Location: New York, New York
Address: 246 W. 44th St.
Capacity: approx 1700
The St. James Theatre's is thought by many to be one of the most beautiful playhouses in New York City's Theatre district. Built in 1927 by booking agent Abraham Erlanger and designed by the architectural firm Warren and Wetmore, the structure opened as one of the largest venues in Manhattan with 1,600 seats (later expanded to 1,710). The performance hall is an example of Georgian architecture with a coral and gold color scheme, intricate murals, dual balconies and an opulent marble lobby. The 44th Street locale initially opened as the Erlanger Theatre and kept the moniker until Erlanger's death in 1930. The venue was then sold to the famed Astor family, who named it the St. James Theatre, and was later purchased by the Shubert Brothers in the late 1930s. The theatre was bought by Scarborough House Inc. in 1957 and later leased to Jujamcyn Theatres, which runs it to this day.
The playhouse's first production began on September 26, 1927 with the George M. Cohan musical The Merry Malones. The show had a strong running for an opening musical and lasted for more than 200 performances. Since then the St. James Theatre has been renowned for allowing new productions to hit it big and has launched countless musicals and dramas into infamy throughout its illustrious history.
The St. James Theatre played host to a milestone in Broadway history in 1938 with the first full-length production of Shakespeare's Hamlet in America. Not long after the venue's foray into legitimate theatre, the St. James featured Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma! (the musical writing team's first collaboration) in 1943, which became one of the most ground-breaking productions in American theatre. From memorable scores to stellar choreography, the musical went on to enthrall audiences for 2,212 performances.
The duo would bring another success to the theatre in 1951 with the classic The King and I, starring Gertrude Lawrence and Yul Brynner. It ran for 1,246 performances and was a landmark production for the playhouse. The venue has seen a number of fabulous acts, such as The Secret Garden, The Producers and Flower Drum Song, but the longest-running production was Hello, Dolly! in 1964. The show would go on to wow audiences for 2,844 performances and eventually win a then-record of 10 Tony Awards.
The St. James Theatre's dynamic setting has made it the setting for countless firsts in the Broadway world and continues to be one of the most popular venues in New York City.
St. James Theatre Ticket Information:
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