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Undergraduate Student Life

Urban New York

Student Engagement is pleased to offer the Urban New York - General Spring Lottery program to all undergraduates in Columbia College, SEAS, and Barnard College. The program provides students an opportunity to receive free tickets to exciting trips around the city and to get to know faculty. Later in the spring semester, there will be a Senior Lottery as well. 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 this general lottery.

Registration for the Spring General Lottery will open on Tuesday, January 26th at 5:00pm.

Students will receive notice as to their results (ticket winner, wait list, or non-winner) in February.

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.


Spring 2016 General Lottery Events 

Amateur Night at the Apollo (Apollo Theatre)
Wednesday, April 27th @ 7:30pm
Meeting time:  6:30pm
Meeting location: TBD

Amateur Night at the Apollo is one of New York’s most popular live entertainment experiences, attracting performers and audiences the world over. The classic competition is known for its notoriously “tough” audience, gleefully deciding who will “be good or be gone” to win the grand prize. Who will be the next Ella Fitzgerald, James Brown or Michael Jackson? At Amateur Night, you decide.

An American in Paris (Palace Theatre)
Friday, February 19th @ 8:00pm
Meeting time:  6:45pm
Meeting location: TBD

An American in Paris is the new Tony Award-winning musical about an American soldier, a mysterious French girl and an indomitable European city, each yearning for a new beginning in the aftermath of war. Acclaimed director/choreographer and 2015 Tony Award® winner Christopher Wheeldon brings the magic and romance of Paris into perfect harmony with unforgettable songs from George and Ira Gershwin!

BNP Paribas Showdown (Madison Square Garden)
Tuesday, March 8th @ 7:00pm
Meeting time: 6:00pm
Meeting location: TBD

Twenty-one-time Grand Slam Champion Serena Williams will take on former world number one Caroline Wozniacki, while Stan Wawrinka will square off with French star Gael Monfils at the 9th Annual BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden. The entertaining one-night tennis event, which is being held on World Tennis Day for the fourth straight year has become a staple on the tennis calendar.

Bronx Zoo (Bronx Zoo)
Saturday, April 23rd @ 2:00pm
Meeting time: 12:30pm
Meeting location: TBD

Lions, Tigers, and Bears, Oh My! Visit the largest urban zoo in America and get up close to more than 600 species from around the globe. Meet exotic animals, birds, reptiles, and insects from across Asia, Africa, the Americas and more without ever leaving the Bronx.

Brooklyn Nets vs. Charlotte Hornets (Barclays Center)
Sunday, February 21st @ 6:00pm
Meeting time: 4:30pm
Meeting location: TBD

Come watch as the Brooklyn Nets take on the Charlotte Hornets at Barclays Center!

Brunch at Red Rooster (Red Rooster)
Sunday, March 6th @ 2:30pm
Meeting time: 1:30pm
Meeting location: TBD

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.

Brunch at Sylvia’s (Sylvia’s Restaurant)
Sunday, April 3rd at 2:00pm
Meeting time: 1:00pm
Meeting location: TBD

Enjoy a family-style brunch at world famous Sylvia’s Restaurant, serving generous helpings of Southern comfort food and located in the historical village of Harlem, since 1962.

Circle-line Sightseeing Cruise: The Landmark Cruise (Pier 83)
Saturday, April 16th @ 3:00pm
Meeting time: 2:00pm
Meeting location: TBD

Take a ride on Circle-line’s The Landmark Cruise. The Landmark Cruise will show you the most famous NYC landmarks, such as the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Pier 54 (Titanic Pier), United Nations, and South Street Seaport. This Circle-line Sightseeing Cruise also features magnificent views of midtown and lower Manhattan, as well as plenty of photo ops along the way!  

