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Undergraduate Student Life

Urban New York

Student Engagement is pleased to offer the Urban New York - First-Year Lottery program to all first-year undergraduates in Columbia College, SEAS, And Barnard College each fall. The program provides students an opportunity to receive free tickets to exciting trips around the city and to get to know faculty. In the spring semester, there is both a General Lottery (for all years) and a Senior Lottery. The Senior Lottery will be open to all enrolled CC and SEAS seniors slotted to graduate in the Spring 2016 semester.

Urban New York is supported by generous contributions from the Columbia College Class of 1954, Columbia College, The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, and Barnard College. Approximately 450 free tickets to various events in the metropolitan area are available to undergraduate students of these schools in fall.

Registration for the Fall First-Year Lottery has closed.

Students will receive notice as to their results (ticket winner, wait list, or non-winner) during the first week of October.

Each student can only win one ticket throughout their time at Columbia University. If you win a ticket, regardless of whether or not you show up for the event, you will not be able to enter into future lotteries. However, you remain eligible to attend events through the stand-by process.

Didn't win a ticket? No worries. You can always show up to the meeting time and place of any of the exciting events listed below and try to win a stand-by ticket. Review the Rules and Regulations for UrbanNY for more complete explanations of these processes.

Fall 2015 Events

New York Rangers vs. Winnipeg Jets (Madison Square Garden)
Tuesday, October 13th @ 7:00pm
Meeting time: 5:30pm
Meeting location: Barnard Hall Lobby

Come watch as the New York Rangers take on the Winnipeg Jets at Madison Square Garden!


Finding Neverland (Lunt-Fontanne Theatre)
Tuesday, October 13th @ 7:30pm
Meeting time: 6:00pm
Meeting location: Lerner Hall Lobby

Finding Neverland follows the story of author J.M. Barrie and his relationship with the family of widow Sylvia Llewelyn Davies, who eventually became Barrie's inspiration to write Peter Pan. The musical explores the power of imagination to open up new worlds, and the pressures put upon those worlds by the inevitability of growing up.


Brooklyn Nets vs. Boston Celtics (Barclays Center)
Wednesday, October 14th @ 7:30pm
Meeting time: 6:00pm
Meeting location: Barnard Hall Lobby

Come watch as the Brooklyn Nets take on the Boston Celtics at the Barclays Center!


Hand to God (Booth Theatre)
Wednesday, October 14th @ 8:00pm
Meeting time: 6:30pm
Meeting location: Lerner Hall Lobby

Deep in the heart of Broadway, there lurks a creature so outrageous, so scandalous, so totally surprising… and so refreshingly, shockingly true. This is Tyrone, the scene-stealing sprite who springs hilariously to life in this brilliant, Tony-nominated thrill ride of a comedy. True, Tyrone may be an inanimate object, but his riotously raunchy riffs on everything from love to faith shake a small Texas town to its core, while proving that it is both sinfulness and saintliness that make us all truly human… and utterly alive.  Please note: Hand to God is a raucous, irreverent and politically incorrect comedy and deals with issues ranging from religious hypocrisy to statutory rape and sexual violence… and puppets.


Something Rotten! (St. James Theatre)
Sunday, October 18th @ 3:00pm
Meeting time: 1:30pm
Meeting location: Lerner Hall Lobby

Set in the 1590s, brothers Nick and Nigel Bottom are desperate to write a hit play but are stuck in the shadow of that Renaissance rockstar known as “The Bard.” When a local soothsayer foretells that the future of theater involves singing, dancing and acting at the same time, Nick and Nigel set out to write the world’s very first musical. But amidst the scandalous excitement of opening night, the Bottom Brothers realize that reaching the top means being true to thine own self...and all that jazz.


