New York City Landmark Guide | Hudson Theater

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Hudson Theater

 

 

New York City Landmark Guide

Hudson Theater


145 W 44th Street
between 6th & 7th Avenues

Completed 1902-04 Architect J B McElfatrick & Son | Israels & Harder

Restored 1990 Architect Stonehill & Taylor

Along with the New Victory, Lyceum and New Amsterdam Theaters, the Hudson Theater is one of the oldest surviving legitimate theaters on Broadway. After Oscar Hammerstein made the move above 42nd Street in 1895, his colleagues stampeded after him, among them producer Henry B Harris. The building functioned as Harris' business offices and theater and he chose a simplified Beaux Arts motif as a symbol of his operation

The theater's opening on October 19, 1903, was auspicious, Ethel Barrymore in Cousin Kate. But the theater had a troubled life. For most of the '30s it was a CBS radio studio; in the '50s it was NBC's turn, this time using the Hudson as a television studio. A couple of fitful tries at legitimate fare in the '60s quickly degraded into yearly burlesque revivals. The theater was dark for a long period before being subsumed by the Millenium Broadway Hotel in 1990. It was renovated and now functions as the hotel's meeting and presentation space

1904 Ethel Barrymore is back on the Hudson's stage in Thomas Raceward's Sunday

1918 Friendly Enemies is a long-running drama by Samuel Shipman and Aaron Hoffman. It stars Sam Bernard and Louis Mann

1919 Booth Tarkington's comedy Clarence features a neat trio: Alfred Lunt, Mary Boland and Helen Hayes

1927 The Plough and the Stars, Sean O'Casey's drama stars Arthur Sinclair and Sara Allgood

1929 The revue Hot Chocolates doesn't have much to be remembered for, except Louis Armstrong playing "Ain't Misbehavin'"

1945 Playwrights Howard Lindey and Russel Crouse win the Pulitzer Prize for State of the Union starring Ralph Bellamy and Ruth Hussey. The show is on the stage for 765 performances. It could have stayed longer, they owned the theater at the time.

1949 Ralph Bellamy returns to the Hudson in Sidney Kingsley's classic Detective Story. The show also features Warren Stevens, Maureen Stapleton, Joseph Wiseman and a young Lee Grant making her Broadway debut

1960 Kermit Bloomgarden produces and Arthur Penn directs Lillian Hellman's Toys in the Attic. The solid cast includes Jason Robards Jr, Maureen Stapleton, Ann Revere and Irene Worth. Revere earns a Tony for her performance

1963 Jose Quintero, the master O'Neill interpreter, directs this revival of Strange Interlude, starring Geraldine Page, Jane Fonda, Franchot Tone, Ben Gazzara, Pat Hingle and Betty Field

 

 

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