Theater Stories: JAGGED LITTLE PILL, Lee Strasberg-Directed Productions and More About The Broadhurst Theatre
Learn history, fun facts & more about the Broadhurst Theatre!
It is impossible to walk into a Broadway theatre, or simply just think of a Broadway theatre, without immediately connecting a memory to it. Every Broadway theatre is filled with a rich and colorful history, brimming over with stories of the stars who graced its staged, legends that were made within its walls, and the feelings we all have of looking back and thinking "I saw a Tony winning performance in that theater" or "I wish I'd seen that performance in that theater."
Whether a theater has a history that's a hundred years old or closer to forty, every Broadway theater tells a story, each one filled with fun facts you never knew!
With our new series, Theater Stories, we're bringing you tidbits you may have never heard, tales you never thought to ask about and more, giving you a better look into the history of Broadway theatres, as well as a leg-up on your next theater-trivia night.
When did the Broadhurst Theatre open?
The Broadhurst Theatre opened in 1917, and was designed by architect Herbert J. Krapp, who designed nearly half of the current Broadway theaters, including the Ambassador Theatre, the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, the Biltmore Theatre, the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, the Imperial Theatre, the Majestic Theatre and more! The style of the exterior of the theater was built to resemble the nearby Shubert and Booth theaters. The first show to open at the Broadhurst was George Bernard Shaw's Misalliance on September 27, 1917. The show ran for only 52 performances. The Broadhurst Theatre has been designated a New York City landmark.
Who was the theatre named after?
The theatre was named after George Howells Broadhurst, who was a director, producer, and playwright, as well as a theatre owner and manager. The plays Broadhurst wrote include What Happened to Jones, The Wrong Mr Wright, and Why Smith Left Home, and plays The Speculator, Bought and Paid For, The Law of the Land, and The Crimson Alibi. Broadhurst managed theatres in San Francisco, Baltimore, and Milwaukee, and opened the Broadhurst Theatre in New York in partnership with the Shubert brothers. Broadhurst co-owned the theatre until his death in 1952 at 85 years old.
What notable shows and stars have graced the stage of the Broadhurst?
There have been many successful shows that have been presented at the Broadhurst, and some of the best known performers of all time have graced its stage! The shows that have been staged at the Broadhurst include Cabaret, Dancin', Amadeus, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Jerry Seinfeld's I'm Telling You for the Last Time, Fosse, the 2008 Equus revival, a 2009 West End transfer of Hamlet, Anastasia, Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, Jagged Little Pill and more! Stars who have performed at the Broadhurst include Leslie Howard, Jackie Gleason, Barbara Cook, Rosalind Russell, Diane Keaton, Katharine Hepburn, Christopher Reeve, Ann Reinking, Daniel Radcliffe, Dustin Hoffman, Jude Law, Hugh Jackman and so many more.
What is the Broadhurst's longest-running show?
The show to have the longest run at the Broadhurst Theatre, is Amadeus by Peter Shaffer. The play originally debuted in the West End in 1979 before opening on Broadway on December 11th, 1980. The production starred Ian McKellen, Tim Curry, and Jane Seymour, and closed on October 16th 1983 after 1,181 performances. The production was nominated for seven Tony Awards: Best Actor for Ian McKellen and Tim Curry, Best Director for Peter Hall, Best Play, Best Costume Design, Lighting and Set Design for John Bury). It won five Tony awards, including Best Play and Best Actor for Ian McKellen.
How was The Group Theatre involved with The Broadhurst?
The Group Theatre was a theater collective formed in 1931 by Harold Clurman, Cheryl Crawford and Lee Strasberg, and it lasted for 10 years. The company included actors, directors, playwrights, and producers including Stella Adler, Sanford Meisner, Elia Kazan, Sidney Lumet, Anna Sokolow, and many more. One of The Group Theatre's two productions to be staged at the Broadhurst was Men in White, staged during the Group's first full season, 1933-34. The play was written by Sidney Kingsley, directed by Lee Strasberg and produced by Sidney Harmon, and won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1934. The second play of The Group Theatre's to be presented in the Broadhurst was Night Music by Clifford Odets in 1940. Directed by Harold Clurman, the production starred Elia Kazan and more. The company was hoping for the show to be huge success, but ultimately it failed to deliver and contributed to the dissolution of The Group Theatre in 1941.
What show is currently being presented in the Broadhurst Theatre?
Jagged Little Pill opened on Broadway at the Broadhurst Theatre on December 5th, 2019. The production stars Elizabeth Stanley, Sean Allan Krill, Derek Klena, Celia Rose Gooding, Lauren Patten, Kathryn Gallagher, Antonio Cipriano, Logan Hart and more. Jagged Little Pill was nominated for 15 Tony Awards, more than any other show nominated in 2020. It was nominated for Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical, Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical, Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical, Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical, Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical, Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical, Best Scenic Design of a Musical, Best Costume Design of a Musical, Best Lighting Design of a Musical, Best Sound Design of a Musical, Best Direction of a Musical, Best Choreography, and Best Orchestrations.
From This Author Chloe Rabinowitz
Chloe Rabinowitz is a Philly native with a lifelong passion for writing and theater in equal measure. Chloe has been a published theater critic and
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