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WNYC opens entertainment venue

A year after moving across town from City Hall into sparkling new Varick Street digs, public radio station WNYC is opening a live entertainment venue on the ground floor.

Something of a downtown version of Rockefeller Center’s “Today” show setup (minus the Al Roker groupies), the Jerome L. Greene Performance Space will open April 28. Lou Reed, Sarah Jessica Parker, Joy Behar, Paul Krugman and Elmo are among those expected to take part in a 10-day kickoff festival.

Onlookers will be able to gawk from outside the windows or fill a limited number of seats inside. A “zipper,” with text articulating the news of the day, will crawl along the width of the space.

Programming will include live broadcasts of regular WNYC shows, music performances, audio theater, commissioned pieces of visual art and interviews with newsmakers. Everything except regularly scheduled station shows will carry an admission fee.

The space is at the corner of Varick and Charlton streets in the emerging neighborhood of Hudson Square. Wedged between Soho and Tribeca and hard by the Hudson River, the new nabe has rapidly evolved into home turf for media and culture entities, with New York magazine and Deluxe among the other new tenants.

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