W42ST readers nominated over 600 of their favorite businesses and local heroes in the Hell’s Kitchen area of New York City for this year’s W42ST Best of Awards 2022. The finalists were honored at the Intrepid Museum, where Hell’s Kitchen residents came together to celebrate the neighborhood’s much-loved businesses and local advocates. AMT Theater, an Off-Broadway theater venue located at 354 West 45th Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenue, was the happy recipient of Best Newcomer.
AMT is the brainchild of Producer Al Tapper (“Broadway: The Golden Age”) and Artistic Director Tony Sportiello. The goal is to create a regional theater right in the heart of Manhattan’s theater district; creating new shows and new musicals, doing children’s theater, cabaret, festivals, readings and more. It is a haven for actors, writers, directors, technicians, stagehands and audiences who seek to create exciting new work and become an integral piece of the Broadway community.
Daring to open a new business in the uncertain, volatile past few years is not for the faint of heart. But there are still a number of brave newcomers who have managed to open new Hell’s Kitchen ventures in the past 12 months, and we salute them all! While there were many exciting new places nominated, readers chose The AMT Theater as their pick as the best new organization bringing world premiere works on the West Side.
“AMT Theater got Best Newcomer and runner up for Best Venue at the West 42nd Street Awards, which I believe is only slightly under the Nobel Peace Prize,” says Tony Sportiello, AMT Artistic Director. “The awards are, by definition, popularity contests, which is fine with me. We WANT people to like us. Hell, I’d rather have people liking us than the award itself. But we’ll take both! Great thanks and deep appreciation to all those who voted.”
Reader Natalie called the Off-Broadway venue an “Innovative and courageous new theater that represents what Hell’s Kitchen is all about!” while Ben Alexander added: “There’s always something playing here, always an entertaining offering for locals to see at an affordable ticket price.” Reader Mary Lauren lauded the company’s commitment to involving community members in their season, adding: “This company is bringing Broadway-caliber entertainment to the community with children’s theatre, professional productions and new works!”
Kelli Maguire Sportiello and Tamara Flannagan from AMT said: “Al Tapper built an incredible new Off-Broadway theater. This theater is intended to bring all of you in — we want to hear from you on what kind of new plays we should plan to bring to the stage, and we hope that you will find a home theater at AMT.” Currently at AMT is the critically acclaimed “Our Man In Santiago” now playing through October.