Fiddler on the Roof (Broadway Theatre)
Tuesday, February 23rd @ 7:00pm
Meeting time:  5:45pm
Meeting location: TBD 

Tony-winning director Bartlett Sher and the team behind South Pacific and The King and I bring a fresh and authentic vision to this beloved theatrical masterpiece from Tony winner Joseph Stein and Pulitzer Prize winners Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick. A wonderful cast and a lavish orchestra tell this heartwarming story of fathers and daughters, husbands and wives, and the timeless traditions that define faith and family.

Les Fêtes Vénitiennes (Brooklyn Academy of Music)
Thursday, April 14th @ 7:30pm
Meeting time: 6:00pm
Meeting location: TBD

Celebrated conductor William Christie and his acclaimed early-music ensemble Les Arts Florissants explore the hedonistic side of the French Baroque with the rarely staged opéra-ballet Les Fêtes Vénitiennes, by André Campra. Gamblers, carnies, gypsies, and jilted lovers—baring lots of leg via scanty updates on period dress—populate a series of stories in this crimson-hued carnival of courtly music, dance from Scapino Ballet Rotterdam, and Venetian decadence. Play-within-a-play plot devices, melodies borrowed from Lully’s opera Atys, gliding gondolas, and dancing sheep round out Campra’s whimsical nod to French libertinism.

New York Islanders vs. Carolina Hurricanes (Barclays Center)
Tuesday, March 29th @ 7:00pm
Meeting time: 5:30pm
Meeting location: TBD

Come watch as the New York Islanders take on the Carolina Hurricanes at Barclays Center!

New York Knicks vs. Miami Heat (Madison Square Garden)
Sunday, February 28th @ 7:30pm
Meeting time: 6:30pm
Meeting location: TBD

Come watch as the New York Knicks take on the Miami Heat at Madison Square Garden!

New York Mets vs. Atlanta Braves (CitiField)
Monday, May 2nd @ 7:10pm
Meeting time:  5:30pm
Meeting location: TBD

Come watch as the New York Mets take on the Atlanta Braves at CitiField!

New York Yankees vs. Houston Astros (Yankee Stadium)
Wednesday, April 6th at 7:05pm
Meeting time: 5:45pm
Meeting location: TBD

Come watch as the New York Yankees take on the Houston Astros at Yankee Stadium!

Old Hats (Signature Theatre)
Thursday, March 3rd @ 7:30pm
Meeting time: 6:15pm
Meeting location: TBD

Bill Irwin and David Shiner star in their award-winning, critically acclaimed production of Old Hats. Called "one of the funniest shows of the past few years" by the New York Post, this production reunites the clowns with original director Tina Landau and introduces their new songstress and comic foil Shaina Taub. Using music, technology, and movement, Irwin and Shiner combine their inimitable magic and slapstick to create an unforgettable outing.

On Your Feet (Marquis Theatre)
Friday, February 26th @ 8:00pm
Meeting time: 6:45pm
Meeting location: TBD

Gloria Estefan has sold over 100 million records and sold out  stadiums around the world. Emilio and Gloria Estefan together have won 26 GRAMMY Awards®, but their music is only half the story. ON YOUR FEET! is the new Broadway musical about two people who believed in their talent, their music and each other and became an international sensation. Two-time Tony Award® winner Jerry Mitchell (Kinky Boots) directs, with choreography by Olivier Award winner Sergio Trujillo (Jersey Boys) and an original book by Academy Award® winner Alexander Dinelaris (Birdman).

Otello (Metropolitan Opera House)
Wednesday, April 20th @ 7:30pm
Meeting time:  6:15pm
Meeting location: TBD

Director Bartlett Sher’s new production of Verdi’s masterful Otello, which opened the Met season last September, returns for a second run. Often cited as Italian opera’s greatest tragedy, Otello is a miraculous union of music and drama, a masterpiece as profound philosophically as it is thrilling theatrically. Shakespeare’s tale of an outsider, a great hero who can’t control his jealousy, was carefully molded by the librettist Arrigo Boito into a taut and powerful opera text.

