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SUSAN JOHNSTON OWEN-JAZZ / SITE OWNER/MUSICIAN, WRITER,ARTIST, ELEMENTARY AND SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHER (RETIRED)
PLEASE-SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT THIS SITESEARCH IN THE BOXES BELOW OR LOOK AT THE TABLE OF CONTENTS IN THE 2ND BOX
THE HUMANS Gerald Schoenfeld Theater : Closes 15th January 2017
One of the most acclaimed plays of recent times, Stephen Karam's The Humans is a portrait of a family who come to understand each other very differently over a thanksgiving dinner. Warm, witty and very funny, The Humans won four Tony Awards in 2016, including Best Play. More info
HAMILTON Richard Rodgers Theater
This new musical from the pen of Tony, Grammy and Emmy winner Lin-Manuel Miranda (In the Heights) explores the life of one of America's greatest figures, Alexander Hamilton. Tracing his story from humble beginnings in the West Indies to the duel which ended his life, Hamilton is a historical epic infused with Miranda's whip-smart writing and a brilliant hip-hop influenced score. More info
THE BEST HISTORY LESSON YOU'LL EVER GET
WAITRESS Brooks Atkinson Theater : Closes 11th June 2017
Pop songstress Sara Bareilles provides the score of this brand new musical, which is directed by Tony winner Diane Paulus. Based on the 2007 comedy-drama starring Kerri Russell and Nathan Fillion, Waitress tells the story of Jenna (Tony winner Jessie Mueller), a waitress with a talent for pie-making who longs to escape from her small town existence. More infO
BOOK OF MORMON Eugene O'Neill Theatre
From Trey Parker and Matt Stone, four-time Emmy Award-winning creators of South Park comes this outrageously funny and risque Broadway musical about a pair of mismatched Mormon boys sent on a mission to a place that's about as far from Salt Lake City as you can get. Starring BOM veteran Gavin Creel as Elder Price, fresh from his London stint in the same role, be prepared for a show where no holds are barred and perhaps cover yourself with a napkin as you'll be spluttering in comic awesomeness throughout. More info
ALADDIN New Amsterdam Theater
In an exotic, faraway land, one young pauper's life is about to change with the luck of an ancient lamp - and you're invited to join this magic carpet ride! Based on the hit Disney classic movie Aladdin, this new 2014 Tony Award winning musical features best-loved music by Academy and Tony Award-winning composer Alan Menken and is directed by Tony Award-winning Casey Nicholaw, best known for his work on The Book of Mormon. More info
BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL Stephen Sondheim Theatre
Beautiful: The Carole King Musical tells the story of the life of Carole King, a Grammy-award winning singer-songwriter. This Broadway run comes after a pre-Broadway engagement in San Francisco, which also marks the production's premier. The musical features original songs by Carole King and Gerry Goffin. More info
WICKED Gershwin Theater
Long before Dorothy drops into Oz inside her flying farmhouse, there were two other young girls who happened to meet in the Land of Oz. One, born with emerald green skin is smart, fiery and misunderstood. The other is beautiful, ambitious and very popular. Although sparks fly between them at first, Wicked follows these two unlikely friends and college roommates as they grow into two extraordinary women: The Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good Witch. More info
AN AMERICAN IN PARIS Palace Theater : Closes 9th October 2016
To be young and restless in Paris is a dream for many of us, but in the late 1940's, it's Jerry Mulligan's life. After escaping the horrors of the war, he moves to the city of romance in the hopes of avoiding the daily grind and making it as a painter. Day dreaming and dancing, with the Gershwin's wonderful score, An American in Paris celebrates the best in life, in true Parisian style! More info
THE LION KING Minskoff Theater
Going strong since premiering in 1997, Disney's hit musical adaptation of the animated move brings the African Serengeti to spectacular life. We joins the wide eyed cub Simba on the adventure of a lifetime as he grows up and accepts his destiny as the King of the Pride Lands. This phenomenal adaptation includes original songs created for the show and boasts incredibly intricate animal puppetry. More info
SOMETHING ROTTEN! St James Theater : Closes 1st January 2017
