Founded by a group of suffragists (The League for Political Education) seeking to build a space where the people could be educated, The Town Hall was built in 1921, designed by renowned architects McKim, Mead & White to reflect the democratic principles of the League. Box seats were eliminated and no seats had an obstructed view giving birth to the term "Not a bad seat in the house."
November 13, 1921
Margaret Sanger’s Dramatic Arrest
Margaret Sanger was famously arrested on Town Hall’s stage during a public meeting on birth control. She was an avid supporter of women’s sexual rights, and founded the American Birth Control League, now known as Planned Parenthood.
15, 24, 31 December 1921
Richard Strauss Three Intimate Recitals
15 December with Elizabeth Schumann, soprano 24 December with Elena Gerhardt, soprano 31 December with George Meader, tenor
Richard Strauss(1864-1949) for a remarkably long time—60 years—was one of the dominant figures on the European musical scene. He was a prolific German composer. Among his numerous works were 15 operas, several ballets, symphonies, concertos, chamber music, choral works and song.
May 11, 1927
Paul Robeson & Lawrence Brown A Program of Negro Music
Paul Robeson (1898-1976) was the son of a former slave who made his name on stage in The Emperor Jones, All God's Children, Showboat, Black Boy, Porgy & Bess, The Hairy Ape and Othello. His first concert appearance was singing black spirituals in New York City. He toured the U.S. and Europe. His films include: The Emperor Jones, Sanders of the River, Show Boat and the Proud Valley.
January 7, 1923
Cello Recital by Pablo Casals Pablo Casals (1876-1973) was a Spanish cellist, conductor and composer who achieved worldwide acclaim as a virtuoso. He made his Barcelona debut at 14, played for heads of state from Queen Victoria to President Kennedy, established the Prades Festival, and died in Puerto Rico in self-imposed exile from Spain.
February 27, 1923
Ruth St. Denis in Ted Denishawn & Denishawn Dancers with Martha Graham, Pearl Wheeler, Betty May, Leonore Schefler, Julia Bennett, Mary Lynn, Louise Brooks, Charles Weidman and Robert Gorham.
American dancer and teacher, Ruth St. Denis (1879-1968) started her career as a vaudeville, musical comedy dancer and actor. St. Denis influenced almost every phase of American dance with the introduction of philosophical themes and Asian dance styles and costumes. She founded the Society of Spiritual Arts in 1931 and "promoted the dance as a sacred art."
March 23, 1929
Recital by Andres Segovia
Andres Segovia(1893-1987) was a self-taught musician recognized as the preeminent exponent of the Spanish guitar and responsible for restoring the instrument to prominence in classical music. In 1909 he began a musical career that spanned nearly eight decades, touring internationally.
August 23, 1929
Sacco & Vanzetti Memorial
Unable to get a hall in Boston the Sacco -Vanzetti Memorial Committee and the ACLU booked The Town Hall. The memorial was held on the second anniversary of the political radicals arrested in 1920 on the charge of murdering a shoe factory guard in South Braintree, MA during a robbery. Though convicted in 1921, their appeal generated doubt about their guilt and led to widespread support and worldwide protests. After their execution in 1927 after a special committee found the trial to be unfair in their execution.
November 3, 1930
An Evening with Richard Tauber
Austrian tenor Richard Tauber’s (1891-1948) sweet and superbly managed voice, full of musicianship, was especially well suited for the Mozartian tenor roles. Fame came almost instantly for him, and he also gained critical acclaim as both a composer and conductor. He was known to have completed an orchestral suite, two operettas and dozens of art songs.
February 2, 1932
Sergei Rachmaninov— Third Event in The Town Hall Endowment Series 1931-32
Russian composer, pianist and conductor Sergei Rachmaninov(1873-1943) was noted for his command of the emotional gesture and loyalty to the finer Russian Romanticism inherited from Tchaikovsky and his teachers. His orchestral works include three symphonies, four piano concertos and three symphonic poems.
December 7, 1932
Fydor Chaliapan— First Event in the Town Hall Endowment Series 1932-33
Assisting artist: John Corigliano, violinist
Widely considered the greatest singing actor of his day Fydor Chaliapan(1873-1938) was largely self-taught and his talents included painting and sculpture as well. As far as his own make-up, costuming and musical and dramatic preparation were concerned, he was a perfectionist and untiring in his attention to the staging of the operas in which he took part.
