Location: New York, New York
Address: 219 W. 49th St.
Capacity: approx 1120
The famed Shubert Theatre Company built four theatres as part of its rapid expansion during 1921, and the Ambassador Theatre may be the most visually impressive. Sitting on 49th Street between Broadway and 8th Avenue in New York City, the space is in the heart of Midtown and is a monument to the explosion of Broadway popularity in the early 20th-century.
Built by architect Herbert J. Krapp, the theatre was one of the first of its kind to have a wide, diagonal seating arrangement that gives spectacular views to more than 1,100 attendees. Despite the humble nature of the brick building, guests who enter are treated to the opulent plasterwork on the walls, doorways, ceiling and foyer. The building has been given the distinction as a New York City landmark and greets newcomers each year to an enthralling slate of Broadway performances, plenty of concessions and an easygoing atmosphere.
On February 11, 1921, the Ambassador presented The Rose Girl, starring Marjorie Gateson, as its first major production. In the theatre's first few decades, it hosted an array of operettas and musical comedies, both of which were extremely popular at the time. The '30s and '40s gave way to large-scale theatrical productions, while the '60 consisted of a long line of legitimate theater productions. The Ambassador was also part of the great revival period of the '80s and '90s, with hits such as Godspell, Dreamgirls and Ain't Misbehavin' selling out night after night. Nowadays, the theatre is known for its large-scale musical productions and has set the standard in the Broadway world for its superior lighting, quality acoustics and unrivaled pageantry.
The Ambassador is currently home to the longest-running musical revival on Broadway, Chicago. The production has won countless Tony Awards and is one of the biggest attractions in all of Manhattan. The theatre also hosted Pulitzer Prize-winning show Topdog/Underdog in 2002, written by Suzan-Lori Parks, who is the first African-American woman to win the award. In 1999, the revival of You're A Good Man Charlie Brown debuted, starring Kristin Chenoweth and Roger Bart, and was one of the theatre's great success stories.
The glittering scene of the Ambassador Theatre on the night of a show should be on the bucket list of any theatre buff. As one of the oldest operating theatres in New York City, it remains one of the most treasured landmarks and top spots for entertainment in Manhattan.