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Best Historic Venues in New York

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The Lincoln Center for Performing Arts is a massive venue when it comes to live entertainment. The Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors has something for everyone: internationally recognized dances, high-level performances, special events and jazz. Watch out for Live From Lincoln Center, a program that has famous orchestras and artistes performing. Lincoln Center holds about 400 live performances a year, ranging from classical to modern productions. And as if that wasn't enough, the Center also hosts many events put on by the Film Society at Lincoln Center. There are guided tours on a daily basis that explore the world-renowned Metropolitan Opera House, Avery Fisher Hall, the New York State Theater (home of the New York City Opera) and the Vivian Beaumont Theater. During the tour, your guides will entertain you with fascinating stories and give you a glimpse of a rehearsal in progress.

The Apollo Theater is a distinguished and legendary landmark in Harlem. Originally it was a burlesque hall for an all-white audience when it opened its doors in 1914, but by the 1930s it became home to legendary jazz greats like Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington. The theater has been restored, and every Wednesday at 7:30p the stage is opened to amateurs; when heckling is not just common, but expected. There are also musical performances held on other nights. Admission varies. Call for details.

The Village Vanguard has been around since 1935, when it was founded by an enterprising Lithuanian immigrant. Today, a sizable international crowd packs the club, enjoying the great music and acoustics, an informal New York camaraderie and a good selection of beer and cocktails. Musical giants from Leadbelly to John Coltrane to Wynton Marsalis have played here, and fresh talent as well as "name dropping performers" can be heard in this fabled Greenwich Village basement seven days a week.

Built in 1903, The New Amsterdam Theatre is one of the oldest theaters in New York City. Home to the original Ziegfeld Follies, unfortunately it had fallen into disrepair for a number of years and almost closed forever. During the renovation of Times Square in the early 1990s, it was purchased by Walt Disney Company and fully restored. It reopened in 1997 to house the Tony Award winning show, The Lion King. Tickets are expensive and hard to get, but don't let that discourage you.

This place seats 1,018 people and was built in 1907 by David Belasco. Located between 6th and 7th Avenues, it is beautifully done up with carved dark wood paneling, glass pilasters and Tiffany stained glass lights that match the stained glass ceiling. It is truly an architectural delight.

Home to the legendary dance company The Rockettes, Radio City Music Hall is one of the most spectacular and famous performance venues in the United States. Its locale in the heart of the Big Apple has made it a cultural center, particularly during the Christmas season. Originally opened in 1932 and nicknamed "The Palace for the People," Radio City was renovated in 1980. Anybody who is anybody has performed here - New York legends Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and Sammy Davis, Jr. are just a few that spring to mind, and to this day, the stage remains a showcase for entertainment royalty.

One of New York City's true gems, the Brooklyn Academy of Music is a world class performing arts center. Located at the edge of the Fort Greene neighborhood of Brooklyn, it offers some of the city's finest concerts and theatrical events. From opera and classical music to African dance and modern theater, the packed schedule offers something for everyone's taste. The complex is also home to Bam Rose Cinemas.

Located in the center of the theater district, the Palace Theater attracts tourists and locals alike. Featured plays that have graced the Palace's historic stage include Fiddler on the Roof, The Woman in White and An American in Paris. The beautiful, European style of the theater adds extra charm to your theater-going experience.

This small but classic theater is named after Eugene O'Neill, the great playwright who won the Nobel Prize for literature. The cozy atmosphere serves as a comfortable venue for talents to perform and people to watch. Though the place is a bit small, the place considered ideal for the intimate vibe it offers. This is one of the popular theater destinations in the neighborhood.

Like its name, the Majestic Theater is one of the largest theaters in New York (more than 1600 seats) with a long-running reputation for having exceptional plays and musicals. The theater is home to the longest running show in the history of Broadway The Phantom of the Opera which has music by the fabled Andrew Lloyd Webber - this astonishingly popular musical was first performed here in 1988!

A former movie theater, the Broadway is today part of the Shubert Organizations' many holdings. Inside, you will find plush seating for 1,765 patrons, air-conditioning and very spacious surroundings. The theater itself is over 70 years old and it was renovated in 1990 for the show Miss Saigon. Although the theater can be quite cavernous, it is still an intimate place to catch a show. It has presented major musicals, revivals, dramas, and comedies, sometimes featuring renowned Broadway stars in leading roles.

On the opening night of this famous music house, Tchaikovsky conducted and New York's elite waited in line to enter. Carnegie Hall quickly became an international Mecca of classical music, attracting the brightest stars from Bernstein to Toscanini. Today, over 100 years later, top orchestras and modern music share this venue. The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Frank Zappa and Frank Sinatra have all headlined here. Many musicians claim it has the best acoustics in the world. Tours are available during the day. Practice, practice, practice isn't the only way to get to Carnegie Hall!

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