May 30, 1935
First Broadcast of America's Town Meeting of the Air
When America's Town Meeting of the Air originally started broadcasts, it was on an experimental basis, but the show quickly became enormously popular. Experts - including a fair share of celebrities - would discuss topical questions, but what really set the show apart was the large amount of audience participation.
November 25, 1935
Eight Year Old Prodigy Ruth Slenczynski
Ruth Slenczynski, Eight-Year-Old Pianist The child prodigy who made her debut at age five and was acclaimed by European critics. Ruth Slencynski’s (1925-) book of memoirs Forbidden Child recounts the troubles of a child prodigy's life.
December 30, 1935
Marian Anderson Kosti Vehanen at the piano
After being denied an operatic career because of discrimination against African-Americans, Marian Anderson(1897-1993) made her New York debut at The Town Hall. World famous contralto, Ms. Anderson went on to perform on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1939 (after being denied access to Washington's Constitution Hall), and become the first African-American to perform at New York's Metropolitan Opera. Her numerous awards include: The Congressional Gold Medal and the American Freedom Medal.
February 27, 1936
Town Meeting: Young America Looks Forward
First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt appeared as Chairman on "America’s Town Meeting of the Air." The topic was “Young America Looks Forward,” with outreach to a wide-variety of high schools and colleges bringing to bring them into the discussion, and solidifying Town Hall’s connection with, and concern for, education of the city’s youth.Legendary
October 12, 1937
Isaac Stern Has His New York Debut at Age 17
Town Hall has long been a place where musicians make their New York debut. Famed violinist Isaac Stern made his New York debut here in 1937, and returned for another concert in 1939. Stern could perform a concert from memory lasting sixteen hours, as his repertoire included fourteen concertos, fifteen sonatas, and a hundred smaller pieces.
November 28, 1936
Alice Tully Sings at Town Hall
Alice Tully, U.S. singer, music promoter, and philanthropist, for whom the famous Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center is named, performed here at Town Hall. A lifelong patron of the arts, she donated millions of dollars throughout her life, often anonymously. Tully was awarded both the Handel Medallion and The National Medal of the Arts for her contributions to the cultural and artistic climate of New York City.
December 26, 1938
Lily Pons Song Recital Frank LaForge, composer-pianist at the piano Frances Blaisdell, flautist and The Renaissance Quintet
French-American coloratura soprano Lily Pons (1904-1976) was known as the reigning diva at the Metropolitan Opera for 25 years.
May 8, 1938
Town Meeting: What is Humanity's Greatest Need Today?
Novelist Pearl Buck appeared with Carl Sandburg, Forest Ray Moulton and Frank Kingdon
Moderator: George V. Denny, Jr.
Pearl Buck (1892-1973) was an American novelist awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1938. Novels include: The Good Earth(Pulitzer Prize), Sons, A House Divided, The House of Earth, The Exile, Fighting Angel, The Patriot, Other Gods, Dragon Seed, Dragon Fish, Peony, Imperial Women and Living Reed.
April 11, 1942
Billie Holiday Performs
Billie Holiday performed at the fourth Town Hall Jazz Concert. Holiday would return in 1948 for her first major solo show. (Photo by Chuck Stewart)
February 17, 1944
Town Meeting: Let's Face the Race Question
Langston Hughes discussed how “the Race Question” should be handled in America. Although discussing “a question that [was] considered by some timid souls to be dangerous,” the speakers were able to stir up a thoughtful debate which could inspire people around the country to engage in this important inquiry.
September 9, 1944
Eddie Condon Town Hall Blue Network Broadcast Series
From 1944 to 1945 Eddie Condon(1905-1973) lead a series of recordings at Town Hall that were broadcast weekly on the radio. Condon opened his own club in 1945, and recorded for Columbia in the 1950s. He was one of the gang of young white Chicago jazz musicians in the 1920s. After organizing some record sessions, Condon switched to guitar, and moved to New York in 1929 he lead some sessions for the Commodore label and he became a star.
May 2, 1946
Town Meeting: What Can We As Individuals Do To Help Prevent World Famine?