Paul Taylor’s American Modern Dance (David H Koch Theatre)
Sunday, March 27th @ 2:00pm
Meeting time: 12:45pm
Meeting location: TBD

Paul Taylor’s American Modern Dance brings to Lincoln Center the outstanding works of America’s homegrown art, chosen by legendary Dancemaker Paul Taylor. Featuring the Paul Taylor Dance Company, and live music performed by the renowned Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the works presented include Masterpieces of the 20th Century, extraordinary works by today’s preeminent choreographers, new creations by the most compelling voices of the next generation, premieres, and acclaimed dances from the ever-growing repertoire of Paul Taylor. 


  • Snow White
  • Profiles
  • New Keigwin Work (World Premiere)
  • Mercuric Tidings

School of Rock (Winter Garden Theatre)
Thursday, February 25th@ 7:00pm
Meeting time: 5:45pm
Meeting location: TBD

School of Rock is a brand new musical based on the film, which starred Jack Black. The musical follows Dewey Finn, a failed, wannabe rock star who decides to earn a few extra bucks by posing as a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school. Completely disinterested in academic work, Dewey decides to create his own curriculum, turning his class into a guitar-shredding, bass-slapping, mind-blowing rock band. The stage musical is produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber, who has composed 14 new songs to create a score, which also features all the original songs from the movie.

Shuffle Along (Music Box Theatre)
Friday, April 8th @ 8:00pm
Meeting time: 6:45pm
Meeting location: TBD

Brian Stokes Mitchell, Billy Porter, and Joshua Henry join record-breaking Tony winner Audra McDonald in the upcoming production of Shuffle Along, Or, The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed. The 2016 Shuffle Along, created anew by a remarkable constellation of artists, brings the original show back to glorious life, while simultaneously telling the heretofore unknown backstage saga of its creation -- and how it changed the world it left behind.

The Changing Face of Broadway: Race and Diversity in the American Musical Theatre (Symphony Space)
Wednesday, April 13th @ 7:30pm
Meeting time: 6:30pm
Meeting location: TBD

An in-depth look at the challenges and rewards of nontraditional casting and the changing landscape of ethnic diversity on the Broadway stage. This evening takes a multi-disciplinary look at race and diversity in the American musical theatre, featuring live performances from shows such as In the HeightsMiss Saigon, and Dreamgirls, film clips from musicals such as Cabin in the Sky and Carmen Jones and an exploration of the transformative power of color-binding casting.

The Color Purple (Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre)
Thursday, March 24th @ 7:00pm
Meeting time:  5:45pm
Meeting location: TBD

Oscar, Golden Globe and Grammy winner Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls) makes her long-awaited Broadway debut as the sultry Shug Avery in the joyous and triumphant musical The Color Purple. With a soul-raising score of jazz, gospel, ragtime and blues, The Color Purple gives an exhilarating new spirit to this Pulitzer Prize-winning story. The American classic has blazed onto Broadway in an acclaimed new production that New York Magazine hails as "one of the greatest revivals ever”.

Waitress (Brooks Atkinson Theatre)
Thursday, April 14th @ 7:30pm
Meeting time: 6:15pm
Meeting location: TBD

Funny, uplifting and surprisingly poignant, this irresistible slice of life features original music and lyrics by 5 time Grammy nominee Sara Bareilles and direction by Tony Award winner Diane Paulus (PippinFinding Neverland). Tony winner Jessie Mueller (Beautiful) is Jenna, a waitress and expert pie maker stuck in a small town and a loveless marriage. Faced with an unexpected pregnancy, Jenna fears she may have to abandon the dream of opening her own pie shop forever… until a baking contest in a nearby county and the town’s handsome new doctor offer her a tempting recipe for happiness. Supported by her quirky crew of fellow waitresses and loyal customers, Jenna summons the secret ingredient she’s been missing all along – courage.



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


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