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Longest Running Play

Littleshopofcarrie Profile Photo
Littleshopofcarrie
Broadway Star
joined:12/9/12
Longest Running Play
Posted: 7/21/14 at 07:44pm
Does anybody know what the longest running PLAY is currently on Broadway and in history? When I google it only musicals come up. I know that most plays are limited runs so it may be harder to figure out.
Updated On: 7/21/14 at 07:44 PM
EricMontreal22 Profile Photo
EricMontreal22
Broadway Legend
joined:10/31/11
Longest Running Play
Posted: 7/21/14 at 07:47pm
These are *still* the top two:
17. Life with Father P November 8, 1939 July 12, 1947 3,224[17] Broadway's longest-running straight play
18. Tobacco Road P December 4, 1933 May 31, 1941 3,182[18] Revivals in 1942 (34 performances), 1943 (66 performances), and 1950 (7 performances)

Tobacco Road seems all but forgotten--I knew it first just as a name mentioned about lost New York institutions in a lyric from On the Town. The play was pretty infamous:

"The play received unfavorable reviews, but gained audiences after ticket prices were cut (from $3.30 to $1.10, 1930s dollars). The show also toured, becoming "phenomenal" on the road, playing repeat engagements.

Brooks Atkinson wrote: "The theatre has never sheltered a fouler or more degenerate parcel of folks than the hardscrabble family of Lester...It is the blunt truth of the characters he is describing, and it leaves a malevolent glow of poetry... As Jeeter Lester, Henry Hull gives the performance of his career. Plays as clumsy and rudderless as 'Tobacco Road' seldom include so many scattered items that leave such a vivid impression."

The play was banned in major cities such as Chicago and Detroit for being sensational and immoral"

Updated On: 7/21/14 at 07:47 PM
broadwaybelter Profile Photo
broadwaybelter
Broadway Legend
joined:11/26/04
Longest Running Play
Posted: 7/21/14 at 07:48pm
A play called 'LIFE WITH FATHER', it seems.


Long Runs on Broadway
Updated On: 7/21/14 at 07:48 PM
EricMontreal22 Profile Photo
EricMontreal22
Broadway Legend
joined:10/31/11
Longest Running Play
Posted: 7/21/14 at 07:54pm
(The first number is how they rank in the top 100 longest running *productions*--play or musical or revue.)

Followed by:
28. Abie's Irish Rose P May 23, 1922 October 1, 1927 2,327[28] Revivals in 1937 (46 performances) and 1954 (20 performances)

36. Gemini P May 21, 1977 September 6, 1981 1,819[36]

37. Deathtrap P February 26, 1978 June 13, 1982 1,793[37]

38. Harvey P November 1, 1944 January 15, 1949 1,775[38] Revival in 1970 (79 performances) and 2012 (62 performances)

43. Born Yesterday P February 4, 1946 December 31, 1949 1,642[43] Revivals in 1989 (153 performances) and 2011 (73 performances)

48. Mary, Mary P March 8, 1961 December 12, 1964 1,572[48]

50. The Voice of the Turtle P December 8, 1943 January 3, 1948 1,557[50]

52. Barefoot in the Park P October 23, 1963 June 25, 1967 1,530[52] A Tony Award in 1964 Revival in 2006 (109 performances)

57. Same Time, Next Year P March 14, 1975 September 3, 1978 1,453[57]

58. Arsenic and Old Lace P January 10, 1941 June 17, 1944 1,444[58] Revival in 1986 (221 performances)

70. Brighton Beach Memoirs P March 27, 1983 May 11, 1986 1,299[70] 2 Tony Awards in 1983
Revival in 2009 (9 performances)

71. Angel Street P December 5, 1941 December 30, 1944 1,295[71] Revivals in 1948 (14 performances) and 1975 (52 performances)

