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Things to do near the Empire State Building

Find events, activities and attractions near the Empire State Building in New York.

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  • Things to do
  • Midtown West

Every Thursday in August, New Yorkers will get to catch a free Broadway performance in Bryant Park—courtesy of 106.7 LITE FM. The much-anticipated annual event is the ideal lunch-time destination as each performance kicks off at 12:30pm and wraps up by 1:30pm. Keep in mind that seating on the lawn is on a first-come, first-served basis. Now in its 22nd season, the event is usually stacked with acts from award winning productions. This year's lineup is as follows: August 4, 2022106.7 LITE FM Host: DelilahPre-show: STOMP!Disney on BroadwayAladdinThe Lion King August 11, 2022106.7 LITE FM Host: Cubby & ChristinePre-show: Kimberley AkimboChicagoDear Evan HansenHadestownPhantom of the Opera  August 18, 2022106.7 LITE FM Host: Helen LittlePre-show: 1776Come From AwayFunny GirlMr. Saturday NightWicked August 25, 2022106.7 LITE FM Host: Rich KaminskiPre-show: Special Performance by Taiwan Tourism BureauA Strange LoopBeetlejuiceMoulin Rouge! The MusicalSix

  • Music
  • Hell's Kitchen

All five boroughs will play host to a new free concert series dubbed Rise Up NYC scheduled to take over the town through September 12. Announced by Mayor Eric Adams last week, the shows aim at encouraging New Yorkers to enjoy what the city has to offer and reconnect with all the cultural pursuits that render it unique, even after the plagues of the COVID-19 pandemic.  "We are inviting all New Yorkers to come together to celebrate culture, music, and unity as New York City rebounds from the pandemic," said the politician in an official statement about the project. "Music and the arts were a lifeline for us all during the last two years, and I am here to say that New York City supports its local artists and communities. We are going to hit the right notes and turn the dial up to 11 this summer. We invite all New Yorkers to join us for world-class entertainment in the city that never sleeps." Already in full swing, the free series has tapped the likes of Mr. Vegas and Funk Flex to perform.  Below is the full schedule of events, which can also be found here.  Roy Wilkins Park, QueensMerrick Boulevard and Baisley Boulevard Saturday, August 13 Sunday, August 14 St. Nicholas Park, Manhattan135th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue Saturday, August 20 Sunday, August 21 Midland Beach Parking Lot 8, Staten IslandFather Capodanno Boulevard and Hunter Avenue Thursday, September 1 Orchard Beach, BronxOne Orchard Beach Road Thursday, September 8 Times Square, ManhattanBroadway Between 4

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  • Things to do
  • Flatiron

The Museum of Sex always has something exciting going on behind closed doors. "Super Funland: Journey into the Erotic Carnival" is back and better than ever with its 4-D immersive “Tunnel of Love” ride, the Love & Lust Deity Derby game, an erotic fortune-telling machine (modeled as RuPaul), a kissing booth, the Glory Stall game, an immersive "Stardust Lane - the Erogenous Kaleidoscope," an erotic mechanical bull and a lit-up climbing structure, "The Climbx," and more. Then when it's time to take the edge off, visitors can slide down a spiral slide into the Museum’s psychedelic carnival bar, Lollipop Lounge, for cocktails. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Theater
  • Circuses & magic
  • price 4 of 4
  • Chelsea

Review by Adam Feldman  The low-key dazzling Speakeasy Magick has been nestled in the atmospheric McKittrick Hotel for more than a year, and now it has moved up to the Lodge: a small wood-framed room at Gallow Green, which functions as a rooftop bar in the summer. The show’s dark and noisy new digs suit it well. Hosted by Todd Robbins (Play Dead), who specializes in mild carnival-sideshow shocks, Speakeasy Magick is a moveable feast of legerdemain; audience members, seated at seven tables, are visited by a series of performers in turn. Robbins describes this as “magic speed dating.” One might also think of it as tricking: an illusion of intimacy, a satisfying climax, and off they go into the night. The evening is punctuated with brief performances on a makeshift stage. When I attended, the hearty Matthew Holtzclaw kicked things off with sleight of hand involving cigarettes and booze; later, the delicate-featured Alex Boyce pulled doves from thin air. But it’s the highly skilled close-up magic that really leaves you gasping with wonder. Holtzclaw’s table act comes to fruition with a highly effective variation on the classic cups-and-balls routine; the elegant, Singapore-born Prakash and the dauntingly tattooed Mark Calabrese—a razor of a card sharp—both find clever ways to integrate cell phones into their acts. Each performer has a tight 10-minute act, and most of them are excellent, but that’s the nice thing about the way the show is structured: If one of them happens to fall

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  • Things to do
  • Hell's Kitchen

Grab your friends for a free outdoor dance party in Hudson Yards' Bella Abzug Park. The Mobile Mondays crew and friends are back with classic hits that shaped NYC club culture, spanning Funk, Soul, Hip Hop, House, Disco, Latin and more produced by Rebecca Lynn. The event is in partnership with Hudson Yards Hell’s Kitchen Alliance Business Improvement District (HYHK) and open to everybody. DJs include Operator Emz, Joey Carvello, Natasha Diggs, Just Blaze, Misbehavior and $$$ Mike.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Theater
  • Musicals
  • price 3 of 4
  • Midtown West