Book of Mormon (Eugene O’Neil Theatre)
Sunday, October 18th @ 7:00pm
Meeting time: 5:30pm
Meeting location: Lerner Hall Lobby

From the creators of South Park and Avenue Q, The Book of Mormon follows two young missionaries who are sent to Uganda to try to convert citizens to the Mormon religion. One missionary, Elder Price, is an enthusiastic go-getter with a strong dedication to his faith, while his partner, Elder Cunningham, is a socially awkward but well-meaning nerd whose tendency to embroider the truth soon lands him in trouble. Upon their arrival in Africa, Elders Price and Cunningham learn that in a society plagued by AIDS, poverty and violence, a successful mission may not be as easy as they expected.


Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-time (Barrymore Theatre)
Thursday, October 22nd @ 7:00pm
Meeting Time: 5:30pm
Meeting Location: Lerner Hall Lobby

The acclaimed National Theatre production of THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME is the most award-winning show of the year! Honored with 5 Tony Awards® including BEST PLAY, this "dazzling" (Associated Press) adaptation by Tony and Olivier Award winner Simon Stephens brings Mark Haddon’s internationally best-selling novel to thrilling life. Two-time Tony Award winner Marianne Elliott (War Horse) directs.  Fifteen-year-old Christopher has an extraordinary brain; he is exceptionally intelligent but ill-equipped to interpret everyday life. When he falls under suspicion for killing his neighbor’s dog, he sets out to identify the true culprit, which leads to an earth-shattering discovery and a journey that will change his life forever.


New York Islanders vs. Boston Bruins (Barclays Center)
Friday, October 23rd @ 7:30pm
Meeting time: 6:00pm
Meeting location: Barnard Hall Lobby

Come watch as the New York Islanders take on the Boston Bruins at the Barclays Center!


Rigoletto (The Metropolitan Opera)
Friday, October 23rd @ 8:00pm
Meeting time: 6:30pm
Meeting location: Lerner Hall Lobby

George Gagnidze and Željko Lučić share the pinnacle role of the Italian baritone repertory in Michael Mayer’s electrifying production set in 1960 in a Las Vegas casino. Tenors Piotr Beczala and Stephen Costello alternate as the licentious Duke. Back from her triumphant Met debut in I Puritani, soprano Olga Peretyatko is Gilda, Rigoletto’s innocent daughter pursued by the callous Duke. Pablo Heras-Casado conducts Verdi’s timeless tragedy.


Brunch at Red Rooster
Sunday, October 25th @ 2:30pm
Meeting time: 1:00pm
Meeting location: Lerner Hall Lobby

Enjoy a brunch at Red Rooster, a restaurant in the heart of Harlem serving comfort food and celebrating the roots of American cuisine and the diverse culinary traditions of the neighborhood. Named in honor of the legendary Harlem speakeasy, Chef Marcus Samuelsson brings his passion for food to the neighborhood he calls home.


Matilda (Shubert Theatre)
Thursday, November 5th @ 7pm
Meeting time: 5:30pm
Meeting location: Barnard Hall Lobby

Based on Roald Dahl’s classic children’s book of the same name, Matilda follows Matilda Wormwood, a bright little girl who immerses herself in books. Matilda is discarded and belittled by her dimwitted parents—her father insists on calling her a boy and harps on her “stupidity” for preferring reading to watching the telly—and her hostile headmistress, the outrageous and wicked Miss Trunchbull. Reclusive, but with an ever-growing imagination and sharp mind, and with a caring protector in her teacher Miss Honey, Matilda dreams of a better life, daring to take a stand against unjust forces and to grasp her destiny in her own, tiny hands.


Opus (Brooklyn Academy of Music – BAM)
Saturday, November 7th @ 7:30pm
Meeting time: 6:00pm
Meeting location: Barnard Hall Lobby

Fourteen acrobats from the dazzling Australian troupe Circa (under Artistic Director Yaron Lifschitz) tumble and trustfall to the frenetic sounds of Shostakovich in this fusion of jaw-dropping physical feats and music. Against a rapidly shifting mise-en-scène, the acrobats manipulate and occasionally blindfold the members of France’s renowned Debussy String Quartet, as they perform three of the Russian composer’s quartets live on stage. Over the course of this delicate and savage thriller, Circa’s band of extreme acrobats and artists risk all in a devilish deal with anti-gravity, embodying the music’s tormented romanticism with precise abandon.


