In 2004?on a mission to bolster its community?s wellspring of creativity and education?the nonprofit Bergen Performing Arts Center took over the former John Harms Center, an art-deco-style movie and vaudeville palace built in 1922. Today, in the same antique theater where Frank Capra screened his first car chase, the venue hosts 150 yearly events that bring dance, music, and theatrical productions to an estimated 250,000 annual audience members. Networks such as HBO, PBS, and MTV all have filmed international broadcasts on the stage, which has seen the likes of Diana Krall, Heart, and ZZ Top.
Celebrating its 47th year, the Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra tackles traditional baroque and romantic masters as well as contemporary songsters throughout its 2011–2012 season. An accomplished conductor of opera, Broadway, pops, and classical music, music director Gerald Steichen massages mellifluent tones out of Ridgefield's vibrant violins and boisterous brass. RSO highlights name-brand classical masters with its Beauty of Beethoven and Brahms Fulfilled shows. Young and aspiring musicians congregate at the Young Impressions concert, featuring 16-year old soloist Madeleine Bouissou. Celebrate the time signatures of foreign composers with A Trip to the British Isles, or sit back as visiting Broadway performers Nat Chandler and Teri Hansen belt homegrown classics during February 4th's Rodgers and Hammerstein Celebration, attended by Oscar Hammerstein's grandson Andy Hammerstein.
For more than half a century the American Symphony Orchestra has hewn to founder Leopold Stokowski's original vision: "to offer concerts of great music within the means of everyone." That means its shows aren't just financially affordable, they're also demystified by conductor lectures and never held inside biodomes. In recent years, the organization has added a new facet to its time-tested strategy: curated concerts built around a theme. Shows might explore a particular place and time, examine a literary motif, or delve into the interaction between music and visual art. This strategy has attracted a lot of attention, and not just from audiences: such greats as Yo-Yo Ma, Deborah Voigt, Sarah Chang, and Carnegie Hall's mask-wearing Phantoms of the Barbershop Quartet have all vied to play with the Orchestra.
Designated a city landmark in 2008, Webster Hall was named Nightclub of the Year in 2011 by Nightclub & Bar magazine and called the “jewel of the Village” by Nobel laureate Eugene O’Neill. First opened in 1886, its iconic framework has hosted such major acts as Prince and Mick Jagger, and served as a speakeasy, a lecture hall, and a mentor to troubled teenage buildings. Today, live shows performed by stars such as Kanye West and Alicia Keys take place in the Grand Ballroom, which is equipped with state-of-the-art acoustics and cutting-edge audio-visual equipment. In addition, the venue hosts weekly dance-club nights, the official NYC Halloween Parade Afterparty, and an annual New Year’s Eve Ball.
The intimate venue known today as City Theatre opened its doors in 1993 as the Second City Detroit. Renamed in 2004, the space still hews to the comedy troupe’s mission with a packed schedule of thigh-slapping theatrical performances. The stage is located inside the Hockeytown Café, where the entertainment is supplemented by a menu of beer, buffalo wings, and deep-fried pucks.
Before the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts was even built, the idea for its Chamber Music Society was born. American composer and Lincoln Center President William Schuman helped specially design a recital hall in which the chamber group could play more than three centuries worth of musical compositions. But the Chamber Music Society didn't stay contained within its venue. Throughout the following half century, its musicians collaborated with dance companies, jazz projects, and festivals, helping to spread awareness and appreciation of their craft throughout the city.