The Bard of Avon's plays and sonnets have enriched the world for the last 500 years. He created terrible tragedies, farcical comedies, and changed the English language forever! But enough about that poser, there's a new crack duo in town and they're here to shake up Shakespeare! Behold the brothers Bottom, the creators of THE MUSICAL! More info
MATILDA Shubert Theatre : Closes 1st January 2017
Matilda, Roald Dahl's much-loved classic of an extraordinary child with hideous parents is given the musical treatment by the combined talents of Tim Minchin and the Royal Shakespeare Company. This critically-acclaimed musical won four awards at the 2013 Tony Awards, including Best Book of a Musical and Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical for Gabriel Ebert. More info
SCHOOL OF ROCK - THE MUSICAL Winter Garden Theater
Hoping to educate us once again, Andrew Lloyd Webber returns to Broadway with a brand-new show! Adapted from the Jack Black movie of the same name, School of Rock is set to feature his bumbling lead character Dewey Finn, the substitute teacher with rock stardom on his mind. When his own efforts to take on the world fail, he turns to his new class, who happen to be more than a little handy when it comes to musical instruments! More info
PHANTOM OF THE OPERA Majestic Theater
Andrew Lloyd Webber's smash musicalization of the Gaston Leroux novel won the 1988 Tony Award for Best Musical and now celebrates over 25 years on Broadway. This musical masterpiece combines songwriting genius with an unforgettable romantic storyline - a Phantom haunting the Paris Opera House falls in love with one of its newest singers, and will stop at nothing to make her return his affections. More info
KINKY BOOTS Al Hirschfeld Theater
Kinky Boots is one of Broadway's most successful new musicals, snapping up six 2013 Tony Awards including Best Musical! The uplifting show tells the tale of a failing family-run shoe factory in England whose business trajectory is changed (and saved!) thanks to the influence of a stiletto-wearing drag queen named Lola. More info
What Is the story of Once? Guy is an Irish singer and songwriter who spends his days fixing vacuums in the Dublin shop he runs with his father, and his nights playing his music in local pubs. He is on the verge of giving up music altogether when a Czech immigrant, “Girl,” walks into the bar, hears him play and refuses to let him abandon his guitar. As it turns out, she has a broken vacuum cleaner, Guty repairs it, and she pays him in music on a piano she plays in a record shop. Over the course of a week, Girl convinces Guy to believe in the power of his music and his love for the woman who inspired his songs. They scrape together money to record a demo album with a motley crew of bar friends, and their unexpected friendship and collaboration evolves into a powerful—but very complicated—love story.
FROM "BOOK OF MORMON"
Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play: Judith Light, "Other Desert Cities."
The Forrest Theater was named to honor America's first internationally known actor, Edwin Forrest, the histrionic tragedian partly responsible for the Astor Place riots of 1849. This is a typical Shubert-built, Krapp-designed theater: a simple facade shrouding an elegant Adamesque interior
The theater opened on November 24, 1925 with a performance of Mayflowers. In 1934, Tobacco Road, which had opened at Theater Masque in 1932, moved to the Forrest. The bulk of the show's 3,182 performances were staged at this theater. In 1945 the theater's name was changed to the Coronet. Then, on November 11, 1959 the theater was renamed for Nobel Prize-winning playwright Eugene O'Neill, author of Anna Christie, Long Day's Journey into Night, Mourning Becomes Elektra and The Iceman Cometh, among other intense psychological dramas. You'll notice below a string of Neil Simon hits played the theater, starting with The Last of the Red Hot Lovers in 1969. Simon then owned the Eugene O'Neill and sold it to the Jujamcyn organization in 1982. The interior of the theater was designated a New York City landmark in December 1987
The Foxwoods Theatre, which opened in 1997 as the Ford Center for the Performing Arts, was designed to adhere to the guidelines for development established by The New 42nd Street to "promote the preservation, restoration and reconstruction of the historically significant elements of each theater".
