Curtain Up!

The exhibition space at New York’s Library of the Performing Arts just opened a charming new show, Curtain Up: Celebrating the Last 40 Years of Theatre in New York and London, which highlights blockbuster musicals as well as plays that have graced the stages on both sides of the Atlantic in addition to celebrating 70 years for the Tony Awards® and 40 years for the Olivier Awards.

Upon entry you’re greeted by floating playbills and souvenir programs hanging from the ceiling in a windswept design that is both theatrical and completely enchanting.

Traveling around the space, the exhibition provides glimpses into the various facets that engage and delight audiences, from compelling actors to lavish costumes to innovative set design and lighting. The displays show a true affection for the theatre while also giving up close views of things one usually only sees from afar. Of particular note is the Red Death costume from Phantom of the Opera and the set model for An Inspector Calls, both imaginative and dramatic creations supporting their respective stories.

My favorite part was seeing clips from the original 1975 production of A Chorus Line when it was playing at The Public Theater before moving onto Broadway. While the visuals are a grainy black and white, the stunning choreography shines through and it’s a treat to watch.

Curtain Up runs through June 30 and, for anyone who has an affair with theatre, this show is a delightful love letter.

For more information about the New York Public Library you may learn more by visiting their updated online guide where they provide a general overview of their history, a large catalogue, information on services and top documents. With branches all over Manhattan and in the boroughs of the Bronx and Staten Island, there’s something for everyone!