In an unusual debate in which all four speakers were in agreement, Former Mayor of New York Fiorello LaGuardia visited The Town Hall to participate in a discussion of how the people of America could help solve the world food crisis. This Town Meeting received the more mail and questions than any had before, showing the deep concerns that people had throughout the country.
June 22, 1945
Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker
Diz and Bird were joined by Max Roach in this 1945 concert, the record of which was not initially released, either due to the controversial nature of bebop at the time, or simply because the record was misplaced. Either way, we’re very happy that this legendary concert is now available for us to listen to! (More info here and here.)
November 8, 1947
Sarah Vaughan and Lester Young: One Night Stand
Released in 1997 by Blue Note, this album features two legendary performers, mostly performing separately, but coming together for the final number “I Cried For You." (More info here and here.)
April 3, 1947
Town Meeting: Should the Communist Party be Outlawed in the United States?
Joseph R. McCarthy joins Elis Arnall, Edward Arthur Hayes and Leo Cherne Moderator: George V. Denny, Jr. Joseph McCarthy (1908-1957) was an American senator who accused many individuals of subversive activities and roused considerable public support for investigations and persecutions carried on by the House of Un-American Activities committee. His campaign of slander gave rise to the term "McCarthyism."
October 7, 1947
Town Meeting: What Can We Do to Improve Race and Religious Relationships in America?
Clare Boothe Luce joins Charles P. Taft and Walter White. Interrogators: Max Lerner and Moderator: George V. Denny, Jr.
American playwright, congresswoman and ambassador, Clare Boothe Luce (1903-1978) was the managing editor of Vanity Fair, war correspondent for Life magazine, and a member of the US House of Representatives. She was the second woman to serve as US Ambassador. The recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, her plays include: The Women, Kiss The Boys Goodbye and Margin for Error.
November 1, 1949
Town Meeting: Are We Depending Too Much on Government for General Welfare?
Huberty Humphrey and Owen Brewster Moderator: George V. Denny, Jr.
Hubert Humphrey(1911-1978) was a Senator from Minnesota and Vice President under Lyndon Johnson. He was unsuccessful as the Democratic nominee for President of the United States in 1968; but was elected in 1970 to the United States Senate and reelected in 1976.
March 5, 1949
Burl Ives Plays Seven Encores
Burl Ives played for a full house, with hits like "Frankie and Johnnie" and "Lolly Too Dum Day". Per audience demand, he played seven encores.
February 3, 1951
Kurt Weill Concert featuring Lotte Lenya
Program: The Three Penny Operain concert version as well as excerpts from One Touch of Venus, Knickerbocker Holiday, and Mahagonny
Austrian singer and actor Lotte Lenya(1898-1981) gained fame as Jenny in the Berlin production and film version of Brecht and Weill's Die Dreigroschenoper. She also created the roles of Anna in Die Sieben Todsurden, Miriam in the Eternal Road, The Duchess in The Firebrand of Florence, and appeared in the films From Russia with Love and Cabaret.
December 17, 1954
Billy Taylor Trio at Town Hall
Billy Taylor performed many well-known standards at this show accompanied by bassist Earl May and drummer Percy Brice, but he also premiered a (very) new song, written the afternoon of the show, “Theodora," written for his wife. (More info here and here.)
April 17, 1957
Duke Ellington for the Fresh Air Fund
Duke Ellington performed at Town Hall at a benefit concert for the Fresh Air Fund, an agency providing free country vacations to New York City children. This is emblematic of Town Hall's commitment to community service, as well as support of the jazz community.
(Photo by Raymond Ross Photography)
October 11, 1957
Leading flamenco guitarist, Carlos Montoya (1903 -1993) began playing in Cafes Cantantes at age 14. He toured Europe, Asia and the US playing major concert halls with leading symphonic orchestras.
January 5, 1958
Betty Allen's New York Debut
Internationally known opera singer Betty Allen made her New York recital debut at Town Hall. Allen was part of the first wave of African American opera singers to appear on the world's most prominent stages, aiding the breaking down of racial barriers in the operatic community.