72. Lightnin' P August 26, 1918 August 27, 1921 1,291[72] Revival in 1938 (54 performances)

75. Cactus Flower P December 8, 1965 November 23, 1968 1,234[75]

76 (tie). Sleuth P November 12, 1970 October 13, 1973 1,222[76] A Tony Award in 1971, Best Play

76 (Tie) Torch Song Trilogy P June 10, 1982 May 19, 1985 1,222[77]

79. Equus P October 24, 1974 October 2, 1977 1,209[79] 2 Tony Awards in 1975, including Best Play
4 Drama Desk Awards in 1975, including Outstanding Play
Revival in 2008 (156 performances)

83. Amadeus P December 17, 1980 October 16, 1983 1,181[83] 5 Tony Awards in 1981, including Best Play
3 Drama Desk Awards in 1981, including Outstanding Play
Revival in 1999 (173 performances)

86. Mister Roberts P February 18, 1948 January 6, 1951 1,157[86]

89. The Seven Year Itch P November 20, 1952 August 13, 1955 1,141[89]

92. Butterflies Are Free P October 21, 1969 July 2, 1972 1,128[92]

94. Plaza Suite P February 14, 1968 October 3, 1970 1,097[94]


And according to Wiki two other plays had 1000 or more performances:

-- The Teahouse of the August Moon P October 15, 1953 March 24, 1956 1,027[103]

-- Never Too Late P November 27, 1962 April 24, 1965 1,007[107]

Sorry for how hard this is to read--I was bored and just copy/pasted from the list of 100 longest running Broadway productions. Interesting how many of these seem fairly forgotten (though I suppose that's true of a number of musicals too--but they live on with cast albums.)


Updated On: 7/21/14 at 07:54 PM
henrikegerman Profile Photo
henrikegerman
Broadway Legend
joined:4/29/05
Longest Running Play
Posted: 7/22/14 at 03:52pm
Currently, the longest running play is Of Mice and Men. Actually, there are only two plays currently running on Broadway. The other, Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill, is a play with music (although many would call it a musical.... but let's not get started on that debate again).
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best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
Longest Running Play
Posted: 7/22/14 at 04:05pm
I'm kinda surprised "Life With Father" has never been revived, considering.

Yes, it's a period piece of a period piece, but with the right cast, it could really shine.
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newintown
Broadway Legend
joined:3/3/10
Longest Running Play
Posted: 7/22/14 at 04:27pm
I've seen regional productions of both - Tobacco Road is still surprisingly effective; Life With Father is silly sentimental mush (nostalgic for an era no one sentimentalizes much any more), but with an all-star cast and a gorgeous set, the Roundabout or LCT might consider it.
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Patash
Broadway Legend
joined:5/27/08
Longest Running Play
Posted: 7/22/14 at 05:37pm
"Actually, there are only two plays currently running on Broadway. The other, Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill, is a play with music. . ."

Wow. That seemed impossible but I guess you're right. Isn't that unusual? I mean, I know musicals have kind of taken over Broadway (mixed with mostly revivals of plays), but how often is there only one real play going on Broadway I wonder?
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theatreguy
Broadway Legend
joined:7/31/03
Longest Running Play
Posted: 7/22/14 at 07:49pm
That happens just about every summer. Limited runs end, the few open-ended ones close and then there's a few weeks before the new plays start previews.
rjm516
Broadway Star
joined:6/24/09
Longest Running Play
Posted: 7/22/14 at 09:53pm
That is CRAZY that Of Mice and Men is the only real play right now! Did not realize that. Wow. That play only TKTS line must be 3 people deep.
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TonyVincent
Broadway Legend
joined:2/25/08
Longest Running Play
Posted: 7/22/14 at 09:58pm
It's pretty common. I remember starting a thread this time a couple years ago when there were zero plays on Broadway, and finding out it wasn't a particularly rare July/August event.
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Phantom of London
Broadway Legend
joined:3/26/08
Longest Running Play
Posted: 7/23/14 at 07:56pm
If someone suggest to me that New York is the musical capital of the world, I would have no problem agreeing with them, but the capital for plays is London.
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