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Theater Stories: SUNDAY IN THE PARK, NEXT TO NORMAL, FREESTYLE LOVE SUPREME & More About The Booth 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: SUNDAY IN THE PARK, NEXT TO NORMAL, FREESTYLE LOVE SUPREME & More About The Booth 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 Booth Theatre built?

Theater Stories: SUNDAY IN THE PARK, NEXT TO NORMAL, FREESTYLE LOVE SUPREME & More About The Booth Theatre The Booth Theatre opened in 1913, and was designed by architect Henry B. Herts. The Booth was designed as a companion theatre to the neighboring Shubert Theatre, with both sharing a Venetian Renaissance-style façade. The theatre's are connected by the private road/sidewalk, Shubert Alley.

The theatre was named after the 19th-century American actor Edwin Booth - brother of John Wilkes Booth. The Booth Theatre was actually the second New York City theatre to bear this name. The first, Booth's Theatre, was originally owned by Edwin Booth himself, and built between 1867 and 1869.

The Booth Theatre opened on October 16, 1913, with Arnold Bennett's "The Great Adventure."

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

Shows to have been performed in the Booth Theatre include The Time of Your Life (1939) starring Eddie Dowling, Julie Haydon, Celeste Holm, Charles De Sheim, and Gene Kelly; Butterflies Are Free (1969) starring Keir Dullea, Blythe Danner, Eileen Heckart, and Paul Michael Glaser; That Championship Season (1972) starring Richard Dysart, Charles Durning, Paul Sorvino and Michael McGuire; for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf (1976) starring Trezana Beverley, Laurie Carlos, Risë Collins, Aku Kadogo, Ntozake Shange and more; The Elephant Man (1979) starring Philip Anglim, Carole Shelley, and more; Sunday in the Park with George (1984) starring Mandy Patinkin, Bernadette Peters and more;

(Sunday in the Park With George, 1984)
Once on This Island (1990) starring LaChanze, Jerry Dixon, Andrea Frierson, and more; The Pillowman (2005) starring Billy Crudup, Jeff Goldblum, Željko Ivanek, and Michael Stuhlbarg; Next to Normal (2009) starring Alice Ripley, J. Robert Spencer, Jennifer Damiano, Aaron Tveit, Adam Chanler-Berat, and Louis Hobson;

(Next to Normal, 2009)

Other Desert Cities (2011) starring Stockard Channing, Judith Light, Thomas Sadoski, Stacy Keach, and Rachel Griffiths; The Glass Menagerie (2013) starring Brian J. Smith, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Cherry Jones and more; Hand to God (2015) starring Steven Boyer, Geneva Carr, Michael Oberholtzer, Sarah Stiles, and Marc Kudisch; Meteor Shower (2017) starring Amy Schumer, Jeremy Shamos, Laura Benanti, and Keegan-Michael Key; The Boys in the Band (2018) starring Matt Bomer, Jim Parsons, Zachary Quinto, Andrew Rannells, Charlie Carver, Brian Hutchison, Michael Benjamin Washington, Robin de Jesús, and Tuc Watkins; Freestyle Love Supreme (2019) starring Lin-Manuel Miranda, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Chris Jackson, Daveed Diggs, James Monroe Iglehart, Wayne Brady, Ashley Pérez Flanagan, Aneesa Folds and more; plus many more!

What show most recently opened at the Booth Theatre?

The last show to officially open at the Booth Theatre was Freestyle Love Supreme. The improvisational, Hip-Hop comedy show played the Booth Theatre from from October 2, 2019 through January 12, 2020. Freestyle Love Supreme began as a group created by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Anthony Veneziale in 2004. The Broadway show's performers have included: Lin-Manuel Miranda, Anthony "Two Touch" Veneziale, Chris "Shockwave" Sullivan, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Chris Jackson, Kaila Mullady, Andrew Bancroft, Daveed Diggs, James Monroe Iglehart, Wayne Brady, Ashley Pérez Flanagan, and Aneesa Folds. The story of Freestyle Love Supreme is the subject of the 2020 documentary We Are Freestyle Love Supreme.

Check out a trailer for the documentary below!

What show was set to open most recently at the Booth Theatre?

A revival of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? began previews on Monday, March 2, 2020, and was set to officially open on Thursday, April 2, 2020. The show was unable to open due to the pandemic. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? was set to star two-time Tony Award and three-time Emmy Award winner Laurie Metcalf, Rupert Everett, Russell Tovey and 2019 Olivier Award winner Patsy Ferran. The revival was directed by two-time Tony Award winner Joe Mantello. Due to the pandemic, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? announced its official closing in March 2020.


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From This Author Chloe Rabinowitz