Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre Information
- Location: New York, New York
- Address: 236 W. 45th St.
- Capacity: approx 1090
- Opened: 1917
The Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre began its life as the Plymouth Theatre and was one of the many performance halls built by the Shubert Brothers in the 1910s. The venue sits on 45th Street next to the Booth Theatre and was designed by Herbert J. Krapp, the man behind so many of Schubert's playhouses. This specific space was a bit more simplistic in terms of architecture and decor compared to the more ornate locations in the area, and still showcases its original brown, gold, and blue color scheme. The locale is moderately sized by Broadway standards, with about 1,000 seats and only one balcony, making it ideal for dramas, comedies, and small-scale musicals. After years of carrying the Plymouth moniker, the Shubert organization changed the name in 2005 to honor Gerald Schoenfeld, the late chairman who worked tirelessly for the organization for many years.
The opening night of the Plymouth Theatre was a rarity in the Broadway world, particularly because the production wasn't a new show. The play, A Successful Calamity, was a hit at the Booth Theatre next door, and promoters revived the act with nearly the same cast as before when the theatre opened its doors in 1917. While the venue has hosted its fair share of musicals over the years, the theatre's fabulous projection lends itself beautifully to both small and large dramas and comedies which have become mainstays of the playhouse's seasonal lineups.
One of the most groundbreaking plays to grace the Plymouth stage was Arthur Hopkins' production What Price Glory, which detailed the everyday life of soldiers and the foul language they used. This caused a great stir in 1924, but it paid off by bringing people into the seats and running for 435 performances. After years of staying in the thick of the Broadway scene, the Plymouth Theatre set its own record with Jekyll & Hyde in 1997. The play starred Robert Cuccioli, Christiane Noll, and Linda Eder and went on to be nominated for various Tony Awards. The show lasted for 1,543 performances, a record among Plymouth Theatre productions, but it was the widespread interest of fans who tracked the show on the internet that made the production Broadway's first true online phenomenon.
The Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre may not be as opulent as some of its surrounding Shubert gems, but it is one of the predominant venues in New York City for legitimate theatre in all of its forms.