The premiere production at the Erlanger Theater was The Merry Malones on September 25, 1927. In 1938, St. James housed the
first uncut Broadway production of Shakespeare's Hamlet. The first Richard Rogers-Oscar Hammerstein musical to hit Broadway,
O-K-L-A-H-O-M-A-! debuted here in 1943 and hung around for 2,212 performances. Bob Fosse made his Broadway choreography
debut at the St. James in 1954's The Pajama Game. Irving Berlin's last Broadway Show, Mr. President played in 1962.
The Who's Tommy started a 899-performance run in 1993. Other stars to grace the St James stage include Katharine Hepburn
(Without Love, 1942), Betty Grable, Martha Raye, Ginger Rogers, Ethel Merman, Carol Channing (all in Hello Dolly), and
Stockard Channing (debuting in Shakespeare's Two Gentlemen of Verona, 1971).
Adapted from Mel Brooks' 1968 film of the same name, The Producers, debuted in 2001 with Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick,
breaking Hello Dolly!'s 37-year old record with 12 Tony Awards. The plot centers around washed-up Broadway producer
Max Bialystock (Lane), who schemes with neurotic accountant Leo Bloom (Broderick) to raise a ton of money for a play
that's sure to be a flop and then keep the extra dough. They pick "Springtime for Hitler," written by a Nazi, and hire an offbeat
star and a freakish director. Unfortunately, the audience mistakes the show for a comedy and it becomes the talk of the town.