With an announcement today from The Madison Square Garden Company, Jerry Seinfeld renews his hometown residency at the Beacon Theatre for a slate of shows in 2019.
It turns out, after all, that Seinfeld was a show about something. As Jerry, Elaine, George and Kramer were dissecting the trivialities of everyday existence, they were revealing a particular slice of the New York zeitgeist — the rhythms of the Upper West Side.
Theirs was a street level jaunt through Tom’s Diner, H & H Bagels, Gray’s Papaya, and a stream of hole-in-the-wall shoe stores, fruit stands, antique shops and restaurants. The contours of a unique neighborhood came to light.
It feels right then, that Jerry Seinfeld and The Madison Square Garden Company announced today that beginning in January the comedian will perform multiple shows in 2019 at The Beacon — a cherished part of the city, deeply ingrained as a familiar old friend on the Upper West Side.
With the shows, the comedian will extend a residency that has already included 36 sold-out performances at The Beacon in 2016 and 2017.
Along with Billy Joel, Dave Chappelle, Phish, Steely Dan and Tedeschi Trucks Band, he is part of a blossoming tradition at MSG’s venues — residencies that bring artists back for repeated shows and engagements, often stretching over an entire year or more. The larger idea is to seize on ties between performers and their fans, organically rooted in one place.
Once a month, Billy Joel and his audience are right at home together at The Garden, each show a celebration. Tomorrow night, Joel, who was born in the Bronx and put down stakes on Long Island, will perform for the 103rd time at MSG. It is his 57th show since January 2014 when he became MSG’s first-ever music franchise.
Earlier this month, Tedeschi Trucks Band brought their bluesy rock sound to The Beacon for six shows as part of a five-year residency that will also take them to another MSG venue — The Chicago Theatre. Likewise, last year Phish had a summertime string of 13 shows at The Garden, and, same as last year, in December Phish will do a four-night run of shows capped by a New Year’s Eve performance.
Steely Dan, as part of its residency, is in the middle of a nine-show engagement at The Beacon, finishing up Oct. 30th. And last year, Dave Chappelle sold out 16 straight shows at Radio City Music Hall.
A Return To Comedy Roots
There is an intangible element in all this, as MSG seeks to cement ongoing relationships, matching up performers with not just a venue, but to also capture moments in time. It’s Billy at The Garden. It’s Seinfeld at The Beacon.
Since it opened in 1929, The Beacon, a designated landmark on Broadway between West 74th St. and West 75th St., has hosted thousands of shows. With its birdcage-shaped box office under a simple marquee, not far from Zabar’s and down the street from the grand Ansonia building, The Beacon has evolved into a touchstone for an entire community.
The Upper West Side unmistakably fed the cadence and sensibility of Seinfeld. When the show ended, the comedian gravitated back to how his career began, as a standup performer. In a way, The Beacon is an extension of the small comedy clubs around New York, the first testing grounds for his material.
“There are certain theaters that make a performer and an audience feel very connected,” said Seinfeld, anticipating his return. “For me, The Beacon is just it. That feeling is all I care about. I can’t wait to go back.”
Last year, when Seinfeld came to see Steely Dan at The Beacon, he rode over on his bike, parked it by the stage door, then had a cheese burger and a shake at the diner next door. After the show, he hopped back on the bike, another New Yorker on his way home from a night at the theater.
If you’re interested in tickets to see Jerry Seinfeld perform at The Beacon, click here.
About The Madison Square Garden Company
The Madison Square Garden Company (MSG) is a world leader in live sports and entertainment experiences. The company presents or hosts a broad array of premier events in its diverse collection of iconic venues: New York’s Madison Square Garden, The Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall and Beacon Theatre; the Forum in Inglewood, CA; The Chicago Theatre; and the Wang Theatre in Boston. Other MSG properties include legendary sports franchises: the New York Knicks (NBA), the New York Rangers (NHL) and the New York Liberty (WNBA); two development league teams – the Westchester Knicks (NBAGL) and the Hartford Wolf Pack (AHL); and esports teams through Counter Logic Gaming, a leading North American esports organization, and Knicks Gaming, MSG’s NBA 2K League franchise. In addition, the Company features the popular original production – the Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes – and through Boston Calling Events, produces New England’s preeminent Boston Calling Music Festival. Also under the MSG umbrella is TAO Group, a world-class hospitality group with globally-recognized entertainment dining and nightlife brands: Tao, Marquee, Lavo, Avenue, The Stanton Social, Beauty & Essex and Vandal. More information is available at www.themadisonsquaregardencompany.com