The challenge was to find a way to take two theaters that had many magnificent design elements but were sadly deficient in most all areas required for a Broadway musical house such as, seating capacity, size of stage, proscenium opening, handicapped access, dressing rooms, lobby areas, public toilets to name a few and create a theater that adhered to the guidelines.
The product of collaboration between architects, engineers, craftsmen and designers, including Beyer Blinder Belle and the Roger Morgan Studio (now Sachs Morgan Studio), the design combines preservation with state of the art new construction to create the spirit and character of a great old theater with the needs of a modern one.
The Foxwoods Theatre incorporates many elements from the Apollo and Lyric theaters. First, these include the Lyric's magnificent turn of the century 42nd and 43rd street facades which will be restored to their original grandeur.
The George Gershwin Theatre was originally named the Uris. When it opened in 1972 it was the first large Broadway theatre to be built since the Earl Carroll in 1931.
Occupying six stories of the new Uris Building on the site of the old Capitol movie palace at Broadway and Fifty-first Street, the huge theatre, with more than 1,900 seats, was designed by the late set designer Ralph Alswang. At the time of the theatre's opening, Mr. Alswang told PLAYBILL: "The Uris represents what I think is the total philosophy of modern musical comedy house --seating, sight lines, acoustics--the economy and aesthetics of this kind of theatre. I was given a completely free hand by the Uris people and by the Nederlanders and Gerard Oestreicher, who have a thirty-year lease on the house."
The designer stated that the whole theatre was done in a sensuous Art Nouveau style. The auditorium is on the second floor and is reached by escalators. "The bar, the plaster wall running 200 feet on a reverse curve and the Lalique lighting fixtures are all Art Nouveau shapes,"' Alswang stated. "Most people want to sit in the orchestra, so we have 1,280 seats downstairs and a very small balcony with 660 seats with projecting side sections to replace box seats. We have dark proscenium panels that serve as light towers and that are removable if the production demands it. The flexible stage floor can be taken apart like a Tinker Toy or be extended as a thrust stage. And for the first time in theatre history, there is a water curtain instead of an asbestos curtain in the event of an onstage fire."
Another "first" for a legitimate theatre is a revolutionary automatic rigging system called Hydra-Float. Mr. Alswang estimated that the theatre's building cost would amount to about $12.5 million.
In 1923 the New York Times reported that the new theatre being built at 249 West Forty-fifth Street by the Shuberts was the fiftieth playhouse that the theatrical brothers from Syracuse had built in the New York City area. Their latest theatre was the Imperial and it was obviously designed by Herbert J. Krapp as a musical comedy house, with a large seating capacity of 1,650 seats. The Imperial has been the Shuberts' pride since it opened, housing some of Broadway's most notable and successful musicals.
The theatre's opening show was a hit musical called "Mary Jane McKane," with Mary Hay in the title role and a jaunty score by Vincent Youmans. It opened on Christmas night 1923 and it ran for 151 performances. In September 1924 this theatre housed one of its most celebrated shows. It was the Rudolf Friml operetta "Rose Marie," with a book by Otto Harbach and Oscar Hammerstein II. According to Gerald Bordman in American Musical Theatre, this musical was "not only the biggest hit of the season, but the biggest grosser of the decade. " Mary Ellis played Rose-Marie, a singer in a hotel located in the Canadian Rockies, and Dennis King was Jim Kenyon, the man she loved, who was unjustly accused of murder. The score included the lilting title song, the sonorous "Indian Love Call, " and "The Song of the Mounties. " Rose-Marie ran for 581 performances on Broadway and there were four road companies touring America at the same time.
