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30 Lafayette Ave., nr. Ashland Pl. (Brooklyn)
(1) 718-636-4100 | www.bam.org
HOURS/TIMESVaries by venue and season
POPULAR TIMESWeekends; evenings
RESERVE IN ADVANCEYes - tickets for all events available at www.bam.org
WAIT TIME WITHOUT RESERVATIONVaries by event; advance reservations recommended
HIGHLIGHTSNext Wave Festival; Rose Cinema
SUBWAYAtlantic Ave.-Flatbush Ave. (2, 4, B, Q); Atlantic Ave.-Pacific St. (D, N); Lafayette Ave. (A, C); Fulton St. (G)
Although it’s now known for its adventurous avant-garde programming (particularly the annual Next Wave Festival), the historic Brooklyn Academy of Music (or, as it’s more familiarly known, BAM) actually got its start in 1861 as a home for the buttoned-up Philharmonic Society of Brooklyn. After the original building burned down at the turn of the 20th century, BAM relocated and rebuilt (its gala reopening featured performances by Metropolitan Opera stars Geraldine Farrar and Enrico Caruso) and expanded rapidly. Today, it’s based across two buildings–the plush 2,100-seat Howard Gilman Opera House (which includes the four-screen Rose Cinema) and the industrial-chic 874-seat Harvey Theater–and attracts the cream of the contemporary art world to its innovative productions. Cultural figures and artists who have made appearances here include Philip Glass, Ingmar Bergman, Cate Blanchett, Patrick Stewart, John Turturro, Vanessa Redgrave, and Isadora Duncan.
GO HERE WITH
Music, performing arts, or cinema aficionados; a date; friends; family
WHY WE LIKE IT
Their innovative program of events is really impressive–and impressively varied–which means that pretty much everyone can find an interesting program they want to check out. We particularly dig the offerings at the Next Wave Festival, which takes place every autumn. (Since it started in 1983, Next Wave has made a name for itself presenting the work of emerging and cutting-edge performance and visual artists.)
WHAT WE WOULD CHANGE
Because the BAM campus is spread across a couple of buildings, it can be a little confusing to navigate for first-timers.
GOOD TO KNOW
The BAMcafé (which is in the Howard Gilman Opera House) opens two hours before every performance. It’s a good spot for a quick pre-theater snack or drink, especially if you’re here on a casual date. If you’re into classic films, check out the Rose Cinema (which is open 365 days a year), whose “BAMcinématek” program offers daily screenings of classics from BAM’s archives. Fun facts for theater history buffs: BAM is America’s oldest continuously operating performing arts center, and until the 1960s, it ran a current affairs lecture series that included speakers like Henry Beecher Stowe, Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth, Gertrude Stein, Langston Hughes, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Amelia Earhart.
All information within this website was checked for accuracy at the time of publication. But since the world moves quickly, things may have changed. Pardon us for any errors as we strive to give you the most up-to-the-minute details!