Tully Hall Reopens This Weekend

124218-1Gotham’s Lincoln Center unveiled its newly refurbished Alice Tully Hall today, ahead of inaugural performances that begin Sunday. (Video tour here.) I had breakfast in the lobby cafe there this morning, and I can assure you that this space is going to become a hub of activity (probably with Juilliard School students parked there all day with their laptops open). Reopened venue is the first to return to public use since the beginning of the multi-year renovation plan for the entire Lincoln Center campus. The hall has been shuttered for nearly two years during construction. Designed by architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Tully Hall looks out onto Broadway with a high glass wall instead of its former closed facade. The expanded lobby, including a restaurant that will be open all day, is visible from the street, as is a dance studio used by Juilliard students.

The interior of the auditorium itself, now called the Starr Theater, is largely sheathed in a wood skin, parts of which can be illuminated by LED lights underneath. Two automated stage extensions and a film screen are among the bells and whistles.

Redone facility also includes expanded dressing rooms, chorus rooms and a warm-up and rehearsal room, as well as a larger freight elevator to accommodate more extensive physical productions.

Programming at the venue kicks off Feb. 22 with an opening festival of performances, including a show by by Stew and Heidi Rodewald, the duo behind Broadway tuner “Passing Strange.”

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