Longacre Theatre

220 West 48th Street / NYC

(edited from Wikipedia)

Designed by architect Henry Beaumont Herts in 1912,
it was named for Longacre Square, the original name for Times Square.

- Longacre Square in 1904 -

The French neo-classical building was constructed by impresario Harry Frazee, better remembered as the owner of the Boston Red Sox who, needing money for his theatrical ventures, sold Babe Ruth's contract to the New York Yankees. A curse allegedly lingers on the theater as a result, and superstitious producers avoid it for fear they'll be backing a flop, as noted by William Goldman in his seminal book "The Season: A Candid Look at Broadway". Despite the rumor, a large number of performers who have appeared on stage here have taken home a Tony Award for their efforts.

The Longacre's first show was a production of the William Hurlbut-Frances Whitehouse comedy Are You a Crook?, which opened on May 1, 1913. With the exception of its use as a radio and television studio in the mid-1940s to early 1950s, the theatre has operated as a legitimate Broadway venue.

Notable productions:

1917: The P.G. Wodehouse-Jerome Kern-Guy Bolton musical Leave It to Jane.
1927: *The Command to Love (*program listing below) with Basil Rathbone as the Marquis de Saint-Lac.
1935: Clifford Odets' Waiting for Lefty stars the playwright, Lee J. Cobb, and Elia Kazan.
1955: Julie Harris plays Joan of Arc in Jean Anouilh's The Lark, for which she wins her 2nd Tony Award.
1961: Zero Mostel wins a Tony for changing into a beast before the audience's eyes in Ionesco's The Rhinoceros.
1966: Hal Holbrook's performance in his landmark one-man show, Mark Twain Tonight, earns him a Tony.
1975: The cast of Terrence McNally's riotous The Ritz includes Rita Moreno, who wins a Tony.
1976: Julie Harris earns her 5th Tony as Emily Dickinson in William Luce's The Belle of Amherst.
1977: David Rabe's The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel wins Al Pacino a Tony.
1978: Ain't Misbehavin' runs for 1604 performances and wins three Tony Awards.
1980: John Rubinstein and Phyllis Frelich score Tonys in Mark Medoff's Children of a Lesser God.
1985: A revival of A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, earns Stockard Channing a Best Actress Tony.
1993: Singer Tony Bennett takes to the stage for a series of concerts.
1994: A revival of Medea wins Diana Rigg a Tony.
1997: Horton Foote's The Young Man From Atlanta wins the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
2001: Two revivals - the highly dramatic Judgment at Nuremberg and the comedy A Thousand Clowns.
2002: Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam features works by African-American writers.
2005: Bill Irwin and Kathleen Turner in a revival of Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?.
2006: English comedian Harry Hill performed at the Longacre Theatre during part of his In Hooves tour.
2007: A revival of Eric Bogosian's Talk Radio, starring Liev Schreiber.
2008: A revival of Boeing Boeing starring Christine Baranski, Mark Rylance, and Bradley Whitford.
2009: Dance show Burn the Floor, playing a limited 12-week engagement, which was then extended.
2010: La Cage aux Folles was revived with Douglas Hodge as Albin and Kelsey Grammer as Georges.
2011: Chinglish, a play by playwright David Henry Hwang about an American business man in China.
2012: Magic/Bird, a play about NBA legends Larry Bird and Magic Johnson starting from their college days.

Programs available from this theatre:

  • Command to Love (1927)
  • Fire! (1969)

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