February 25, 1958
American Opera Society presents The Coronation of Poppea
Conductor, Arnold Gamson, Chorus director, Margart Hills, Director, George Mully
Cast: Donald Gramm, Frank Porretta, Glade Peterson, Leontyne Price, Robert Rounseville, Mariquita Moll, Sarah Fleming, Ezio Flagello, Judith Raskin, Florence Kopleff and Larence Chelsi
Acclaimed as one of the greatest sopranos of her time, Leontyne Price (1927-) has been called the "girl with the golden voice," and "the Stradivarius of singers." She caught Virgil Thomson's attention when he heard her sing in a student production at Julliard, and he invited her to sing in the Broadway revival of his opera Four Saints in Three Acts. Her debut was at The Town Hall in 1954
February 28, 1959
The Thelonious Monk Orchestra at Town Hall
Thelonious Monk introduced a new band at this iconic performance. Having previously been known as an outstanding leader of smaller bands, Monk was joined by ten musicians at his Town Hall show.
September 15, 1959
Nina Simone at Town Hall
This celebrated album showcases Nina Simone’s impeccable skills as both a singer and a pianist, and is widely considered as some of her very best work. In 2006, Simone’s daughter performed a tribute concert at Town Hall honoring her mother.
December 20, 1959
Igor Stravinsky Concert
Igor Stravinsky was recognized as one of the greatest composers of the 20th century. Stravinsky performed at Town Hall with four other composers - Samuel Barber, Aaron Copland, Lukas Foss, and Roger Sessions - who joined him on stage to pay tribute. (Photo by Arn Newman)
April 12, 1963
Bob Dylan's Town Hall Debut
On April 12, 1963 at Town Hall, Bob Dylan played his first major concert. Over a thousand people attended and Dylan played mostly original and unknown songs from his forthcoming album, songs like Blowin in the Wind and Don't Think Twice, It's Alright.
The New York Times reviewed the concert, and Robert Shelton wrote "Mr. Dylan is 21 years old, hails from Hibbing, Minnesota, wears blue jeans, presumably has little to do with barbers, and resembles a Holden Caulfield who got lost in the Dust Bowl." He concluded by thanking legendary promoter Harold Leventhal "for straying from the sure box-office attractions to present a young giant."
March 21, 1964
The Judy Collins Concert (Live)
Twenty-four-year-old folksinger Judy Collins’ performance at Town Hall in New York City on March 21, 1964, was billed as her first concert, which is to say, her first appearance in a theater, as opposed to the folk clubs she was accustomed to playing. It was a big step up for a performer who was just releasing her third album and was gradually moving from a traditional repertoire to one consisting largely of songs written by her contemporaries, many of them having a political bent.
April 28, 1964
Pete Seeger Children's Concert at Town Hall
Grammy-winning folksinger, national treasure, and untiring environmentalist, Pete Seeger(1919-) has been at the forefront of the labor movement, the struggle for Civil Rights, the peace and anti-war movements, and the fight for a clean world. Pete Seeger has been a beacon for hope for millions of people all over the world and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
May 18, 1969
Mabel Mercer & Bobby Short
This album features the pairing of two generations of sophisticated cabaret singers -- Mabel Mercer and Bobby Short -- in a concert at Manhattan's Town Hall on May 19, 1968. The inspired idea of having these two work together belonged to promoter George Wein. The first LP belonged to Short, who, backed by his usual cohorts, bassist Beverly Peer and drummer Dick Sheridan, turned in an appealing set that began with a quartet of Cole Porter songs and went on to a couple of Cy Coleman songs, and then some jazzier and bluesier material. Mercer's set, heard on the second disc, includes her precise rendering of a set of light, romantic lyrics and winning melodies, also dipping into the Porter and Coleman songbooks, kept the audience transfixed. The two returned together for the encore to duet playfully on "The 59th Street Bridge Song" and Coleman's "Here's to Us."
February 11, 1973
Legendary Ladies series launches with Bette Davis
Bette Davis appears in the first of the "Legendary Ladies" series dreamed up by veteran film publicist John Springer, the idea - to present great scenes from her greatest movies and then to meet the lady herself. Others that appeared in the series are Joan Crawford, Sylvia Sydney, Myrna Loy, and later, Rosalind Russell and Lana Turner.
April 8, 1973
Joan Crawford Live at Town Hall
Joan Crawford makes her last public appearance in the "Legendary Ladies" at the Movies series. The series presented great scenes from the legends greatest movies and then introduced the lady herself. To read a transcript of the evening, click here.
