New Haven
Where new plays become New York hits

From the March 26, 2001 Issue of New York

For much of the last century, New Haven was a storied birthing place for Broadway shows (1943: Oklahoma!). In the mid-sixties, however, two nonprofit companies emerged that didn't have New York on their minds: the Long Wharf Theatre, in 1965, and, a year later, the Yale Repertory Theatre. Of course, New York still took notice; Yale gave us Wendy Wasserstein, Christopher Durang, Paul Newman, and Sigourney Weaver, just for starters; the Long Wharf gave Amanda Peet and John Lithgow their first big breaks and staged the premiere of Margaret Edson's Pulitzer winner and current HBO offering, Wit. These days, you can also strike performance gold at the Yale Cabaret, a tiny, underground haunt where the next David Duchovny, Frances McDormand, or Meryl Streep may be singing on your table -- or serving you a cup of green-tea ice cream. Before you feed your theater jones, check in at the Three Chimneys Inn, a nineteenth-century mansion turned bed-and-breakfast, where each room has a canopy or four-poster bed and complimentary port and sherry. Then grab empanadas and seviche at the nuevo-Latino hot spot Roomba, or hit Wooster Street -- New Haven's little Italy -- to settle the age-old debate of whether Sally's or Pepe's makes America's best brick-oven pizza.

Long Wharf Theatre, 800-782-8497; Yale Repertory Theatre, 203-432-1234; Three Chimneys Inn, 800-443-1554 (rooms are $180; ask for No. 14 or No. 32); Roomba, 203-562-7666; Sally's, 203-624-5271; Pepe's, 203-865-5762. For information on Yale facilities and events, go to