This particular box was a defunct twenties sign factory until Serge Becker (La Esquina, 205) joined theater folk Richard Kimmel, Randy Weiner, and Simon Hammerstein in reimagining it as an intimate Hammerstein Ballroom (which was built by Simon’s grandfather Oscar). So now, up a curving, Persian-rugged staircase is a mezzanine of armchairs gathered around a display of antique bottles exhumed during construction. The newly New Orleans–style balustrade overlooks bejeweled chandeliers and a mirrored back bar equipped with towering molded cabinets. The small bar upstairs caters to those dining in the velvet-curtained balcony booths; downstairs, dinner unfolds in spacious U-booths a step up from the parquet floor. The state-of-the-art stage is graced by circus stars, human oddities, and avant-garde thespians from France, Russia, and even Brighton Beach—a mix as fanciful and incongruous as the layered wallpaper of cherubs, Chinese fighting fish, and flappers.