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Theater Stories: ECLIPSED, SLAVE PLAY, HANGMEN and More About the John Golden Theatre

Learn history, fun facts and more about Broadway's John Golden Theatre!

Theater Stories: ECLIPSED, SLAVE PLAY, HANGMEN and More About the John Golden 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 John Golden Theatre built?

Theater Stories: ECLIPSED, SLAVE PLAY, HANGMEN and More About the John Golden Theatre The John Golden Theatre was designed by Herbert J. Krapp and built by the Chanin Brothers as part of an entertainment complex including the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre (then the Royale) the Majestic Theatre, and the Lincoln Hotel (now the Row NYC Hotel. The theatre opened as the Theatre Masque in 1927 with the play Puppets of Passion. In 1937, actor/producer/songwriter John Golden acquired the theater and renamed it after himself. It also operated as a movie house in the late 1940s and 1950s before it was purchased by the Shubert Organization, who returned it to full-time use as a legitimate theatre. The John Golden Theatre is one of the smallest theatres on Broadway with 787 seats.

What stars and shows have graced the stage of the John Golden Theatre?

Shows to have been performed at the John Golden Theatre include Angel Street (1941) starring Vincent Price, Leo G. Carroll, Judith Evelyn and more; Waiting for Godot (1956) starring Bert Lahr, E. G. Marshall, Alvin Epstein as Lucky, and Kurt Kasznar; An Evening With Mike Nichols and Elaine May (1960); You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown (1971) starring Carter Cole, Grant Cowan, Stephen Fenning, Liz O'Neal, Dean Stolber, and Lee Wilson; The Gin Game (177) starring Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy; Glengarry Glen Ross (1984) starring Joe Mantegna, Mike Nussbaum, Robert Prosky, Lane Smith, James Tolkan, Jack Wallace and J. T. Walsh; Falsettos (1992) starring Michael Rupert, Stephen Bogardus, Barbara Walsh, Chip Zien, Jonathan Kaplan, Heather MacRae, and Carolee Carmello; Master Class (1995) starring Zoe Caldwell, Audra McDonald and more; Avenue Q (2003) starring John Tartaglia, Stephanie D'Abruzzo, Rick Lyon, Natalie Venetia Belcon, Ann Harada, Jordan Gelber, and Jennifer Barnhart;

(Avenue Q, 2003)

The Normal Heart (2011) starring Joe Mantello, Ellen Barkin, John Benjamin Hickey, Lee Pace, and Jim Parsons; Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (2013) starring Sigourney Weaver, David Hyde Pierce, Kristine Nielsen, Billy Magnussen, Shalita Grant, and Genevieve Angelson; Eclipsed (2016) starring Saycon Sengbloh, Zainab Jah, Pascale Armand, Lupita Nyong'o, and Akosua Busia;

(Eclipsed, 2016)

A Doll's House, Part 2 (2017) starring Chris Cooper, Laurie Metcalf, Jayne Houdyshell, and Condola Rashad; Three Tall Women (2018) starring Glenda Jackson, Laurie Metcalf, and Alison Pill; The Waverly Gallery (2018) starring Elaine May, Lucas Hedges, Joan Allen, Michael Cera, and David Cromer; Hillary and Clinton (2019) starring Laurie Metcalf and John Lithgow; Slave Play (2019) starring Joaquina Kalukango, Paul Alexander Nolan, Sullivan Jones, Annie McNamara, James Cusati-Moyer, Ato Blankson-Wood, Chalia La Tour, and Irene Sofia Lucio, and many more!

What show most recently inhabited the theatre?

The show to most recently officially open at the John Golden Theatre was Slave Play. Slave Play by Jeremy O. Harris and directed by Robert O'Hara, featured Ato Blankson-Wood, James Cusati-Moyer, Sullivan Jones, Joaquina Kalukango, Chalia La Tour, Irene Sofia Lucio, Annie McNamara, and Paul Alexander Nolan. The cast is being understudied by Eboni Flowers, Thomas Keegan, Jakeem Dante Powell, and Elizabeth Stahlmann. In October 2020, Jeremy O. Harris' Slave Play made Tonys history as the most Tony-nominated play ever, with twelve nominations. Slave Play's nominated categories included: Best Play, Best Original Score, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play, Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play (2), Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play (2), Best Scenic Design of a Play, Best Costume Design of a Play, Best Lighting Design of a Play, and Best Sound Design of a Play, Best Direction of a Play.

Theater Stories: ECLIPSED, SLAVE PLAY, HANGMEN and More About the John Golden Theatre

The full cast of SLAVE PLAY (On Ground L to R): Ato Blankson-Wood, James Cusati-Moyer, Sullivan Jones, Annie McNamara, Joaquina Kalukango, Paul Alexander Nolan. (In red boxes L to R): Irene Sofia Lucio and Chalia La Tour

What show was set to open at the theatre next?

The show that was planning to open at the John Golden Theatre prior to the Broadway shutdown was Hangmen. Martin McDonagh's new comedy began performances on Saturday, February 28, 2020, and played 13 previews. It was scheduled to officially open on Thursday, March 19, 2020.

It was announced in March 2020 that the show would not resume performances following the suspension of Broadway on March 12, 2020. Martin McDonagh's Hangmen was set to feature Mark Addy (Harry), Tracie Bennett (Alice), Ewen Bremner (Syd), Owen Campbell (Clegg), Jeremy Crutchley (Inspector Fry), Gaby French (Shirley), Josh Goulding (Hennessy), John Hodgkinson (Pierrepoint), Richard Hollis (Bill), John Horton (Arthur), Ryan Pope (Charlie) and Dan Stevens (Mooney), joined by understudies Sebastian Beacon, Pete Bradbury, Katie Fabel, and Colin McPhillamy.

Theater Stories: ECLIPSED, SLAVE PLAY, HANGMEN and More About the John Golden Theatre

The cast of Hangmen. Photo credit: Joan Marcus

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