February 12, 1981
Philip Glass Ensemble
Performs 3 concerts: 12 & 15 Feb: Einstein on the Beach, 1st Complete Concert Version 13 Feb: Music with Chaing Parts, Music with Similar Motion 14 Feb: Music in 12 Parts
American composer and musician, Philip Glass(1937-) discovered an interest in Indian music when working with Ravi Shankar in Paris. Indian rhythms influenced a series of ensemble pieces, which, though they vary considerably in density, all share the technique of extending and contracting rhythmic figures in a stable diatonic framework. Famous for his opera Einstein on the Beach.
February 22, 1985
town hall concert live recording
When the legendary Blue Note label was relaunched in the mid-'80s, this concert was part of the celebration. Miles Davis' classic rhythm section (Ron Carter, Tony Williams, and Herbie Hancock) are reassembled here, capturing their early brilliance. Also featured on the recording are tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson, trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, flutist James Newton and vibraphonist Bobbie Hutercherson.
March 30, 1987
Harolyn Blackwell, soprano, appears as part of Town Hall's Select Debut series
Harolyn Blackwell’s career began on Broadway in a revival of Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story in 1980, but she soon discovered her true passion for opera and was selected as a finalist for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 1983. Soon after, she appeared in several productions at the MET. Blackwell’s radiant soprano and expressive performance style is renowned in opera and concert halls around the world. Throughout her 30-year career she has toured nationally and internationally with well-known opera companies and performed as part of many opera festivals, concert series and recitals, earning numerous awards and credentials as one of the brightest stars on the stage.
November 9, 1988
Sharon Isbin has been acclaimed for expanding the guitar repertoire with some of the finest new works of the century. She has commissioned and premiered more concerti than any other guitarist, as well as numerous solo and chamber works. Among the many other composers who have written for her are Joan Tower, David Diamond, Ned Rorem, Aaron Jay Kernis and Leo Brouwer. In 2003, Sharon Isbin premiered the Joan Baez Suite written for her by John Duarte.
December 10, 1988
The Town Hall Not Just Jazz series featuring Meredith Monk with Nurit Tilles
Composer, singer, filmmaker, choreographer and director Meredith Monk (1942-) is a pioneer in what is now called "extended vocal technique" and "interdisciplinary performance." During a career that spans more than 30 years, she has created over 100 works and been acclaimed by audiences and critics as a major creative force in the performing arts.
March 11, 1989
Archy & Mehitable, a back alley musical, with Taylor Dane
The Town Hall's Century of Change series presented the back alley musical, archy & mehitable, starring Taylor Dane and Lee Wilkof.
Taylor Dayne, American pop and freestyle music singer-songwriter and actress, made her Town Hall debut in archy & mehitabel, a revival of the musical with a book by Joe Darion and Mel Brooks, lyrics by Darion, and music by George Kleinsinger. Based onarchy and mehitabel, a series of New York Tribune columns by Don Marquis, it focuses on poetic cockroach archy (who wasn't strong enough to depress the typewriter's shift-key), alley cat mehitabel, and her relationships with theatrical cat tyrone t. tattersal and tomcat big bill, under the watchful eye of the newspaperman, the voice-over narrator and only human being in the show
September 23, 1989
Gene Harris and the Philip Morris Superband Live at Town Hall
This CD documents one of the first concerts by Gene Harris' star-studded big band, an orchestra heard at the beginning of an 80-day world tour. The straightforward arrangements (by John Clayton, Frank Wess, Torrie Zito, Bob Pronk and Lex Jasper) balance swingers with ballads. Among the more memorable tracks are Harry "Sweets" Edison's feature (both muted and open) on "Sleepy Time Down South," a pair of fine vocals apiece by Ernie Andrews and Ernestine Anderson, the roaring "Old Man River" and Harris' interpretation of Erroll Garner's ballad "Creme de Menthe." Toss in short solos from the likes of Ralph Moore, James Morrison (on trombone), Frank Wess, Michael Mossman and baritonist Gary Smulyan.
December 5, 1991
Scott Joplin's TREEMONISHA an opera in 3 acts
The Town Hall Century of Change series presented Scott Joplin's opera TREEMONISHA with La-Rose Saxon, Eddy Pierce Young, Lisa Polite, Curtis Rayam, Clinton Ingram, Frederick Martell, Andre Solomon-Glover, Raymond Bazemore, John Anthony Melton Sawyer, Michael Lofton, and the Harlem School of the Arts Chorus.
