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New York | 1h 30m | Open run

Insider Access to the NYPL Theater Collection

From 41 member reviews
Members say: Absorbing, Intelligent, Entertaining, Delightful, Thought-provoking

About the show

Join the NYPL's theater curator for a behind-the-scenes tour of the fabulous collection at Lincoln Center. A must-do for theater fans! More…

The New York Public Library has the world’s leading collection of theater history. Join Doug Reside, the library’s theater curator, for this fascinating dive into its treasures. You’ll be able to get up close to priceless artifacts from shows like "West Side Story," and see other objects that are rarely on display. Best of all, you’ll be able to have all your theater history questions answered by a true expert.

“Insider Access to the NYPL Theater Collection” hasn't been reviewed by any Critics (yet!)

Absorbing, Intelligent, Masterful, Must see

See it if So much theater-ology you normally wouldn't see anywhere! Love the library in general. This one takes the cake!!

Don't see it if if you don't like theater or want to know some history behind shows or interesting tidbits

Absorbing, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if Be still my theater geek heart. It was better than I thought it could be possibly be. I especially loved the discussion of preservation.

Don't see it if If you have time and interest- this is a must go to tour.

Intelligent, Must see, Profound, Relevant, Entertaining

See it if you are fascinated about history/memorabilia of theatre and curious about contents and preserving private rooms of the NYPL Theatre Division

Don't see it if you do not enjoy group tours, libraries, or history/memorabilia of theatre, can’t walk or stand for most of 90 min, or have indoor allergies

Nostalgic, Informative, Enlightening, Eye-opening, Tech-savvy

See it if you are interested in how to preserve the performing arts for future generations.

Don't see it if you need vivid, hit-me-in-the-face; this is a chance to reflect on the past, and to consider what should be preserved and how.

Absorbing, Must see, Riveting

See it if you love the theater. That's all you need to know. The curator was fabulous, knowledgeable and friendly.

Don't see it if you don't care for/love the theater. That's what it is about.

Also Tour the back rooms of the library with the friendly, knowledgeable cu... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Delightful, Entertaining

See it if You want to discover new ways to access the amazing theater, dance, music and performing arts collections of this city library treasure.

Don't see it if You don’t like bookish environments, although many other-than-current Broadway & Off Bdwy performances are available to view as recordings.

Absorbing, Intelligent, Masterful, Relevant, Entertaining

See it if You consider yourself a theatre fan! There are treasures at this library that most of us don’t even know how to access plus this tour...

Don't see it if ...shows us things that the general public doesn’t get to see. Behind the scenes (REALLY FASCINATING) material. I can’t recommend enough!


See it if Hear inside info, see theater memorabilia, & gain special access to areas of the collection. Led by a true aficionado who loves theater!

Don't see it if You wouldn't want to see replicas of stage sets, theater storage areas, and ask any question you have (you can't stump this guy!) Really fun

Absorbing, Clever, Intelligent, Must see, Entertaining

See it if you love theatre history and all the different crafts that go into making shows. Really great guide!!

Don't see it if you are not interested in theatre history or do not like libraries.

Intelligent, Intelligent informative entertaining

See it if You wish to know at all the history of theater in New York, the resources available as a theater student (formal or informal) or fan.

Don't see it if you just want to go to a showand let them do the work. Don't bother if you've never gotten into a theater argument er discussion.

Absorbing, Delightful, Intelligent, Riveting, Entertaining

See it if you love the theatre and its back-story. There is SO MUCH here to marvel at; I surely will come back to see more.

Don't see it if you don't want to learn anything about theatre and its archives and the future of theatrical collections.

Also I had no idea there was such an abundance of theatre memorabilia in th... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Intelligent, Relevant, Riveting, Entertaining

See it if You want to know - and touch - theater history. This was an unmatchable opportunity not to be missed.

Don't see it if If touching an original typed manuscript of Carousel or costume sketch of Hello, Dolly! means nothing to you, stay home.