Fuerza Bruta (Daryl Roth Theatre)
Sunday, November 8th at 7:00pm
Meeting time: 5:30pm
Meeting location: Lerner Hall Lobby

Celebrating 10 years worldwide, Fuerza Bruta is an uninhibited and unforgettable show you have to see to believe! This theatrical thrill ride combines euphoria-inducing live music and breathtaking aerial displays in a performance that’s as exhilarating as it is addictive. Flood your senses and experience the “sexy, heart-pounding fantasy” (Daily News) of Fuerza Bruta.


39 Steps (Union Square Theatre)
Friday, November 13th @ 8:00 PM
Meeting time: 6:30pm
Meeting location: Lerner Hall Lobby

39 Steps is a comedic spoof of the classic 1935 film, with only 4 actors portraying more than 150 characters, sometimes changing roles in the blink of an eye. The brilliantly madcap story follows our dashing hero Richard Hannay as he races to solve the mystery of The 39 Steps, all the while trying to clear his name! The show’s uproarious fast-paced 100 minutes promises to leave you gasping for breath… in a good way!


Big Apple Circus: The Grand Tour (Lincoln Center)
Saturday, November 14th @ 5:00pm
Meeting Time: 3:30pm
Meeting location: Lerner Hall Lobby

The Grand Tour is a circus extravaganza set in the 1920s and featuring acts from the four corners of the globe. Ships, trains, automobiles, and airplanes will serve as the backdrop for breathtaking acts of wonder, accompanied by the seven-piece Big Apple Circus Band playing live at each of more than 200 performances. Acts will include clowns, jugglers, acrobats, and aerialists, from Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and North and South America, as well as domestic and rescue animals, all creating performances that will leave audiences smiling and cheering.


Allegiance (Longacre Theatre)
Sunday, November 15th @ 3:00pm
Meeting time: 1:30pm
Meeting Location: Barnard Hall Lobby

Inspired by the true-life experience of its star George Takei (“Star Trek,” “Heroes”), Allegiance follows one family’s extraordinary journey in this untold American story. A mysterious envelope leads Sam Kimura (Takei) back 60 years to a time when he (played as a young man by Telly Leung — Godspell, “Glee”) and his sister Kei (Tony Award-winner Lea Salonga — Miss Saigon, Mulan) strive to save their family from the wrongful imprisonment of Japanese Americans during World War II. Sam enlists in the army to prove the Kimuras’ loyalty, but Kei joins draft resisters fighting for the rights of their people. Their paths take them from the lush farmlands of California to the wastelands of Wyoming to the battlefields of Europe, and their divided loyalties threaten to tear them apart forever. But as long-lost memories are unlocked, Sam finds that it is never too late to forgive and to recognize the redemptive power of love.


Twyla Tharp (David H Koch Theatre)
Thursday, November 19th @ 7:30pm
Meeting Time:  6:00pm
Meeting location: Lerner Hall Lobby

Multi-award winning (and Barnard alum) Twyla Tharp celebrates 50 years in the world of dance as a visionary and innovative choreographer with a program of two New York premieres that display her hallmarks of humour, generous spirit and zeal, tied together with immaculate techniques and decades of experience from this pure iconoclast.  From movies to television, Broadway and so much more, Tharp has made an indelible mark on dance in both the 20th and 21st centuries. Her 1973 piece Deuce Coupe set to the music of The Beach Boys, is still considered the first crossover ballet and continues to draw audiences the world over. She still works on with pop music, and has created ballets to the music of Frank Sinatra, David Byrne, Bob Dylan and more.

