Monday, May 18, 2020

The Return Of 42nd Street

Now before you get all excited theatre fans, 42nd Street is not coming back to Broadway. Yes I know it's been over fifteen years since the last production. And yes, it was very successful, winning the 2001 Tony Award for Best Musical Revival of the Year. No, I'm talking about the return of that stretch of land between 7th and 8th Avenues, commonly referred to as "The Deuce". That 42nd Street. During the early 1900's thru to late 1930's, 42nd Street was sort of the epicenter of the Broadway district. One of it's most popular venues was the New Amstredam Theatre.

Now today, we know it as the flagship theatre of Disney Theatricals, home to the Broadway smash of Aladdin, and former home of Mary Poppins and The Lion King. From 1913-1927, it was the home of the Ziegfeld Follies. Starting in 1937, it was used as a movie theatre, before closing for good in 1985. Of course by then, the theatre was a shell of it's former self, caused by years and years of abuse and neglect. According to the Disney Organization, boxes on both sides of the venue had been ripped out, ceilings had collapsed, and believe it or not, giant plate size mushrooms were growing all around.

To say the New Amsterdam had become dilapidated was an understatement. Enter former Disney head Michael Eisner and the Disney Organization, who took on the herculean task of restoring the theatre to it's former glory. Which in turn, changed the course of 42nd Street forever. Now while The Lion King was it's first fully staged production, it's first presentation was a limited engagement concert of King David by Academy and Tony Award winners Alan Menken and Tim Rice. The day of it's first performance? May 18,1997. Well would you look at that? That's today. Stay safe everyone, and keep looking out for each other. Until next time theatre fans.

Applause Theatre and Entertainment Service, Inc.
165 West 46th Street
Suite 1107
New York, NY 10036
or 1-800-451-9930
Facebook:Applause Theater and Entertainment Service

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