, singers, composers, and actors, in top-notch performances at The Triad. Being a cabaret-style space, the audience is seated at café tables, and there is usually a two-drink minimum.
Do you have your own show? The Triad is a great place to book your benefit, party, or night of entertainment. Although they do not have a restaurant, they do have caterers that they can recommend, if you would like to have food at your event.
So if you’re looking for a fun activity, whether it is a concert, show, or just something different, and don’t want to deal with the hustle and bustle of Times Square, be sure to visit a few of these special venues on the Upper West Side!