New York Today: The Shed Opens at Hudson Yards

April 5, 2019
The interior of the Kings Theater in Brooklyn recalls the Palace of Versailles and Paris Opera House.

The Metropolitan Opera delights with its whimsical starburst chandeliers.

In New York, we expect world-class performance spaces to be works of art themselves. Enter the Shed, the city's new cultural institution at Hudson Yards in Manhattan.

The Shed opens today, and to describe it I turned to my colleague Michael Cooper, who first covered its development as a City Hall reporter in the early 2000s. He now covers classical music and dance for The Times.

The building, a $475 million "flexible art space" (and feat of architectural engineering), has a small theater, galleries and a large performance space "that sits under an enormous silvery puffer jacket of shell," Mr. Cooper said.

But what makes the Shed really stand out is its telescoping shell, which "can roll back and forth on rails," he said. "When extended, it doubles the footprint of the Shed, creating a huge indoor space."

He added, "When it is rolled back over the main building, it exposes a large public plaza for outdoor performances or public space."

So, what can the Shed contribute to a city chock-full of performance spaces?

Plenty, Mr. Cooper said. The Shed's founders and designers believe that New York "still needs flexible spaces where artists can collaborate across disciplines."

The Shed's first weeks will feature what The Times's Culture Desk called a "flight of ambitious programming." "Soundtrack of America," a celebration of African-American music directed by the Oscar-winning filmmaker Steve McQueen, begins its run tonight; "Norma Jeane Baker of Troy," a dramatic work by Anne Carson and performed by Renée Fleming and Ben Whishaw, opens tomorrow.

An elaborately staged Björk concert will debut on May 6.

You can get tickets here. (But not for the sold-out Bjork show.)
The New York TimesBy Azi Paybarah