Broadway review by Adam Feldman Part of the magic of fairy tales is how they gain in repetition: Often though we’ve heard them, we still can thrill to each new telling, each variation on their familiar themes. So it is with Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s dazzlingly fractured 1987 musical Into the Woods, which combines the stories of Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood and more into a witty tragicomic farce that—instead of some tidy moral—ends with a complex look at morality itself. In the past decade alone, New York audiences have been treated to revivals of Into the Woods in Central Park and Off Broadway as well as a live-action Disney film adaptation. Now, after a smash spring engagement at City Center’s Encores! series, the show returns for a limited Broadway run in a focused, funny and thoroughly satisfying staging by director Lear deBessonet.  True to its semi-concert roots, this production is low on spectacle. The trees of David Rockwell’s ghostly set are tall, pale, mottled tubes suspended from the ceiling over an onstage orchestra conducted with flair by Rob Berman. The choreography, by Lorin Latarro, is simple and well-judged. The costumes are a weak spot—even dialed up to Skittles brightness for the Broadway transfer, they are mostly dull and sometimes perversely indifferent to their function—but it hardly matters. The emphasis is on Sondheim’s twisting, punning, verbose score and on the easy charisma of the performers, who seem to be hav

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  • Things to do
  • Midtown West

Hundreds of items have been pulled from the New York Public Library's expansive and centuries-spanning archive to be put on display—many of them for the first time—in a permanent exhibition called "The Polonsky Exhibition of The New York Public Library’s Treasures." Inside the NYPL's Stephen A. Schwarzman Building and its beautiful Gottesman Hall, are more than 250 unique and rare items culled from its research centers: the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, the Library for the Performing Arts and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. The exhibit, which opens to the public on Friday, September 24, spans 4,000 years of history and includes a wide range of history-making pieces, including the only surviving letter from Christoper Columbus announcing his "discovery" of the Americas to King Ferdinand’s court and the first Gutenberg Bible brought over to the Americas. We visited the stunning collection this week to find the top 10 must-see items at the NYPL Treasures exhibit so when you go, you can make sure to see them for yourself: 1. Thomas Jefferson’s handwritten copy of the Declaration of Independence Photograph: Max Touhey / NYPL Only six manuscript versions of the Declaration of Independence are known to survive in the hand of Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson made this copy for a friend shortly after the July 4th, 1776, ratification of the Declaration, which announced to the world the American colonies’ political separation from Great Britain. He underlined words t

  • Museums
  • Music
  • Midtown West

If you loved the music and cool jazz scene in Disney and Pixar's movie Soul, you'll want to make a beeline to The National Jazz Museum in Harlem, which has been transformed into the film's Half Note jazz club. Showcasing incredible artifacts from major players in Harlem's jazz scene, including Duke Ellington’s white grand piano, Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis' tenor saxophone, a player piano and a working 78rpm Victrola, "The Soul of Jazz: An American Adventure" highlights the many different cultures and creators who influenced this genre. The exhibit is a traveling exhibit, first hitting Epcot in Orlando, followed by the New Orleans Jazz Museum in New Orleans and the American Jazz Museum in Kansas City, Missouri before coming to Harlem. RECOMMENDED: Eight ways Pixar's 'Soul' gets NYC right Photograph: Shaye Weaver/Time Out New York It's a surreal experience to see Ellington's piano in person—it's the one he wrote many songs on at his sister's apartment and it still has the residue of his "DNA," according to National Jazz Museum in Harlem Executive Director Tracy Hyter-Suffern. Ellington's family recently gave it to the museum on permanent loan under one condition—it has to be played. (It's already been a part of a few events, including a dueling pianos event with Lafayette Harris Jr. and Sean Mason set to entertainment by tap dancers.) The exhibit also recreates a living room with furniture, black and white photos, sheet music and a player piano and record player as if it was pia

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  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Theater
  • Musicals
  • price 3 of 4
  • Midtown West

Broadway review by Adam Feldman A Strange Loop is a wild ride. In a Broadway landscape dominated by shows that often seem designed by corporations for audiences of focus groups, Michael R. Jackson’s musical is the defiant product of a single and singular authorial vision. This wide-ranging intravaganza takes a deep dive, often barely coming up for breath, into a whirlpool of ambition and frustration as Jackson's seeming alter ego—a queer, Black writer-composer named Usher (Jaquel Spivey)—struggles to define himself amid traps of sex, race, family, body image, religion and entertainment. It’s screamingly funny and howlingly hurt, and it’s unmissable.   Smartly directed by Stephen Brackett, the show caused a sensation in 2019 when it premiered at Playwrights Horizons; now, after multiple top-ten lists and an armful of honors (including the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and a New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award), it has reached Broadway without compromising its conflicted, challenging, sometimes actively family-unfriendly content. The songs are welcomingly tuneful and clever, but as Usher warns us in the opening number: “A Strange Loop will have Black shit! And white shit! It’ll give you uptown and downtown! With truth-telling and butt-fucking!”  All of that is true—including, graphically, the last part—but it barely begins to describe the show’s discombobulating melange of anger, joy, neurosis and honesty. In this very meta musical, Usher is the only real character: the unstable “I

  • Things to do
  • price 1 of 4
  • Chelsea

Nationally-recognized comedy show, UpDating, deals with dating hang-ups front and center at this live romantic experiment. Two New Yorkers will be paired on-stage for a blind date, and you get to join in on the magic (or the meltdown). The show comes from NY-Based Comedian Brandon Berman and Dating Blogger Harrison Forman. For more details you can check out UpDating's Instagram @updatingshow.

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