New York City Landmark Guide | Richard Rodgers Theater

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Richard Rodgers Theater



New York City Landmark Guide

Richard Rodgers Theater

nee 46th Street Theater

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Find directions to and what's playing now at the

Richard Rodgers Theater

226 W 46th Street
between Broadway & 8th Avenue

Completed 1924

Architect Herbert J Krapp

Irwin Chanin's first foray into Broadway was the Chanin 46th Street Theater in 1924. The Herbert J Krapp design incorporated the first version of Chanin's democrat 'stadium plan' seating: Instead of separate entrances into the orchestra and balcony, the orchestra was steeply raked leading up to the balcony. Audiences entered the hall through the same entrances then headed down the aisle to their orchestra seats, or did a u-turn up the stairs to their seats in the balcony. The premiere production at the Chanin 46th Street Theater was The Greenwich Village Follies on Dec 24, 1924. The Depression years severely damaged Broadway theater going and Chanin was forced to give up control in 1932, though as the just-plain-old 46th Street Theater it has continually operated as a legitimate venue. The theater was renamed in honor of the great Broadway composer Richard Rodgers on March 27, 1990

1929 Button up your overcoat on this wintry January evening to go see Jack Haley and Eleanor Powell in the Ray Henderson-Buddy De Sylva-Lew Brown musical Follow Tru

1934 The light-hearted comedy The Farmer Takes a Wife only runs for 104 performances, but it does star Henry Fonda

1938 Hellzapoppin and a poppin' and a poppin' and a poppin' . . . 1,404 times Ole Olsen and Chic Johnson take to the stage in this riotous revue

1939 Well, didja' evah hear Grable when she sang? You could have heard Betty, along with Ethel Merman and Bert Lahr in Cole Porter's DuBarry Was a Lady

1940 Ethel Merman is back. Cole Porter is back. This time along with Arthur Treacher, Betty Hutton, June Allyson, Rags Ragland, Vera Ellen and a young Pat Harrington in 501 performances of Panama Hattie

1947 Somewhere, over the . . . sorry, wrong rainbow. The Yip Harburg-Burton Lane musical Finian's Rainbow earns an outstanding musical performance Tony for star David Wayne and a Tony for choreographer Michael Kidd

1950 Luck is a lady when Guys and Dolls, the classic Broadway tale (when Broadway was in the Tenderloin District), takes five Tony awards. Starring Sam Levine, Robert Alda, Isabel Bigley, Vivian Blane and Stubby Kaye, the show wins Tony honors as outstanding musical, George S Kaufman for direction, Michael Kidd for choreography and Alda and Bigley for their performances

1954 Alfred Lunt's name is most always paired with that of Lynn Fontanne, but when he directs Audrey Hepburn and Mel Ferrer in Jean Giraudoux's Ondine he comes away with a Tony, as does Hepburn

1954 Nancy Kelly stars opposite Patty McCormack's homicidal youth in Maxwell Anderson's The Bad Seed. Kelly earns a Tony for her terror

1955 Damn Yankees are going to make me do a lot of typing. 1,019 performances. Tony as outstanding musical. Tonys to Ray Walston, Gwen Verdon and Russ Brown. A Tony to Bob Fosse.

1957 Gwen Verdon scores another Tony, this time with Thelma Ritter, for their performances in the George Abbott-Bob Merrill musical New Girl in Town

1961 Did you know that Donna McKechnie was a seasoned actress long before Chorus Line? Yep. She makes her Broadway debut opposite Robert Morse in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and shares the boards with Rudy Vallee and Charles Nelson Reilly. Tonys go to Morse, Reilly, director Abe Burrows and book team Burrows-Jack Weinstock-Willie Gilbert. Oh! And the show wins a Pulitzer Prize and runs for 1,417 performances

1966 Mary Martin and Robert Preston star in the Tom Jones-Harvey Schmidt musical I Do I Do. Preston walks away with a Tony

1969 Peter Stone and Sherman Edwards collaborated on the Tony award winning musical 1776. The show stars Howard Da Silva, William Daniels, Ken Howard, Ron Holgate and newcomer Betty Buckley. Tonys also go to Holgate and director Peter Hunt

1971 Helen Gallagher, Bobby Van, Jack Gilford, Patsy Kelly and Ruby Keeler star in No No Nanette. Gallagher and Kelly take Tonys for their performances and choreographer Donald Saddler wins for, uh, well, choreography

1973 Raisin, the Lorraine Hansberry-Judd Woldin-Robert Brittan musical version of A Raisin in the Sun, is the Tony's best musical and has the best musical actress in Virginia Capers

1975 All that jazz and all that Broadway talent. Take a book by Maurice Watkins, through in John Kander's music and Fred Ebb's lyrics, hold it all together with direction and choreography by Bob Fosse. Then give it to a cast headed by Gwen Verdon, Chita Rivera and Jerry Orbach and you have all that Chicago

1978 Carlin Glynn and Henderson Forsythe headline and win Tonys for their performances in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas

1982 Husbands suddenly don't mind going to the theater when Liliane Montevecchie starred opposite Raul Julia in the Maury Yeston musical Nine. The show takes the Tony as best musical, Tommy Tune earns a Tony for his direction, Yeston for his score and Montevecchi for her legs, er, performance

1987 August Wilson's Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning Fences stars Tony award winning James Earl Jones and Tony award winning Mary Alice with direction by Tony award winning Lloyd Richards

1990 We've got to get a flop in here. Take the George and Ira Gershwin musical Oh Kay! Put producer David Merrick's name on it. Move the setting to Harlem. Watch it run out of town after 77 shows

1991 Neil Simon is all Broadway, all the time. He wins a Pulitzer Prize and Tony for Lost in Yonkers. Mercedes Ruehl, Irene Worth and Kevin Spacey star and win Tonys for their performances

1993 Fool Moon, the comedy revue starring Bill Irwin and David Shiner runs for 1,098 performances

1995 Is Matthew Broderick the next Robert Morse? Like Morse he seems to be perennially young-looking. Will he ever grow up? He fills Morse's shoes for 548 performances of How to Succeed . . .

1996 Broadway audiences are hungry for good Broadway musicals. How to do it? Revive it! Chicago is back on the boards and takes the Tony as best revival. Ann Reinking dances and wins a Tony for re-creating Bob Fosse's choreography. Director Walter Bobbie wins a Tony. Bebe Neuwirth wins a Tony for her heat and James Naughton for his flair. Joel Grey adds his presence. The show is currently playing at the Shubert Theater

1997 John Kander and Fred Ebb wrote the score. Karen Ziemba stars. Steel Pier sinks after 77 shows

1998 Footloose isn't a hit with critics, but audiences keep it going. It's still strong in Sep '99



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