Skip to main content Skip to footer site map
Theater Stories
Click Here for More Articles on Theater Stories

Theater Stories: HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD, SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK & More About The Lyric Theatre

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

Theater Stories: HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD, SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK & More About The Lyric 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 Lyric Theatre built?

Theater Stories: HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD, SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK & More About The Lyric Theatre The Lyric Theatre was built in 1997 on the site of the former Apollo and Lyric Theatres. The old Lyric was built in 1903 and presented Shakespeare plays, newer shows like Cole Porter's Fifty Million Frenchmen, and more. It was converted into a movie theatre in 1934. The Apollo was built in 1920 and presented shows like Gershwin's Strike Up the Band and George White's Scandals. It operated as burlesque venue in the mid-1930s, a film exhibition in the late 1930s, and a legitimate theatre in the late 1970s, before ending its existence as a night club. Both theatres fell into disuse and disrepair and were repossessed by the City and State of New York in 1990, fell under the protection of the New 42nd Street in 1992, and were demolished in 1996.

The theatre opened as the Ford Center for the Performing Arts in January 1998 with the musical Ragtime. The theatre was renovated and renamed the Hilton Theatre, re-opening with Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in 2005. The theatre was vacant after closing Young Frankenstein in 2009, and was renamed Foxwoods Theatre in 2010, under an agreement with Foxwoods Resort Casino and Live Nation. In 2013, On May 20, 2013 Ambassador Theatre Group acquired the lease to the Foxwoods Theatre. The New 42nd Street remained the landlord, and in March 2014, the theatre was renamed the Lyric Theatre.

What shows and stars have graced the stage of the Lyric Theatre?

Shows to have been performed at the current Lyric Theatre include: Ragtime (1998) starring Brian Stokes Mitchell, Marin Mazzie, Peter Friedman, Audra McDonald, and more;

Ragtime (1998)

Jesus Christ Superstar (2000) starring Glenn Carter and Tony Vincent; 42 Street (2001) starring Michael Cumpsty, Christine Ebersole, Kate Levering and more; Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (2005) starring Raúl Esparza, Erin Dilly, Philip Bosco, Marc Kudisch, Jan Maxwell, Ellen Marlow, and Henry Hodges; Hot Feet (2006) starring Vivian Nixon, Michael Balderrama and more; Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical (2006) starring Patrick Page, John Cullum, Rusty Ross and more; The Pirate Queen (2007) starring Stephanie J. Block, Hadley Fraser, and Linda Balgord; Young Frankenstein (2007) starring Roger Bart, Megan Mullally, Christopher Fitzgerald, Sutton Foster, Andrea Martin, Shuler Hensley and Fred Applegate; Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark (2010) starring Reeve Carney, Jennifer Damiano, Patrick Page, and more; On the Town (2014) starring Jay Armstrong Johnson, Tony Yazbeck, Clyde Alves, Megan Fairchild, Alysha Umphress, Elizabeth Stanley and more;

On the Town (2014)

Paramour (2016) starring Ruby Lewis, Ryan Vona, Jeremy Kushnier and more; and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (2018) starring Jamie Parker, Paul Thornley, Noma Dumezweni and more.

What show broke the box office record for the theatre?

The first box office record to be set at the Lyric Theatre (then the Foxwoods Theatre) was Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. At the time, the show broke the record for the highest single-week gross of any show in Broadway history. The production grossed $2,941,794 over nine performances at 100.03% capacity for the week ending January 1, 2012. However, in just its third week of previews Harry Potter and the Cursed Child set a new record at the Broadway box office for the highest single-week gross of a straight play in Broadway history. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child grossed $2,138,859 over eight performances for the week ending April 8, 2018. The production went on to break its own record again, earning $2,525,850 over eight performances for the week ending December 30, 2018.

What show is currently at the Lyric Theatre?

The show currently inhabiting the Lyric Theatre is none other than the record-breaking Harry Potter and the Cursed Child! The show began previews at the Lyric Theatre on March 16 2018, and officially opened on April 22. To accommodate the show's expansive set, the large theatre, which sat approximately 1900, removed 400 seats from its auditorium.

The original cast featured Jamie Parker as Harry Potter, Paul Thornley as Ron Weasley, Noma Dumezweni as Hermione Granger, Poppy Miller as Ginny Potter, Alex Price as Draco Malfoy, Sam Clemmett as Albus Severus Potter, Anthony Boyle as Scorpius Malfoy, along with Susan Heyward, Jessie Fisher, Joshua DeJesus, Lauren Nicole Cipoletti, Madeline Weinstein, Byron Jennings, Brian Abraham, Jess Barbagallo, Kathryn Meisle, Edward James Hyland, Geraldine Hughes, Benjamin Wheelwright, Joey Labrasca, David St. Louis, Will Coombs, Landon Maas, Olivia Bond, and Brooklyn Shuck.

The production was nominated for 10 Tony Awards, winning Best Play, Best Direction of a Play for John Tiffany, Best Scenic Design in a Play for Christine Jones, Best Costume Design in a Play for Katrina Lindsay, Best Lighting Design in a Play for Neil Austin, and Best Sound Design in a Play for Gareth Fry.

Theater Stories: HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD, SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK & More About The Lyric Theatre
Edward James Hyland as Dumbledore
Theater Stories: HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD, SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK & More About The Lyric Theatre
Jamie Parker as Harry Potter

Featured at the Theatre Shop

T-Shirts, Mugs, Phone Cases & More
Branded Broadway Merch

Related Articles

From This Author Chloe Rabinowitz