The Westbury Music Fair, now known as the NYCB Theatre at Westbury, celebrates its 61st anniversary this year. Here's a look at some of the acts that have graced the venue's revolving stage.
B.B. King performed at the NYCB Theatre at Westbury just before he died in May 2015.
Paul Anka is one of the artists who has played at the NYCB Theatre at Westbury the most. “The venue has one of those magical vibes about it that makes you want to come back,” says Paul Anka, among the artists who has played Westbury the most. “You get the real fans in there and they know their nest very well. There’s a lot of warmth all the time. I’ve never had a bad experience.”
Cyndi Lauper teaches a crowd member how to have fun at the NYCB Theatre at Westbury.
Ex-Beatle Ringo Starr brings his All-Starr Band to the NYCB Theatre at Westbury.
The early days
In June 1956, the venue, now known as the NYCB Theatre at Westbury, opened on Brush Hollow Road with a unique stage in the round.
'Fiddler on the Roof'
Zero Mostel, starring as Tevye in "Fiddler on the Roof" at the Westbury Music Fair on Nov. 3, 1971.
Massapequa rocker Brian Setzer, who plays the venue regularly with his orchestra during the holidays, performs at the Westbury Music Fair on July 11, 2001.
Pop star Debbie Gibson, who grew up in Merrick, saw her first concert at the venue when she attended a Liberace concert and ended up headlining herself in 1991.
Generation Axe, consisting of Nuno Bettencourt, left, Zakk Wylde, Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen and Tosin Abasi, attack the stage at the NYCB Theatre at Westbury.
Zookeeper Jack Hanna talks animals with a local kid at the NYCB Theatre at Westbury.
Crosby, Stills & Nash
Crosby, Stills & Nash bring their harmonies to the NYCB Theatre at Westbury.
Tony Bennett croons to the crowd at the NYCB Theatre at Westbury.
Playing the NYCB Theatre at Westbury is a warm homecoming for guitarist Steve Vai, who grew up in Carle Place.
Tickets, the pre-internet way
Before the internet, fans used to line up outside Westbury Music Fair for hours to get tickets.
Jazz singer-pianist Nina Simone’s 1968 album, “ ’Nuff Said!,” was recorded at Westbury Music Fair, with the exception of three tracks, on April 7, 1968 — three days after the murder of Martin Luther King Jr. The single “Why? (The King of Love Is Dead)” and the entire performance was dedicated in King’s memory.
A haunting black and white photo of Johnny Cash standing backstage moments before he was about to perform serves as the cover of his 2000 album, “American III: Solitary Man.” A framed copy of the cover hangs on the wall backstage in the hall where the shot was taken.
Zero Mostel re-creates his 1962 Broadway role at the Westbury Music Fair in a revival of "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum".
Rap artist Wyclef Jean performs at Westbury Music Fair.
“I’ve played Westbury for years and years because I love rituals,” says Kenny Rogers, shown performing at the Westbury Music Fair. “Long Island has always been wonderful for me. It’s filled with great people."
Judy Garland and Liza Minnelli
Judy Garland at Westbury Music Fair after walking off the set of the film "Valley of the Dolls." For her performances she wore a 50 pound beaded dress made for her for that film. On opening night, her daughter, Liza Minnelli, joined her onstage.