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Theater Stories: BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL, MRS. DOUBTFIRE & More About the Stephen Sondheim Theatre!

The Stephen Sondheim Theatre was previously called Henry Miller's Theatre, and was renamed after the legendary composer and lyricist in 2010.

Theater Stories: BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL, MRS. DOUBTFIRE & More About the Stephen Sondheim Theatre!

It is impossible to walk into a Broadway theatre, or simply just think of a Broadway theatre, without immediately connecting a memory to it. Every Broadway theatre is filled with a rich and colorful history, brimming over with stories of the stars who graced its staged, legends that were made within its walls, and the feelings we all have of looking back and thinking "I saw a Tony winning performance in that theater" or "I wish I'd seen that performance in that theater."

Whether a theater has a history that's a hundred years old or closer to forty, every Broadway theater tells a story, each one filled with fun facts you never knew!

With our new series, Theater Stories, we're bringing you tidbits you may have never heard, tales you never thought to ask about and more, giving you a better look into the history of Broadway theatres, as well as a leg-up on your next theater-trivia night.


When was the Stephen Sondheim Theatre Built?

Theater Stories: BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL, MRS. DOUBTFIRE & More About the Stephen Sondheim Theatre! The Stephen Sondheim Theatre was originally built by and named for actor-producer Henry Miller, and opened in 1918 with a production of The Fountain of Youth. Henry Miller's Theatre was the first air-conditioned theater in Manhattan! The venue has had many lives, being sold and converted into an adult movie house in the late 60s, a nightclub called Xenon in the late 70s, a nightclub called SHOUT in the 80s, and a nightclub called Club Expo in the 90s. The venue briefly returned to use as a performance space in 1998 and was renamed the Kit Kat Klub, housing Roundabout Theatre Company's revival of Cabaret, and serving as a nightclub after-hours. The musical was forced to move to Studio 54 after a construction accident temporarily closed the venue. The theatre continued to operate as a nightclub for private parties until 2000. It reopened as Henry Miller's Theatre in 2001 with a production of Urinetown. The theatre closed in 2004, and reopened in 2007 with the Roundabout Theatre Company's revival of Bye Bye Birdie.

When was the name of the theatre changed to the Stephen Sondheim Theatre?

Theater Stories: BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL, MRS. DOUBTFIRE & More About the Stephen Sondheim Theatre! It was announced that the theatre was going to be renamed after legendary composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim on Sondheim's 80th birthday, March 22, 2010. The unveiling and lighting of the theatre's marquee took place in September 2010. The first production to open at the renamed Stephen Sondheim Theatre was a limited engagement of the Pee-Wee Herman Show, which ran from October 26, 2010 through January 2, 2011.

What stars and shows have graced the stage of the Stephen Sondheim Theatre?

Shows to have been performed at the Stephen Sondheim theatre include La La Lucille (1919) starring Maurice Cass, John Hazzard, Eleanor Daniels and more; Our Town (1938) starring Arthur Allen, Helen Carew and more; Born Yesterday (1948, transfer from the Lyceum Theatre) starring Judy Holliday, Paul Douglas, and Gary Merrill; Enter Laughing (1963) starring Alan Arkin, Vivian Blaine, Sylvia Sidney, Michael J. Pollard, and Alan Mowbray; The Ritz (1983) starring Rita Moreno; Cabaret (1998) starring Alan Cumming, Natasha Richardson, John Benjamin Hickey, Ron Rifkin, Denis O'Hare and more; Urinetown (2001) starring Hunter Foster, Jeff McCarthy, Nancy Opel, John Cullum, Jennifer Laura Thompson and more; Bye Bye Birdie (2009 revival) starring John Stamos, Gina Gershon, Allie Trimm, Nolan Gerard Funk, and more; The Pee-Wee Herman Show (2010) starring Paul Reubens as Pee-Wee Herman; Anything Goes (2011) starring Sutton Foster, Colin Donnell, Laura Osnes, Joel Grey and more;

Theater Stories: BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL, MRS. DOUBTFIRE & More About the Stephen Sondheim Theatre!
The cast of Anything Goes, 2011


Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (2014) starring Jessie Mueller, Jake Epstein, Anika Larsen, Jarrod Spector and more; SLAVA'S SNOWSHOW (2019) starring Slava Polunin; Mrs. Doubtfire (2020) starring Rob McClure, Jennifer Gambatese, and more, plus many others!

(Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, 2014)

What is the theatre's longest-running show?

The Stephen Sondheim's longest-running show is Beautiful: The Carole King Musical! Beautiful: The Carole King Musical premiered on Broadway on January 12, 2014, and closed on October 27, 2019 after 60 previews and 2,418 regular performances. The musical featured book by playwright and Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Douglas McGrath, direction by Marc Bruni and choreography by Josh Prince. Beautiful featured songs by Gerry Goffin/Carole King and Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil.

The original cast featured Jessie Mueller as 'Carole King', Jake Epstein as 'Gerry Goffin', Anika Larsen as 'Cynthia Weil', Jarrod Spector as 'Barry Mann', Jeb Brown as 'Don Kirshner', Liz Larsen as 'Genie Klein', and an ensemble that included Ashley Blanchet, E. Clayton Cornelious, Joshua Davis, Alysha Deslorieux, Kevin Duda, James Harkness, Carly Hughes, Sara King, Rebecca LaChance, Douglas Lyons, Chris Peluso, Gabrielle Reid, Arbender Robinson, Rashidra Scott, Sara Sheperd, and Melvin Tunstall.

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical was nominated for 7 Tony Awards, winning Best Leading Actress in a Musical for Jessie Mueller, and Best Sound Design for Brian Ronan.

Theater Stories: BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL, MRS. DOUBTFIRE & More About the Stephen Sondheim Theatre!
Carole King with the cast of Beautiful in 2019.

What show currently inhabits the Stephen Sondheim Theatre?

The show currently inhabiting the Stephen Sondheim Theatre is Mrs. Doubtfire! Mrs. Doubtfire began previews at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre on March 9, 2020 and was scheduled to officially open April 5. Performances are currently on hold due to the pandemic. Mrs. Doubtfire features book by Karey Kirkpatrick and John O'Farrell, music and lyrics by Wayne and Karey Kirkpatrick, and direction by Jerry Zaks and choreography by Lorin Latarro. The musical is based on the 1993 film of the same name. Rob McClure stars as Daniel Hillard/Mrs. Doubtfire, with Jennifer Gambatese starring as Miranda Hillard, Brad Oscar as Frank Hillard, Analise Scarpaci as Lydia Hillard, Jake Ryan Flynn as Christopher Hillard, Avery Sell as Natalie Hillard, J. Harrison Ghee as Andre, Mark Evans as Stuart Dunmeyer, Charity Angél Dawson as Wanda Sellner and Peter Bartlett as Mr. Jolly.


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