Fanfare - Music by John Zorn
Preludes and Fugues - Music by J.S Bach
Yowzie - Music by Henry Butler and Steve Bernstein


Fun Home (Circle in the Square Theatre)
Sunday, November 22nd @ 3:00pm
Meeting time: 1:30pm
Meeting location: Lerner Hall Lobby

Welcome to Fun Home, the groundbreaking new musical now on Broadway after a sold-out, critically acclaimed run at the Public Theater. Based on Alison Bechdel's best-selling graphic memoir, Fun Home features music by 4-time Tony Award nominee and Barnard alum Jeanine Tesori, book and lyrics by Tony Award nominee Lisa Kron and direction by Sam Gold, and stars Tony winner Michael Cerveris and three-time Tony nominee Judy Kuhn.  Fun Home introduces us to Alison at three different ages, revealing memories of her uniquely dysfunctional family – her mother, brothers and volatile, brilliant, enigmatic father – that connect with her in surprising new ways. This intimate and emotional theatrical experience is performed entirely in the round, bringing audiences closer to Alison’s story than ever before. A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and already the winner of five awards for Best Musical, Fun Home is a refreshingly honest, wholly original musical about seeing your parents through grown-up eyes.


Dinner at Miss Lily’s Soho
Wednesday, December 2nd @ 7:30pm
Meeting time: 6:00pm
Meeting location: Barnard Hall Lobby

Enjoy dinner at Miss Lilly’s, a Caribbean oasis in the middle of downtown Manhattan. Located at 132 West Houston Street, this Jamaican style diner is the collaboration of Paul Salmon and Binn and Genc Jakupi. Drawing from the diverse roots of Jamaican cuisine, the kitchen offers delicacies like jerk chicken, escovitch fish, oxtail and curried goat seasoned with scotch bonnet peppers and fiery jerk spices.


Alvin Ailey (City Center)
Friday, December 4th @ 8:00pm
Meeting time: 6:30pm
Meeting location: Lerner Hall Lobby

Join Alvin Ailey for an evening of Christopher Wheeldon’s After the Rain Pas de Deux, Toccata (Talley Beatty) and the world premiere of Awakening (Robert Battle). Also, enjoy the added thrill of Revelations and Blues Suite accompanied by live music!


Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker (Kings Theater)
Saturday, December 5th @ 3:00 PM
Meeting time: 1:00pm
Meeting location: Lerner Hall Lobby

Moscow Ballet’s spectacular Great Russian Nutcracker is the must-see event this holiday season! Celebrate the beloved Christmas tradition with the whole family as 40 world-class Russian artists bring this charming classic to life. The New York Times raves “Knock Out!” Experience Tchaikovsky’s master score this Christmas with the magic of larger than-life-puppets, a growing Christmas Tree and super-sized Matrushka dolls!  See this classic in the restored Brooklyn Kings Theater -- not to be missed!


Brooklyn Nets vs Golden State Warriors (Barclays Center)
Sunday, December 6th @ 6:00pm
Meeting time: 4:30pm
Meeting location: Lerner Hall Lobby

Come watch as the Brooklyn Nets take on the Golden State Warriors at the Barclays Center!


Radio City Christmas Spectacular (Radio City Music Hall)
Friday, December 11th @ 7:00pm
Meeting time: 5:30pm
Meeting location: Barnard Hall Lobby

Don’t miss this joyful, one-of-a-kind holiday celebration that brings together family, friends, and loved ones. Join us at the Radio City Christmas Spectacular® and see the Rockettes® ring in the season with brilliant dance numbers on the Great Stage at Radio City Music Hall®. See Santa on his sleigh ride, ice skaters swirl across the stage, and catch a snowflake or two in this immersive theatrical experience like no other!


Registration has closed but stand-by tickets may be available at the meeting place and time listed above.



Special acknowledgment is given to Dr. Arnold I. Kisch, CC'54, and to his wife, Victoria L. J. Daubert, PhD, for fully endowing all opera tickets.

The Urban New York Program is sponsored by Columbia College, The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, Barnard College, and the Class of 1954 Urban New York Fund.

Student Engagement


515 Alfred Lerner Hall
2920 Broadway
New York, NY 10027

Call: 212-854-3611

Fax: 212-854-6972

Office Hours
9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.