Imperial Theatre, May 2012
|Address||249 West 45th Street|
Manhattan, New York City
|Owner||The Shubert Organization|
|Type||Broadway, Musical Theatre|
|Production||Ain't Too Proud|
|Opened||December 25, 1923|
|Architect||Herbert J. Krapp|
The Shubert Organization's fiftieth venue in New York City, it was constructed to replace their outdated Lyric Theatre. Designed by Herbert J. Krapp specifically to accommodate musical theatre productions, it opened on December 25, 1923 with the Oscar Hammerstein II-Vincent Youmans production Mary Jane McKane. Since then, it has hosted numerous important musicals, including Annie Get Your Gun (1946), Fiddler on the Roof (1964), Dreamgirls (1981), The Mystery of Edwin Drood (1985) and Les Misérables (1990), which played at the theatre until 2003. Billy Elliot the Musical played at the theatre from November 2008 until January 2012.
Among the famed 20th-century composers and lyricists whose works were housed here are Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart, Irving Berlin, Harold Rome, Frank Loesser, Lionel Bart, Bob Merrill, Stephen Sondheim, Jule Styne, E.Y. Harburg, Harold Arlen, and George and Ira Gershwin. Performers who have graced the stage include Ethel Merman, Gertrude Lawrence, John Gielgud, Clifton Webb, Montgomery Clift, Mary Boland, Ray Bolger, Desi Arnaz, Lucie Arnaz, Mike Tyson, Mary Martin, Zero Mostel, Danny Kaye, Davy Jones, Jerry Orbach, Shelley Winters, Bernadette Peters, Ben Vereen, George Rose, Hugh Jackman, John Lithgow, Nikki M. James, Matthew Broderick, and Josh Groban. It is also the venue of the first Ms. Globe Pageant in 1951.
Winner of 10 Tony Awards, the West End musical Billy Elliot achieved the box office record for the Imperial Theatre. The production grossed $1,663,895 over eight performances, for the week ending January 3, 2010.