The Music Box

239 West 45th Street / NYC


239 West 45th Street (between Broadway and 8th Avenue)
New York, NY 10036
Stage Type: Proscenium
Year Built: 1921
Seating Capacity: 1009 Total
Orchestra: 538
Mezzanine: 455
Boxes: 16
Pit (Add'l): 35
Wheelchair: 4

Theatre Dimensions
Proscenium Opening: 40' 0"
Height of Proscenium: 26' 0"
Depth to proscenium: 28' 6"
Depth to front of stage: 31' 6"

(from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

The Music Box Theater is a legitimate Broadway theatre located at 239 West 45th Street (George Abbott Way) in midtown-Manhattan, constructed by composer Irving Berlin and producer Sam H. Harris
specifically to house Berlin's famed Music Box Revues. It opened in 1921 and hosted a new musical production every year until 1925, when it presented its first play, Cradle Snatchers, starring
Humphrey Bogart. The following year, Chicago, the Maurine Dallas Watkins play that served as the basis for the hit musical, opened here. It housed a string of hits for the playwriting team of
George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, from their first collaboration Once in a Lifetime to their smash hit The Man Who Came to Dinner. Cole Porter and George and Ira Gershwin also presented shows here.

Because of its dainty, jewel-like qualities, the Music Box Theatre is aptly named.
Designed by architect Charles Howard Crane in collaboration with E. George Kiehler, it was built in the neo-Georgian style,
more in the manner of a dignified manor or country home than in the typical theatrical style of most other Broadway playhouses.

Music Box Theatre; 2007     

In the 1950s, playwright William Inge found a home at the Music Box, where he had success with Picnic, Bus Stop, and The Dark at the Top of the Stairs.

One of the smaller Broadway houses, with a seating capacity of 860, the theater was co-owned by Berlin's estate and the Shubert Organization until the latter assumed full ownership in 2007.
Its box seats are notable for being unusually large and round, and Dame Edna lovingly described them as "ashtrays" during her successful run there. The lobby features a plaque and wall
exhibit commemorating its rich history.

Note: The Brown Theatre in Louisville, Kentucky is modeled after the Music Box Theatre.

- New York Times / August 14, 1921 (pg.101) -      - New York Daily News / September 11, 1921 (pg.57) -

- New York Herald / September 12, 1921 (pg.7) -      - New York Herald / September 18, 1921 (pg.38) -

- New York Herald / September 18, 1921 (pg.38) -      - New York Times / October 23, 1921 (pg.87) -

Other notable productions:
Superior Donuts (2009)
August: Osage County (transfer from Imperial: 2008)
Deuce; The Farnsworth Invention (2007)
The Vertical Hour (2006)
Festen (2006)
In My Life (2005)
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (2003)
Fortune's Fool (2002)
The Dinner Party (2000)
Amadeus (1999 revival)
The Diary of Anne Frank (1997)
State Fair (1996)
Blood Brothers (1993)
A Few Good Men (1989)
Les Liaisons Dangereuses (1987)
Agnes of God (1982)
Deathtrap (1978)
Side By Side By Sondheim (1977)
Absurd Person Singular (1974)
Sleuth (1970)
The Homecoming (1967)
Wait Until Dark (1966)
Any Wednesday (1964)
Five Finger Exercise (1959)
Separate Tables (1956)
The Solid Gold Cadillac (1954)
Lost in the Stars (1949)
Summer and Smoke (1948)
I Remember Mama (1944)
Of Mice and Men (1937)
Stage Door (1936)
Merrily We Roll Along (1934)
As Thousands Cheer (1933)
Dinner at Eight (1932)
Of Thee I Sing (1931)


Programs available from this theatre:

  • A Small Family Business (1992)
  • First Lady (1936)
  • Bus Stop (1955)
  • Five Finger Exercise (1960)
  • The Little Show (1929)
  • The Man Who Came to Dinner (1941)

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