BEST 4: CHEAP BROADWAY TICKETS
Queue early the day of the show at TKTS (temporary location during the renovation of Duffy Square: Marriott Marquis Hotel, W. 46th St., btwn Broadway & 8th Ave.) for up to 50 percent off seats that are sometimes excellent.
NYTheatre.com offers some great "virtual coupons," mostly for smaller shows.
BroadwayBox.com serves up a veritable bonanza of discount codes for nearly every show.
For a contribution equal to (and on top of) the ticket price, Care-Tix/Broadway Cares (212-840-0770, ask for Care-Tix) can pull strings to get you entertainment industry (i.e., GOOD) seats, even to sold out shows.
BEST 4: OFF/OFF-OFF BROADWAY
Renowned for its diverse productions of important new works, New York Theatre Workshop (79 E. 4th St., btwn Bowery & Second Ave.; 212-460-5475) is where "Rent" got its start.
Actors Playhouse (100 Seventh Ave. South, at Grove St.; 212-463-0060) has long been a venue for gay theater, known for such past hits as Naked Boys Singing and My Big Gay Italian Wedding.
P.S. 122 (150 First Ave., at 11th St.; 212-477-5288) is one of the country's premier venues for performance art and innovative theater.
A small venue just north of the Broadway madness, Ars Nova (511 W. 54th St., btwn Tenth & Eleventh Aves.; 212-977-1700) often hosts gay-themed shows and entertainment.
BEST 4: CLASSICAL MUSIC
One of the country's most famous venues, Carnegie Hall (W. 57th St., at Seventh Ave.; 212-247-7800) presents about 100 performances a season (fall to spring).
Lincoln Center (Broadway, W. 62nd to 65th St.; 212-875-5000) hosts the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera and the New York Philharmonic, and also showcases the world's top musicians.
Columbia University's Miller Theatre (2690 Broadway, at 116th St.; 212-854-7799) presents works from world-class musicians, from fall through spring.
In the tradition of a European salon, Arium (31 Little West 12th St., btwn Washington St. & Ninth Ave.; 212-463-8630) presents piano recitals and other high-art endeavors on a small scale.
BEST 4: POP MUSIC
Once a speakeasy, Webster Hall (125 E. 11th St., btwn Second & Third Aves.; 212-353-1600) now presents alt-music darlings like the Arctic Monkeys and Badly Drawn Boy.
Bowery Ballroom (6 Delancey St., at Bowery; 212-533-2111) features more up-and-coming alternative faves.
Already a NYC institution, nonprofit Joe's Pub (425 Lafayette St., btwn 4th St. & Astor Pl.; 212-967-7555) has since debuting in 1998 hosted such far-flung legends as Elvis Costello, Dolly Parton, Laurie Anderson, and Kiki and Herb.
The city's newest pop music palace, the Highline Ballroom (431 W. 16th St., btwn Ninth & Tenth Aves.; 212-414-5994) recently served as a main venue for the first-ever High Line Festival.