New York's 10 Best Live Theater Venues!

New York: The theater capital of the world. With opulent halls dating back hundreds of years, and performing arts centers producing the greatest talent the world has ever seen, there is no shortage of places to see a great live production. Experience history, beauty, and top-notch performances at these 10 great places to see live theater in the state. 

1. Radio City Music Hall, New York, NY

Home of the Rockettes and the Christmas Spectacular, Radio City Music Hall was built by John D. Rockefeller during the Great Depression to “elevate and inspire” during tough times. To this day, the iconic theater is the largest indoor theater in the world, and its famous marquee is an entire block long.

2. State Theatre of Ithaca, Ithaca, NY

Opened in the 1920s as a vaudeville theater, the State Theatre is the last remaining historic theater in Ithaca. Now restored and owned by a non-profit dedicated to preserving the arts, the venue often hosts musical performances and ballets.

3. New Amsterdam Theatre, New York, NY

This iconic theatre hosted risqué shows in its heyday (the early 1900s). Nowadays, the 1,702-seat theater hosts Disney shows on Broadway like “Mary Poppins” and the “Lion King.” 

4. Landmark Theatre, Syracuse, NY

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this theatre was built as a movie palace and designed by Thomas W. Lamb in the 1920s. Today, much of the gold-and-red interior has been preserved and the nearly 3,000-seat venue hosts Broadway shows and other musical performances.

5. Shea’s Performing Arts Center, Buffalo, NY

Built in the 1920s and designed to resemble the Rococo-style opera houses of Europe, this theater was recently restored to glory after having fallen into disrepair. Now, the over-3,000 seat theater hosts Broadway shows and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.

6. The Stanley Theater, Utica, NY

Another design by Thomas W. Lamb, The Stanley is among the oldest, grandest theaters in the state. The venue seats 2,963 and has recently featured acts like Jerry Seinfeld and the Broadway musical “Jersey Boys.”

7. Beacon Theatre, New York, NY

Often considered the “older sister” of Radio City Music Hall, the three-tiered Art Deco-style theater was intended to be an “international music hall” by Roxy Rothafel when it was opened in 1929. Beacon Theatre has since landed a spot on the National Register of Historic Places and hosted operas, iconic musical performances, Bill Clinton’s birthday party, and classes taught by the Dalai Lama.

8. The Palace Theatre, Albany, NY

Owned by the City of Albany and run by a non-profit organization, The Palace Theater is a restored local landmark that hosts major events in the area. Most recently, it has shown ballet, Broadway shows, and performances by the Rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen. 

9. Richard Rodgers Theatre, New York, NY

The 1,319-seat Richard Rodgers Theatre has a long history of hosting major Broadway hits. The venue opened in the 1920s as 46th Street Theatre, but was restored and renamed to honor the famous composer Richard Rodgers.

10. Vivian Beaumont Theater at Lincoln Center, New York, NY

Vivian Beaumont Theater is the only Broadway-class theater outside of midtown Manhattan. Unlike other Broadway venues, the Lincoln Center Theater has stadium seating, a green roof, and a thrust stage configuration. 

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