Krapp designed this Moorish by-way-of-Spain facade for Irwin Chanin back-to-back with the Royale Theater and Theater Masque. The largest of the three theaters, the Majestic was intended as a musical theater and has remained one of Broadway's premier musical houses. The landmarked interior is untypical for Chanin, being neo-Classical instead of the neo-Spanish of which he was so fond. Incorporated in the interior was Chanin's democrat 'stadium plan' seating: instead of hanging over the orchestra, the balcony was pushed back and its rear was cantilevered, unseen, over the lobby area. With this smoother transition the balcony, or now mezzanine, was but a simple few steps up from the orchestra and the same entrances to the auditorium were used by both classes of patrons
The Majestic's premier show was a production of Rufus Le Maire's Affairs, on March 28, 1927. The Chanin's lost their theater empire after Black Monday and control of the Majestic, along with the Royale and Theater Masque, passed to the Shuberts. Throughout its life the theater has always been operated as a legitimate Broadway venue
1928 John Gielgud makes his Broadway debut in The Patriot
1945 You won't walk alone going into the theater to see Rodgers' and Hammerstein's Carousel. Rouben Mamoulian directs and Agnes DeMille choreographs. John Raitt, Jan Clayton and Bambi Linn star. OK!
1949 This is some enchanted evening. Mary Martin, Ezio Pinza, Juanita Hall, Myron McCormick, William Tabbert, and many others, take the stage in the Oscar Hammerstein II-Joshua Logan-Richard Rodgers musical South Pacific. The show is Tony's choice for outstanding musical; Martin is outstanding musical actress; Pinza, outstanding musical actor, McCormack and Hall, outstanding supporting actor and supporting actress; Rodgers wins for outstanding score; Hammerstein and Logan for outstanding libretto; and Logan also wins for outstanding direction. By the way, it plays for 1,925 performances!
The longest running show in the history of Broadway
Andrew Lloyd Webber's smash musicalization of the Gaston Leroux novel won the 1988 Tony Award for Best Musical and is now the longest-running show in Broadway history.
Andrew Lloyd Webber's romantic musical masterpiece is based on Gaston Leroux's gothic novel of life beneath the stage of the Paris Opera House where The Phantom reigns. Hideously deformed, he passes his time terrorizing the members of the Opera until he falls in love with Christine Daae, a chorus girl who he teaches to sing the 'Music of the Night'.
Andrew Lloyd Webber's masterpiece combines a quality of music genius with a strength of storyline and use of breathtaking theatrical effects that have enthralled audiences across generations.
NEW AMSTERDAM THEATER
Architect Herts & Tallent
Along with the New Victory, Lyceum and Hudson theaters one of the oldest surviving legitimate theaters on Broadway. In 1902 impresarios Marc Klaw and Abraham Erlanger followed Oscar Hammerstein to 42nd Street. But just barely. The theater they commissioned Herts & Tallant to build across from Hammerstein's Republic has a narrow entry on 42nd Street with, the bulk of the house on 41st Street. The 42nd Street Beaux-Arts entrance opens into the finest Art Nouveau theater interiors in NYC. Carved and painted plaster, carved stone, carved wood, murals and tiles—all combine to evoke what it was like going to the theater at the turn of the century. A production of Shakespeare's Midsummer Nights Dream opened the theater on Nov 2, 1903. Florenz Ziegfeld staged his Follies at the New Amsterdam from 1913 through 1927, along with various editions of his other revues, known under various names including The Midnight Frolic and The Nine O'Clock Revue, on the theater's rooftop stage
As were many other legitimate theaters during the Depression years, the New Amsterdam was converted to a movie house in 1937. The Nederlander Organization purchased the theater in 1982 and, planning to piggyback on the proposed redevelopment of the Times Square area, started on a problem plagued reconstruction program to return the theater to legitimate use. Major structural problems, combined with the uncertainty of the City's economic health (which had the Times Square redevelopment project in fits and starts), repeatedly delayed the reconstruction. New York State purchased the New Amsterdam in 1992 and subsequently resold it to the Walt Disney Co for $29 million. The complete reconstruction of the theater between 1995 - 1997 signaled Disney's confidence in Times Square and anchored the further redevelopment of the area