Also Our tour guide, Doug Reside, Curator of The Billy Rose Theater Divisio... Read more Read less

Exciting, Delightful, Informative, Nerdy

See it if you want the chance to ask questions of the curator and to hear about the inner workings of the NYPL collection. The curator is great!

Don't see it if you aren't interested in the archival material that remains behind after a show has closed or prefer to experience things passively.

Also It is what it says on the tin -- but at the same time, it is what you ... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Delightful, Informative, Fascinating, If you love theatre ephemera, you'll swoon.

See it if You love libraries, ephemera/artifacts, theatre history, getting access to "behind the scenes". The curator/tour leader is a deep well.

Don't see it if Wouldn't be thrilled seeing a working script close up, set designer models, old Playbills, card files. This is a geekfest for theatre buffs.

Also There's a bit of walking and exploring, but also an opportunity to sit... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Intelligent, Relevant, Entertaining

See it if You love to explore artifacts and history of performing Arts. You are interested in collections of shows, scripts, and memorabilia not seen.

Don't see it if You're not into preservation. You're Expecting to see videos of recorded shows, that requires special permission.

Absorbing, Delightful, Thought-provoking, Must see, Perfect for the new york theater buff!

See it if You are fascinated by theater history and libraries in general. How do they store memorabilia? What is deemed important enough to save?

Don't see it if You have no interest in getting in theater and/or you really don’t care about its history or how they preserve the memorabilia.

Also The curator did the library leads the tour so he really knows what he ... Read more Read less

Intelligent, Relevant, Fascinating

See it if You enjoy behind the scenes tours and/or are interested in the history of theater.

Don't see it if You don't like tours.

Insightful, Delightful, Intelligent, Entertaining, Fascinating

See it if A theater fan and to see all that the theater library has to offer - which is a tremendous amount. Curator was so amazing; tour was a treat

Don't see it if You don't get excited by getting exclusive access to seeing theater artifacts, hearing about and seeing wide range of theater related items

Also The tour was fascinating and the theater curator and his team were so ... Read more Read less

Our host for the tour: enthusiastic, knowledgeable, energetic

See it if you are interested in theater, inside stories, explanations of successes, failures, of theater folk.

Don't see it if Talk was about many aspects of theater, in front of and behind the curtain. There was so much to take in, perhaps more than some would like

Absorbing, Intelligent, Must see, Riveting

See it if You are a theatre buff, historian, researcher or just want to see items dating back to the 1800's. To get a peek at items few get to see.

Don't see it if You can't stand for too long, or walk for too long, if you have no interest in theatre archival, or tours.

Also Doug epwas such a pleasure. Funny, charismatic and had great stories t... Read more Read less

Delightful, Relevant, Entertaining

See it if you’re interested in the history of NYC theater; and want to hear a curator explain the NYP Library’s quest to preserve that history.

Don't see it if the history of theater doesn’t excite you; if you don’t like libraries or theatrical artifacts, moving through narrow aisles.

Must see, Relevant, Entertaining

See it if You are an avid theater fan & love details about the start of theater in NYC. The collection is back to the 1800’s. Go into secret rooms.

Don't see it if U have No interest in archives, theater, stories, dusty rooms.

Also The guide is the curator of the theater collection and is filled with ... Read more Read less

Insightful, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Informative

See it if you've ever wanted to know more about the arts collection at the Lincoln Center location of NYPL. Bonus sneak peek into the on-site storage!

Don't see it if you have a specific expectation of what you want to experience or have covered. Keep an open mind, and don't be afraid to ask questions.

Absorbing, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Riveting, Entertaining

See it if you are a theatre buff/geek. are a researcher or history buff. Just want to see cool stuff!

Don't see it if you just want to go watch a show recording.


See it if You are interested in the arts and are concerned how we are preserving our theatrical history.

Don't see it if You don't like informative tours, thousands of scripts and playbills, models of sets, and photos of past productions.

Also Great backstage look at the Arts archives of New York's theater, music... Read more Read less

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Direct from the Box Office

Typical fees: $8 - $15 per ticket. Can usually choose your own seats. You can save on fees by buying at the physical box office.