Most people who come to New York City to catch a show only see the dazzling lights and bustling energy of Times Square. But just a little further up Broadway on the Upper West Side, there’s spectacular entertainment that promises an unforgettable evening for any lover of the arts.
The world-famous Lincoln Center is the premier destination on the Upper West Side for theater, opera, dance and more. Housing the only Broadway theater outside Times Square, the Vivian Beaumont, it’s the place to see the gorgeous new production of Lerner & Loewe’s My Fair Lady, one of the most beloved musicals of all time.
Boasting such classic songs as “I Could Have Danced All Night,” “The Rain in Spain,” “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly” and “On the Street Where You Live,” My Fair Lady tells the familiar story of Eliza Doolittle, a young Cockney flower seller, and Henry Higgins, a linguistics professor who is determined to transform her into his idea of a “proper lady.” If we had to choose three words to describe My Fair Lady, they would be: Big. Lavish. Loverly.
Also at Lincoln Center is the esteemed New York City Ballet. Returning this fall—tickets go on sale August 5—is repertory staple Jewels. Widely considered to be the first full-length abstract ballet, its three sections express the breadth of NYCB’s co-founding choreographer George Balanchine’s artistry: the lyricism of Emeralds, set to the music of Fauré; the jazz-inflected energy of Rubies, danced to Stravinsky; and the noble classicism of Diamonds, to Tchaikovsky.
For those who plan on being in New York City for the holiday season, tickets go on sale on September 23 for the famed New York City Ballet production of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker. It is truly a sight to behold as 90 dancers, 62 musicians, 40 stagehands and more than 125 children from the School of American Ballet join forces to make each performance as magical as possible.
And of course, when we speak of Lincoln Center, we can’t forget The Metropolitan Opera! Tickets are now on sale for the Met’s exciting 2018–19 season, which includes four new productions and 18 revivals. For the casual operagoer or someone looking for some wonderful introductory operas, The Met has the cleverly titled “ABC’s of Opera.” A for AidaAida, B for La BohemeLa Boheme and C for CarmenCarmen. They are three of the warhorses of opera. The music for each is powerful, the sets are beyond spectacular and the costumes are the grandest in the world.
While these options can satisfy your craving for the arts, what about your appetite? We’ve got you covered! Two of our favorite eateries right by Lincoln Center are The Smith and Bar Boulud at 1900 Broadway.
The Smith is a lively place for classic American fare and specialty cocktails. You’ll feel welcomed the moment you enter, as the restaurant is filled with everyone from pre-and post-theatergoers, to neighborhood families, to global travelers. They have daily dinner specials, like spring lamb on Thursdays and paella on Saturdays. You absolutely must try the jalapeño cheddar grits!
Bar Boulud is Parisian-style dining with standout artisanal charcuterie and wines from renowned chef Daniel Boulud. Bar Boulud is perfect for a post-show drink, as its cellar collection features wines from across the world, highlighting hidden gems, legendary producers and top vintages at great values. Weather permitting, we highly recommend dining on their outdoor terrace, which is situated right along the Upper West Side’s “Restaurant Row.”
You can round out the whole experience by visiting The Shops at Columbus Circle. The Shops are an unrivaled destination for style and sophistication, with a diverse selection of over 50 retail shops and boutiques—plus world-class restaurants and cafés. Grab some take-out at Whole Foods and walk over to nearby Central Park for a pre-show picnic.
NYC is a city of neighborhoods, and we encourage you to explore as many as you can. And we can guarantee that a day on the Upper West Side filled with theater, dinner and shopping will leave you with an unforgettable New York experience.
Courtesy of Broadway Inbound.
Photo courtesy of Paul Kolnik.