Lincoln Center exhibit will charm theater lovers of all ages

LINCOLN CENTER, Manhattan (WABC) -- One of New York's hidden treasures is tucked next to the Metropolitan Opera House in Lincoln Center right across from the Eyewitness News studio on the Upper West Side. 'Curtain Up' is the name of a free exhibit there, which will charm theater lovers of all ages.

Run your eye over the hats of the dancers in 'A Chorus Line', glance at a pair of 'Kinky Boots' or the Phantom's mask - celebrate the 'Circle of Life,' and you will be filled with the same sense of wonder as when you first encountered the magic of live theater.

Rafiki's costume and makeup have been lovingly recreated and placed within a larger exhibit at the New York Library for the performing arts.

"The sun actually needed to be restored for this exhibit, and we worked with Disney and were able to bring it in," says exhibit curator Doug Reside.

'Curtain Up' is the name of the exhibit that celebrates 40 years of shows that were successful both on Broadway and in Lindon. There's just enough to jog your memory without being overwhelmed. And for those too young to remember, the hope is this glimpse behind the scenes will plant a seed.

"We're doing a lot of educational activities for students. I want them to be inspired. I want them to walk away saying 'I want to do that,'" said Executive Director Jacqueline Z. Davis.

Lin Manuel Miranda found his first inspiration in high school, and before 'Hamilton,' he rapped about life in 'In the Heights,' and commissioned a model of a set to match his memories.

"You can see the George Washington Bridge in the background, the subway station on the right," adds Reside.

Visitors come away from the exhibit with a sense of the many talents that must come together to create a hit show. You are also able to re-mix the music to 'Hairspray.'

Turns out that of all the many things to do in the city during the holidays, one of the best is free.
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