June 24, 1992
JVC Jazz Festival presents a night of Chesky Jazz Live
The music on this CD comes from the June 24, 1992, concert at Town Hall in New York City, with a host of artists featured. Trumpeter Tom Harrell leads off with two fine originals, the turbulent "Journey to the Center" and the mellow but swinging "Weaver." His supporting cast includes ex-boss Phil Woods on alto sax, tenor saxophonist Joe Lovano, and pianist Jim McNeely, as well as bassist Peter Washington and drummer Bill Goodwin. Pianist Fred Hersch is next, beginning with a dazzling trio arrangement of Brazilian composer Egberto Gismonti's "Nostalgia," with some superb arco cello by Erik Friedlander and powerful percussion from Tom Rainey. A captivating medley of two Hersch originals, "Child's Song" and "Forward Motion," and the humorous "Nostalgia," adding saxophonist Rich Perry, round out his set. Brazilian guitarist and singer Ana Caram, one of Chesky's most-recorded artists during the 1990s, shows why she had such strong appeal to a bossa nova crowd with her set. Woods returns to the stage to join Paquito D'Rivera and his band for a sensational two-clarinet version of "Birk's Works," and more.
December 1, 1995
Wayne Shorter's first New York concert in five years. Backed by his current septet -- with drums, percussion, electric bass, electric guitar and two keyboard setups joining Mr. Shorter's tenor and soprano saxophones -- performed radically rearranged pieces from his new album, "High Life" (Verve),
October 1, 1996
A Tribute to Oscar Peterson
Oscar Peterson suffered a stroke in 1993 and made a partial comeback. Although his left hand was weakened, the pianist's right hand was powerful as ever, and he was able to mostly cover up his deficiencies. The evenings all-star line-up included: Oscar Peterson (piano); Shirley Horn, The Manhattan Transfer (vocals); Clark Terry (vocals, trumpet); Stanley Turrentine (tenor saxophone); Roy Hargrove (flugelhorn); Milt Jackson (vibraphone); Benny Green (piano); Herb Ellis (guitar); Ray Brown, Neils-Henning Orsted Pedersen (bass); Lewis Nash (drums).
June 17, 1997
Lead singer, and primary lyricist for the 10,000 maniacs, performed music from her first solo album Tigerlilly. The album that launched her solo career. Tigerlily was a critical and commercial success, spawning her first top-ten hit in the single "Carnival", and achieving top-40 success with subsequent singles "Wonder" and "Jealousy". The album would go on to sell over 5 million copies, and continues to be Merchant’s most successful album to date.
March 20, 1998
70s Jazz Pioneers Live at the Town Hall
The '70s were a very creative and banner decade for jazz. On March 20, 1998, trumpeter Mark Morganelli celebrated the richness of '70s jazz by organizing a special concert that was held at New York's Town Hall. Morganelli's idea was to feature improvisers who made an impact during the '70s, and those improvisers included trumpeter Randy Brecker, soprano and tenor saxman Dave Liebman, guitarist Pat Martino, pianist Joanne Brackeen, bassist Buster Williams, and drummer Al Foster. That concert resulted in this excellent post-bop CD, which finds the '70s jazz pioneers offering acoustic-oriented versions of '70s classics like Freddie Hubbard's "Red Clay," Stanley Turrentine's "Sugar," and Chick Corea's "500 Miles High"
August 4, 1999
Three-time Grammy Award-nominee Armatrading made her first NY appearence in three years. Ann Powers of The New York Times reviewed the concert, "Some singers can make each performance seem like a whispered disclosure, offered in love and trust. Such intimacy comes not from technical perfection but from the careful exploitation of individual quirks, the deployment of range and tone to express personality. Joan Armatrading, the veteran English singer-songwriter who appeared at Town Hall on Wednesday night, is a masterly creator of such artistic confidences."
June 22, 2000
Eddie Izzard begins 3 Night Stint
After a sold-out tour of the UK, British comedian Eddie Izzard brough his hilarious one-man show Circle to Town Hall for three nights from June 22-26, 2000. The show was taped and is available on video.
