Published on October 9, 2015
While interning in New York City, there will be literally thousands of ways for an intern to spend their free time. We recommend taking the time to see at least a couple of shows at these top Big Apple venues. From comedy to jazz to live theater, there is so much great entertainment available. It would be foolish not check out some of the best venues in New York City.
1) The Apollo
Often referred to as the soul of American culture, The Apollo Theater is historically the leading venue for black performers in the United States. Based in Manhattan's Harlem neighborhood, construction of the Apollo was finished in 1914, though at that time it was called Hurtig & Seamon's New Burlesque Theater. Black patrons weren't allowed in the theater until 1934 when it became the Apollo. Since then world class acts like Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin have performed at the theater. The theater is also known for having launched the careers of many black performers, Ella Fitzgerald being among the most well-known. Every year some 1.3 million people visit the Apollo.
2) United Palace Theatre
Built back in the 1930s, the United Palace Theatre was once a vaudeville stage. Now the hip venue books an eclectic array of musical acts like Bob Dylan, Adele and Vampire Weekend. The glamorous renovated movie house feels a bit like a palace, complete with chandeliers and shiny, golden halls. Located in northern Manhattan, the United Palace Theatre also tends to draw in a slightly less touristy crowd.
3) Madison Square Garden
To see the world's top musical acts, Madison Square Garden is the place to be. Anything but intimate, the giant basketball arena packs its 20,000 seats for world-class performances by stars like Madonna and U2. Though slightly impersonal, Madison Square Garden is where you see the best of the best. Being a classic New York City venue, a concert at the garden is a must-do for interns abroad.
4) The Public Theater
Seeing a new work at The Public Theater will be a thrill for theater-loving interns in New York City. Known for showcasing new works by up-and-coming playwrights, the theater is the best place to see burgeoning artists hone their craft. The Public was opened in 1967 when it put on the world's first production of the musical Hair. The Public Theater's dedication towards fostering new artists and works has made it a vital part of the contemporary American theater scene and, of course, a great place to see a show. The Public also is in charge of putting on free Shakespeare in Central Park, which has featured performances by Meryl Streep, Al Pacino, Anne Hathaway and other world-class actors.
5) Comedy Cellar
This popular stand-up venue is a staple of the New York City comedy scene. Booking huge names like Aziz Ansari along with hilarious local acts, the club is a great place to see amazing comedy. Despite the sweat and crowds that are inevitable on weekends, the Comedy Cellar is an excellent spot for a good laugh.
6) Radio City Music Hall
A true New York City treasure, Radio City Music Hall is a classic U.S. musical venue. Recent bookings have included the likes of The Decemberists and Hozier. The beautiful concert venue is known for its stunning Art Deco style which gives performances an extra glam factor.
7) Carnegie Hall
Midtown Manhattan's world-famous Carnegie Hall is one of the most prestigious venues on earth for classical and popular musical acts, each season putting on some 250 performances. The venue has a main hall, which seats close to 3,000 and two smaller halls along with archives and a museum.
8) Belasco Theatre
A night at the Belasco Theatre will transport you to a more elegant time, with beautiful, carved dark wood, stunning murals and other decorative details that echo the Edwardian era. The Broadway theater opened in 1907 and was designed by architect George Keister. Now the theater is a staple of Broadway, putting on world-famous shows, while also being the chicest way to see a play in New York City.
9) Ars Nova
For affordable, quality Off-Off Broadway entertainment Ars Nova doesn't disappoint. The theater puts on a solid selection of musical performances, cabaret and comedy without charging an arm and a leg. The theater is especially known for "Showgasm", its monthly variety show.
10) Cake Shop
Cheap cover and great acoustics is what the Cake Shop provides young music lovers. This respected yet grungy basement venue books up-and-coming bands looking to try out their new material. Based on the Lower East Side since 2005, Cake Shop gave bands like Dirty Projectors their start.