Breaking News: Ambassador Theater Group Will Renovate the Hudson Theatre for Broadway
Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG) - the world's number one live-theater company - will reopen and operate Broadway's historic Hudson Theatre, ATG's Joint CEO's, Sir Howard Panter and Rosemary Squire OBE announced today.ATG, through its subsidiary, Hudson Theatre LLC, has entered a long-term lease for The Hudson Theatre, its second theater on Broadway, from a subsidiary of Millennium & Copthorne Hotels plc (M&C). M&C and ATG will be, in a multi-million dollar project, restoring the landmark venue to its former glory as a Broadway playhouse.
M&C's Chairman Kwek Leng Beng, said,
"The Hudson Theatre is one of the great historic landmarks in New York City and we have always been proud to have it in the Millennium & Copthorne family. We have proudly owned and maintained the theater as a cherished conference venue within our New York hotel estate since we acquired the Millennium Broadway Hotel New York in 1994. It was time for The Hudson to again become a destination where New Yorkers and visitors from around the world will experience great theater and entertainment. We are so pleased to have Ambassador Theatre Group partner with us on this new journey for The Hudson Theatre."
In a joint statement, ATG's Joint CEO's, Sir Howard Panter and Rosemary Squire OBE, said,
"As one of the oldest and most beautiful theaters on Broadway, we are thrilled to restore and operate the iconic Hudson Theatre. It presents us with enormous opportunities to present and produce even more productions in New York and in North America and will be the perfect companion to our larger Broadway musical house, The Lyric. It is a source of constant delight to see ATG continue to go from strength to strength, and make its mark on the global stage. A second Broadway theater is another landmark achievement for the company we co-founded 23 years ago and we couldn't be happier."ATG's Executive Director, David Lazar, said "It's a rare opportunity to give new life to a Broadway venue which helped establish Broadway as we know it. We thank Chairman Kwek for his great vision to return The Hudson Theatre to its rightful place on Broadway in partnership with ATG." The venue will receive significant front-of-house improvements to better serve its patrons including all new state-of-the-art seating, Ambassador Lounge premium lounge service, and increased and improved ladies' washrooms. In addition, significant backstage and technical upgrades, including new and expanded dressing rooms and new fly systems will transform The Hudson into a leading legitimate Broadway theater and destination for producers, directors, actors and creative teams. The anticipated re-launch of the theater is slated for the 2016/2017 Broadway Season. In September 2015, ATG completed the acquisition of ACE Theatrical Group; a company which specialises in the operation, design, development and construction of world class, live performance venues throughout North America.ACE's impressive portfolio of large-scale theatrical venues comprises the Kings Theatre in Brooklyn, New York; theSaenger Theatre in New Orleans, Louisiana; the Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts in New Orleans, Louisiana; the Majestic Theatre in San Antonio, Texas; and the Charline McCombs Empire Theatre in San Antonio, Texas.
In 2013, ATG acquired its first Broadway theater, The Lyric, which is the largest theater on Broadway. ATG's newly refurbished Lyric Theatre re-opened its doors in 2014 in dramatic style and welcomed audiences to the acclaimed Broadway revival of On the Town. The Lyric will be the home of Cirque du Soleil's first every Broadway production,Paramour, which will begin performances in April 2016.An active award winning producer on Broadway, London's West End, and globally, ATG and its partner company, Sonia Friedman Productions, have co-produced the following recent productions on Broadway: King Charles III, Constellations(starring Jake Gyllenhaal & Ruth Wilson), The River (starring Hugh Jackman), Twelfth Night/Richard III (starring Mark Rylance), The Mountaintop (starring Samuel L. Jackson & Angela Bassett), Exit the King (starring Geoffrey Rush & Susan Sarandon), Jerusalem, Arcadia, La Bete, La Cage aux Folles, and Sweeney Todd (John Doyle dir.) to name a few.
Already a huge hit in New York, ATG's co-venture of Lincoln Center Theater's production of The King and I collected four Tony Awards in 2015 including Best Revival of a Musical.
Situated just off Times Square in New York on 44th Street, between Millennium Broadway Hotel and The Premier Hotel,The Hudson Theatre opened on October 19, 1903 with a production of Cousin Kate starring Ethel Barrymore. Built by Henry B. Harris, a famous Broadway producer of that period, The Hudson Theatre is one of New York City's oldest Broadway showplaces. The 100-foot long lobby was the largest ever seen on Broadway at that time. Among the stars that have graced the Hudson's stage are Douglas Fairbanks, William Holden, Helen Hayes, Edward G. Robinson and Dorothy Gish. Barbara Stanwyck and Judith Anderson both made their debuts on its stage. On September 27, 1956 the first nationwide broadcast of "The Tonight Show" starring Steve Allen originated from The Hudson Theatre. It was granted landmark status for both its internal and external features in 1987.
ATG is majority owned by Providence Equity Partners, the world's leading global private equity firm focused on equity investments in media, communications, education, and information companies. The firm manages funds with over $40 billion in commitments and has invested in more than 140 companies globally since its inception in 1989. Providence is headquartered in Providence, RI and also has offices in New York, London, Hong Kong, Singapore, and New Delhi. Visit www.provequity.com for more information.M&C is traded on the London Stock Exchange and owns, operates or brands 125 hotels, representing over 34,500 rooms, in key gateway cities and other business and leisure destinations around the world. M&C owns five properties in New York, including Millennium Broadway Hotel New York, The Premier Hotel New York, ONE UN New York, Millenium Hilton Hotel New York and Novotel New York Times Square.
Co-founded by Sir Howard Panter and Rosemary Squire OBE in 1992, the Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG) is the world's number one live-theater company with 46 venues in Britain, the United States and Australia and an internationally recognised award-winning theater producer with productions in the West End and on Broadway and touring productions in the UK, North America, Europe, Australia and Asia. ATG is also the market leader in theater ticketing services through ATG Tickets, LOVETheatre and Group Line.
ATG presents an average of 40 productions a year, demonstrating the unique quality and range of ATG Productions in a diverse number of theaters and markets worldwide. ATG has been behind some of the most successful and innovative productions in Britain and internationally, and has subsidiary offices in London, New York, San Antonio, Houston, Sydney, Mannheim and Cologne, Germany.
ATG production companies and partnerships include Sonia Friedman Productions (SFP), First Family Entertainment (FFE), Jerry Mitchell Productions, The Jamie Lloyd Company and Theatre Royal Brighton Productions. In 2015, ATG became the majority shareholder of BB Group, one of the leading producers and promoters of premium live entertainment in Europe.
ATG performs to more customers than any other theater company, bringing compelling musicals and plays to almost a quarter of the UK population (including over 6 million households).
ATG Tickets issues more than 11 million tickets annually and www.atgtickets.com is the UK's most visited theater website with 120 million page views and 20 million unique visits per annum. ATG also boasts the UK's largest theater membership program, ATG TheatreCard, with over 100,000 members.
Photo Credit: Timmy Blupe