by Chris Hale                                Address: 250 W. 52nd St.
8 July 2008                                                  New York, NY
 10036
                                                                  Phone: (212) 541-8457 

   The Neil Simon Theatre was built, in 1927, by Alexander Pincus with designs by architect Herbert J. Krapp and was originally named the Alvin Theatre. The theatre was built for the producers Alex Aarons and Vinton
Freedley and named after them using the first two syllables of their first names. The opening production, in 1927, was the popular hit Funny Face, by George and Ira Gershwin, starring Fred and Adele Astaire. In 1977, the theatre was  purchased by the Nederlander Organization. The Alvin Theatre was renamed, in 1983, after the legendary playwright with the opening of his successful play Brighton Beach Memoirs, the first of an autobiographical trilogy (Biloxi Blues and Jake’s Women were soon to successfully follow). In 1985, the Neil Simon Theatre was designated a New York City landmark. The theatre seats 1445 and has bars with drinks and snacks located in the theatre’s lower lounge. Among the other popular productions at this theatre includes: Anything Goes, Porgy and Bess, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Bells Are Ringing, Annie, Company, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Cyrano: The Musical, the revival of The Music Man, and the recent Tony Award-winning play Hairspray.