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Sam S Shubert Theater



New York City Landmark Guide

Sam S Shubert Theater

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Sam S Shubert Theater

225 W 44th Street
between 7th & 8th Avenues

Completed 1913

Architect Henry B Herts

The Sam S Shubert Theater was named in memory of the oldest of the three Shubert brothers who made their marks on Broadway. The theater's exterior is, to our eyes, basically undistinguished, except for its position alongside Shubert Alley, the heart of the theater district. The Shubert's lavishly decorated Renaissance-style interior (also landmarked) reflects the gentry's idea of 'dinner and a show' back in 1913. Interior designer J Mortimer Lichtenauer had a free hand when pouring the plaster and covering it with paint and gilt. Lichenauer's interior and murals were restored in 1996. The Forbes-Robertson Repertory Company mounted the first show at the Shubert on October 21, 1913, a production of Shakespeare's Hamlet

1917 The Sigmund Romberg-Rida Johnson operetta Maytime enjoys a very long run for the time, 492 performances. The show stars Peggy Wood

1918 Lionel Barrymore is onstage in Augustus Thomas' drama The Copperhead for 120 shows

1932 The tune enters the American song lexicon, but Rex Weber singing 'Brother Can You Spare A Dime' only extends Americana's run to 76 performances

1936 Robert E Sherwood's comedy Idiot's Delight not only wins the Pulitzer Prize but stars Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne

1937 The Lorenz Hart-Richard Rodgers standards-to-be 'The Lady is a Tramp' and 'My Funny Valentine' are introduced in Babes in Arms. The musical stars Mitzi Green, Wynn Murray, the Nicholas Brothers and Ray Heatherton (remember the Merry Mailman from the '50s)

1937 Great stars: Alfred Lunt, Lynn Fontanne, Sidney Greenstreet and George Meader appear in Jean Giradoux's comedy Amphytrion 38

1938 Uta Hagen makes her Broadway debut in a production of Chekhov's The Seagull

1939 Katharine Hepburn stars in the Philadelphia Story with Shirley Booth, Van Heflin and Joseph

1942 Their last show together is a success. The Richard Rodgers-Lorenz Hart musical By Jupiter has a run of 421 performances. It stars Ray Bolger, Constance Moore and Vera Ellen

1943 One great playwright. One great play. Three powerful performances. Broadway history. Paul Robeson, Uta Hagen and Jose Ferrer star in William Shakespeare's Othello

1944 Celeste Holm is the Bloomer Girl, a 657 performance musical by Yip Harburg and Harold Arlen

1948 Rex Harrison takes his first Broadway bows in Maxwell Anderson's Anne of the Thousand Days. He also takes a Tony. Joyce Redman is Anne

1949 The S N Behrman comedy I Know My Love is the appropriate show for Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne to celebrate 25 years of performing together

1953 Gwen Verdon is a smash and wins a Tony for her performance in the Abe Burrows-Cole Porter musical Can-Can. Michael Kidd receives a Tony for his choreography

1956 Judy Holliday and Sydney Chaplin win Tonys for their performances in the Adolph Green-Betty Comden-Jule Styne musical The Bells are Ringing

1959 Not one, but many theater people like Gertrude Berg in Leonard Spigelgass' comedy A Majority of One; they vote her a Tony. The show runs for 556 performances

1959 Jackie Gleason. Walter Pidgeon. Robert Morse. Una Merkle. Valerie Harper. Just a lot of neat names in Take Me Along, the Joseph Stein-Robert Russell-Bob Merrill musical that earns Gleason a Tony

1962 More neat names: Elliott Gould. Barbra Streisand. Sheree North. Bambi Linn. Lillian Roth. I Can Get It for You Wholesale. Veteran Roth was last on Broadway in 1932; this is Streisand's first shot

1962 Stop the show I'm tired of . . . Anthony Newly writes the book (with Leslie Bricusse). Anthony Newly writes the music (with Leslie Bricusse). Anthony Newly writes the lyrics (with Leslie Bricusse). Anthony Newly stars. Anthony Newly sings 'What Kind of Fool Am I?' Co-star Anna Quayle wins a Tony for her performance in Stop the World - I Want to Get Off

1965 Anthony Newly and Leslie Bricusse are back, this time with The Roar of the Greasepaint-The Smell of the Crowd, starring (who else?) Anthony Newly and the great Broadway veteran Cyril Richard

1966 The Sheldon Harnick-Jerry Bock musical The Apple Tree stars Barbara Harris, Alan Alda, Larry Blyden and Robert Klein. Harris earns a Tony

1968 Promises promises prom prom promises Promises promises prom prom promises Promises promises prom prom promises So sing Jerry Orbach, Jill O'Hara, Donna McKechnie and Marian Mercer in the Neil Simon-Burt Bacharach-Hal David musical, you guessed it, Promises Promises. Orbach and Mercer fall in love again...every time they look at their Tonys

1972 With all the great shows there's almost no room for flops. Almost. Zoe Caldwell and George Grizzard are great, experienced, veteran actors. Playwright Arthur Miller sure knows what he's doing. The Creation of the World and Other Business goes bust after 20 performances

1973 A Little Night Music has a big night at the Tonys. The show wins, Glynis Johns and Patricia Wheeler win for their performances, Hugh Wheeler wins for his book and Stephen Sondheim wins for his score. Len Cariou and Hermione Gingold also star

1975 Edward Albee's dramas don't always go over well with audiences, but are hits with the critics and judges. Seascape stars Deborah Kerr, Barry Nelson and Frank Langella. It wins a Pulitzer Prize. Langella wins a Tony. The show closes after 65 performances

1975 Ingrid Bergman stars in a 1-month run of William Somerset Maugham's classic TheConstant Wife directed by John Gielgud. Enchanting

1975 Only one more show appears at the Shubert in 1975. Only one more show appears at the Shubert until 1990. From opening night Jul 25, 1975, for 6,137 performances, only one show appears on the Shubert's boards. Got it? A Chorus Line. The show wins a Tony for best musical. James Kirkwood and Nicholas Dante win for their book. Marvin Hamlisch and Edward Kleban win for their score. Michael Bennet wins for his direction. Bennet and Bob Avian win for their choreography. Donna Mckechnie, Kelley Bishop and Sammy Williams win for their performances (Whew! Whew! Whew!)

1992 The Gershwin brothers are always popular, even 62 years later. Crazy For You, an adapted revival of George and Ira's 1930 Girl Crazy stars Harry Groener and Jodi Benson. The show takes the Tony for best musical and Susan Stroman wins a Tony for her choreography. The show runs for 1,622 performances

1998 Chicago transfers to the Shubert to extend it's run. It will go on for awhile



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