The Egg

Tucked away in Albany’s Empire State Plaza, The Egg Center for the Performing Arts is a joining of architectural wonder and artistic performances. Named for its shape, ‘The Egg’ is more than just a structure; it’s a work of artistic delight that perfectly captures creative ability. This venue offers a variety of performances and events in two separate theaters.

The Egg

With an intriguing past, The Egg is a genuine gem. The odd beginning for  building this iconic venue came from Governor Nelson Rockefeller’s impromptu breakfast conversation that originated from Rockefeller imagining a structure, broken up the vertical lines, much like the overturned grapefruit in his bowl that morning. Rockefeller was not pleased at first with the final result, but what the public called “The Egg” overshadowed the original name, “The Meeting Center.”

A look at The Egg’s internal structure

Built between 1966 and 1978, the building was designed by Harrison and Abramovitz as part of the Empire State Plaza project. The venue’s peculiar shape and central location have made it an iconic symbol of New York’s Capital District. The Egg has hosted performers including Gregg Allman, Sharon Jones, Greensky Bluegrass and Cheap Trick, comedians such as Bo Burnham, Wanda Sykes and Jimmy Fallon, and moreover, a range of talent has graced The Egg’s stage since a shift from educational content and productions towards a wider array of concerts and events took place around the turn of the 21st Century.

Notably, Mike Gordon, bassist for Phish, has spoken fondly of the venue’s superior sound, playing the venue four times between 2011 and 2018, and even releasing a live album of the 2011 show, appropriately titled, The Egg.

Mike Gordon Band At The Egg– Photo by Dave DeCrescente

In addition, many people like The Egg for its unique look, with some saying the venue resembles a spaceship, and easily noticeable from surrounding government buildings and businesses. But inside, there are excellent acoustics and well-maintained performance spaces. The Egg hosts two different theaters, each adding to its diverse appeal. More intimate and immersive performances take place in the cozy 450-seat Lewis A. Swyer Theatre. However, the 982-seat Hart Theatre provides a larger venue for a wider variety of events.

So Good, The Neil Diamond Experience at The Egg’s Swyer Theater

Throughout each year, The Egg brings together artists through a variety of special series each year, among them, American Roots & Branches, Arts-in-Education Performances, Dance in Albany, Family Wonders, Guest Comedy Presentations, Guest Dance Performances, Guest Music Presentations and Rhythm International.

Not only does The Egg grace Albany’s skyline, it also leaves a lasting mark on the memories of all who have witnessed its wonderful performances. At the center of New York’s Capital District, The Egg is a testimony to the lasting impact of fusing design, entertainment, and creativity.

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