Roseland Ballroom is the latest (but surely not the last) of New York City’s storied music venues to close its doors. Lady Gaga’s seven-show run, which began last Friday, on her twenty-eighth birthday, will be the final one at the Fifty-second Street theatre, which has been at its present location since 1958, when it took over a building that once housed the Gay Blades Ice Rink. The three-story structure, with its Art Deco bar, will soon be razed and replaced with a fifty-nine-story residential tower. The place where Kurt Cobain miraculously recovered from a near O.D. to play a Nirvana show, in 1993, and where, in 2000, Fiona Apple had a spectacular mid-performance meltdown and fled the stage will be no more.
For Gaga, the farewell shows mark her first time ever on the Ballroom stage. “It’s basically the only room in the city I haven’t played,” she said the other day, during a break in rehearsals for the twelve-song performance.