A theater known mainly for its vaudeville and theatrical history, this is the Palace referred to in the line, 'We're goin' to New York to play the Palace!' The theater was built by California vaudeville entrepreneur and later Broadway impresario Martin Beck (the Martin Beck Theater), who aspired the Palace to be the 'Valhalla of Vaudeville.' It did reach the peak, but as the apogee of the Keith-Albee vaudeville circuit; Beck had lost control of the theater to E F Albee before it opened. As the premier theater of the Keith-Albee circuit, the Palace ran 2 shows per day at $2 per show until the demise of vaudeville (that started with the rise in popularity of the movies; it took 20 years, but by 1930 vaudeville was basically dead). In 1929 the Palace went to 3 shows a day on Sunday and then, in 1932 increased the number of shows to 4 a day, every day, dropping the price to $1 per show -- and throwing in movie shorts to boot. By the end of 1932 the Palace was all film, all the time
In the '50s the then RKO-Keith chain hoped to ride the wave of live entertainment that had been earlier rejuvenated by Frank Sinatra and the bobby-soxers and continued with the five a day rock and roll shows at venues such as the Brooklyn Paramount. Judy Garland's show at the Palace was a success, many vaudeville-type acts weren't and the theater reverted to showing movies. After an extensive renovation the Palace reopened as a legitimate venue for musical comedy in 1966
The Vivian Beaumont Theater opened to the public on October 21, 1965. Designed by the renowned architect Eero Saarinen and named for Vivian Beaumont Allen, a prominent New York philanthropist, the Beaumont was originally the home of the now-defunct Repertory Theater of Lincoln Center, which closed in 1973 after nine seasons (two of which were presented in a temporary theater erected in Washington Square Park).
From 1973 to 1977, Joseph Papp's New York Shakespeare Festival was in residence at the Beaumont. From 1978 through 1985, the Beaumont was mostly rented to outside producers or was not used at all; a new resident company was formed in 1979, but it only presented one Beaumont season in 1980-81.
In 1985, the building's current management -- Lincoln Center Theater -- was established. Former New York Mayor John V. Lindsay assembled a new board of directors and signed Gregory Mosher as Director and Bernard Gersten as Executive Producer. In 1991, Linda LeRoy Janklow and André Bishop succeeded Messrs Lindsay and Mosher as Chairman and Artistic Director. Lincoln Center Theater has not only outlasted all the prior managements combined, but it has become America's largest not-for-profit theater, producing a year-round program of plays and musicals at the Beaumont and at various other theaters around New York City.
The American Horse Exchange building was erected in 1885 when Longacre Square was mostly home to stables and horse dealers, somewhat like the new and used car centers of today. When the Shuberts decided to build a musical comedy house, they decided on the Horse Exchange site a few blocks north of the main cluster of Broadway theaters, but not as far north as ill-fated attempts above 59th Street. It seems they chose well
The exterior of the original theater, designed by W Albert Swasey, is somewhat Greco-Roman but entirely undistinguished. It is the interior, revamped, remodeled and revitalized by Herbert J Krapp in 1922-1923 that is the landmark. The Shuberts gave Krapp free reign to pour on the plaster and paint and the result is one of the most lavish of Krapp's lavish Adamesque theater interiors
The premiere production was a Jerome Kern revue La Belle Paree which introduced Al Jolson to Broadway, pretty auspicious beginnings for what would become a great musical house. For a brief time, from 1928 through 1933, Warner Brothers used the theater as a movie studio but it quickly returned to legitimate use and has been successful since
1911 The Revue of Revues only runs for 55 performances but signals Gaby Deslys American debut
1912 Al Jolson teams up with Blossom Seeley for 136 performances of the Whirl of Society revue
1913 Al Jolson again, this time with Gaby Deslys and Fanny Brice in the musical Honeymoon Express
1914 The Howard brothers, Willie and Eugene, share the stage with Lilliane Lorraine in the Sigmund Romberg revue The Whirl of the World