March 5, 2002
Joan Baez made her Town Hall debut. The legendary folk-singer appeared to promote her upcoming album Farewell Angelina
September 11, 2002
Town Hall's Brave New World, a Sept. 11 Theatrical Remembrance
Designed to commemorate the one-year anniversary of Sept. 11, a Brave New World was a theater marathon featuring fifty new plays and songs created by America's premiere playwrights, composers, and lyricists, and presented by some of our nation's most talented performers and directors, in a coordinated stroke of creativity and fellowship.
Participants included Stockard Channing, Billy Crudup, Christopher Durang, John Guare, Beth Henley, Tina Howe, David Henry Hwang, Anne Jackson, Arthur Kopit, Frank Langella, Camryn Manheim, Alan Menken, Gregory Mosher, Bebe Neuwirth, Mary Louise Parker, Estelle Parsons, David Rabe, John Rando, Ann Reinking, Lloyd Richards, Chita Rivera, John Patrick Shanley, Anna Deveare Smith, Stephen Sondheim, Marisa Tomei, Alfred Uhry, Eli Wallach, Sam Waterston, Sigourney Weaver, Vanessa Williams, Lanford Wilson, and Jerry Zaks.
Created by artistic directors J. Dakota Powell and Erica Gould, this special commemorative event provided artists with a forum to reflect upon and respond to the tragic events of September 11th on its first anniversary. Net proceeds were donated to The New York Children's Foundation.
September 22, 2003
Elvis Costello begins three nights at Town Hall
Elvis Costello appeared at Town Hall for three nights to promote his new album, ''North'' (Deutsche Grammophon), accompanied only by Steve Nieve on piano, Mr. Costello retrofitted his old songs with his latest approach while he unveiled new ones.
March 12, 2004
Ms. Faithfull appeared to promote her new album, "Before the Poison" (Anti-/Epitaph), which featured collaborations with the cult figures P. J. Harvey and Nick Cave.
Stephen Holden from The New York Times wrote in his review of her performance, "To hear Marianne Faithfull spit out John Lennon's Working Class Hero in her ravaged, all-knowing sneer is to discover how a great song can accrue sharper meanings over time. ... Ms. Faithfull, who recorded Working Class Hero on her classic 1979 album "Broken English," has long since settled comfortably into her persona of the debauched fallen aristocrat, a faux Victorian princess exiled from polite society, flaunting her scarlet letter as she ravenously prowls the land, an arrogant pariah. It is only pop mythology, of course, but Ms. Faithfull still plays the role for all it's worth, infusing it with considerable humor."
September 21, 2004
Gilberto Gil and David Byrne
Gilberto Gil, one of the stars of the tropicalia movement, which revolutionized Brazilian pop, performed at Town Hall on a double bill with American Pop star and visionary David Byrne.
In the 1960's, Gilberto's iconoclasm and cosmopolitan ambition marked him as a troublemaker; Mr. Gil was imprisoned and exiled by Brazil's military government. He outlasted his opponents, and was appointed Brazil's minister of culture in 2002.
May 25, 2007
Bright Eyes begins 7 night run at Town Hall
During a 7-night stint at The Town Hall in New York City from May 25 to June 1, Bright Eyes welcomed the following guests on stage for special performances: Lou Reed (May 25); Ben Kweller (May 26); Jenny Lewis and Johnathan Rice (May 28); Norah Jones, Little Willie and Derrick E (May 29); Nick Zinner, Maria Taylor and Ben Gibbard (May 30); Steve Earle (May 31); and Ron Sexsmith and Britt Daniel (June 1).
March 25, 2008
Jerry Lee Lewis
The last living legend from Sun Studios’ Million Dollar Quartet, Jerry Lee Lewis, was rockin’ and a rollin’ on the Town Hall stage. Along with his wingman, Ken Lovelace, who has been playing with Lewis for 40-plus years, Jerry Lee (at 72 years old) could still perform. There were no boots on the piano, and his time on stage was about 40 minutes, but the final run of “Sweet Little Sixteen,” “Great Balls of Fire” and “Whole Lot of Shaking Going On” is what everyone came to see and The Killer delivered.
November 23, 2009
Robin Williams brought his latest show Weapons of Self Destruction to the Town Hall stage. The show made fun of everybody no hold barred. He coverd a wide range of topics over his three night run, which was recorded for use on a later HBO special.