Location: New York, New York
Address: 219 W. 48th St.
Capacity: approx 940
The Walter Kerr Theatre, built by the Shubert Brothers in 1921, was known as the Ritz Theatre for a majority of its lifetime. The playhouse was designed by the renowned architect Herbert J. Krapp, and was completed in an astonishing two months. The venue was created to be an intimate setting with just under 1,000 seats, and the widely popular Italian Renaissance architecture of gold leaf and intricate detailing gave the locale a stunning appeal. It went through a number of changes throughout the years such as becoming a radio and television studio from 1943 to 1965 and a movie house. It was even renamed the Robert F. Kennedy Children's Theatre during the early '70s and showed children's films for a short time. It wasn't until 1989, when Jujamcyn Theatres bought and renovated the structure, that it returned to its legitimate theatre roots. It was renamed the Walter Kerr Theatre in 1990, in homage to the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama critic for the New York Times and the Herald Tribune.
The playhouse got a positive start during the Roaring Twenties and went on to host a number of big moments in Broadway history. The venue's first show was a pantomime called A Man About Town, which included future opera composer Deems Taylor as one of the members of its cast. The theatre has hosted a number of Tony Award-winning dramas and comedies over the years, but it has also been home to various successful musicals as well, making it one of the more versatile venues in Manhattan.
While the theatre hosted a number of prominent productions during the 1920s and 1930s, it wasn't until its grand reopening in 1990 that the Walter Kerr would go on a thrilling run of Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning productions. The first show under the venue's new name was August Wilson's The Piano Lesson, which became an instant success. It would win a Pulitzer Prize and the New York Drama Critics Award as the season's best play. The playhouse would host six winners of the Tony Award for Best Play including Angels In America: Millennium Approaches, Angels in America: Perestroika, Love! Valour! Compassion!, Take Me Out, Doubt and Proof. The 2000's Proof would go on to became the longest nonmusical drama of the decade and the longest-running production at the theatre.
The Walter Kerr Theatre has gone through a number of aesthetic changes over the years, but its recent renovations have allowed it to blend its classic charm with the benefits of a modern playhouse.
Walter Kerr Theatre Ticket Information:
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