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Theater Stories: COME FROM AWAY, PASSION, JEKYLL & HYDE and More About the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre

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!

Theater Stories: COME FROM AWAY, PASSION, JEKYLL & HYDE and More About the Gerald Schoenfeld 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 Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre Built?

Theater Stories: COME FROM AWAY, PASSION, JEKYLL & HYDE and More About the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre The Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, previously known as the Plymouth Theatre, was constructed by the Shubert brothers in 1917. The theatre was designed by the famed architect Herbert J. Krapp, who designed the theatre in the same Spanish revival style as the neighboring Shubert and Booth theatres (which were designed by Henry B. Herts and opened a few years earlier in 1913). The premiere production at the Plymouth Theatre was the Clare Kumer play A Successful Calamity in 1917, starring William Gillette and Estelle Winwood. The theatre was named a New York landmark in 1987, and was renamed after Gerald Schoenfeld, chairman of The Shubert Organization, in 2005.

Who was Gerald Schoenfeld?

Gerald Schoenfeld, who was born on September 22, 1924 and died November 25, 2008, was chairman of The Shubert Organization from 1972 to 2008. Schoenfeld was hired out of law school by a firm called Klein & Weir - one of the firm's clients was The Shubert Organization, represented by Adolph Lund, a partner in the firm.

AfterTheater Stories: COME FROM AWAY, PASSION, JEKYLL & HYDE and More About the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre Adolph Lund's death in 1957, J.J. Shubert, the only surviving Shubert brother, hired 32 year-old Schoenfeld to represent him. Later that year, Schoenfeld hired his brother's childhood friend Bernard B. Jacobs to work alongside him. Schoenfeld and Jacobs would eventually go on to become the most powerful partnership in the theatre industry. J.J. Shubert died in 1963, and in 1972 Schoenfeld and Jacobs took over The Shubert Organization. Schoenfeld served as as chairman and co-Chief Executive Officer, and Jacobs as president and co-Chief Executive Officer until their deaths 2008 and 1996 respectively.

The Shubert Organization currently owns and operates seventeen Broadway theatres and six off-Broadway venues. Notable Shubert productions and co-productions include Cats, Sunday in the Park with George, Dreamgirls, The Heidi Chronicles, Jerome Robbins' Broadway, Amadeus, Children of a Lesser God, The Grapes of Wrath, Ain't Misbehavin', Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Lucky Guy, Nice Work if You Can Get It, Spamalot, The Elephant Man, The Audience, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, School of Rock - The Musical and King Charles III.

What stars and shows have graced the stage of the theatre?

Shows to have graced the stage of the Schoenfeld include Dark Victory (1934) starring Tallulah Bankhead, The Skin of Our Teeth (1942) starring Tallulah Bankhead, Fredric March, Florence Eldridge, and Montgomery Clift; The Odd Couple (1965) starring Walter Matthau and Art Carney; Plaza Suite (1968) starring George C. Scott, Maureen Stapleton and Bob Balaban; Equus (1974) starring Peter Firth, Frances Sternhagen and more; Godspell (1976, transfer from the Broadhurst Theatre) starring Lamar Alford, Laurie Faso, Lois Foraker, and more.

Ain't Misbehavin' (1979, transfer from the Longacre Theatre) starring Nell Carter, André DeShields, Charlayne Woodard and more; The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe (1985) starring Lily Tomlin; Passion (1994) starring Jere Shea, Donna Murphy as Fosca and Marin Mazzie;

(Passion, 1994)

Jekyll & Hyde (1997) starring Robert Cuccioli, Linda Eder, Christiane Noll and more; The M-Fer With the Hat (2011) starring Chris Rock, Bobby Cannavale and more; Bonnie & Clyde (2011) starring Jeremy Jordan and Laura Osnes; Glengarry Glen Ross (2012 revival) starring Al Pacino, Bobby Cannavale and more; The Bridges of Madison County (2014) starring Kelli O'Hara and Steven Pasquale; The Audience (2015) starring Helen Mirren; American Psycho (2016) starring Benjamin Walker;

(Glengarry Glen Ross, 2012)

The Humans (2016) starring Reed Birney, Jayne Houdyshell, and more; Come from Away (2017) starring Jenn Colella, Chad Kimball, Rodney Hicks, Kendra Kassebaum and more, plus many others!

(The Bridges of Madison County, 2014)

(The Humans, 2016)

What show is currently in the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre?

Come From Away has called the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre home since it's opening on March 12, 2017. Featuring book and music by Irene Sankoff and David Hein, the production was directed by Christopher Ashley and originally starred Chad Kimball, Jenn Colella, Joel Hatch, Rodney Hicks, Caesar Samayoa, Kendra Kassebaum, Petrina Bromley, Geno Carr, Lee MacDougall, Q. Smith, Sharon Wheatley, and Astrid Van Wieren.

Come From Away was nominated for seven Tony awards including Best Musical, Best Original Score, Best Book of a Musical and Best Featured Actress in a Musical for Jenn Colella, winning for Best Direction of a Musical for Christopher Ashley. Come From Away holds the most recent box office record for the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, grossing $1,834,218 over nine performances for the week ending December 31, 2017.

In addition to the Broadway production, Come From Away has spawned a Toronto production, a West End production and more. It was recently announced that the cast of Come From Away would be coming together for a live filmed version of the show at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, scheduled to be released in September of 2021.


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