Of course, the ultimate New York theater experience happens in the theaters of the Great White Way that were built during the first quarter of the 20th century and have been restored to their former grandeur. The greatest actors of the legitimate theater played these houses and it was here that the golden age of the musical theater transpired. The Belasco, the Shubert, the Palace, the Winter Garden, the Al Hirshfeld, the Nederlander, the Music Box. . . the very names connote the magic. These were the days when more was more, and the theater space was considered very much a part of the magic. They shimmer with gilding and tinted glass. Painted panels and plaster frescoes adorn the walls and the heavy proscenium curtain conceals another world, which remains secret as people take their seats.
At the top of my list of favorite things is the musical theater. I like to be on hand as soon as the House opens so I can soak up the surroundings as I watch the theater fill up. And then, finally, there is that utterly delicious moment when the house lights dim, and the overture begins.