by Chris Hale                             Address: 245 West 52nd Street
8 July 2008                                              New York, NY 10019
                                                              Phone: (212) 239-6200

   The August Wilson Theatre was built, in 1925, by the Theatre Guild with the designs by architects C. Howard Crane and Kenneth Franzheim and was originally named the Guild Theatre. In 1950, the theatre was bought by the American National Theater and Academy and renamed the Anta Theatre. This theatre went through yet another renaming, in 1981, to the Virginia Theatre, after the Jujamcyn board member Virginia McKnight Binger, when the Jujamcyn Amusement Corporation bought the property. It was, in 2005, upon the untimely death of the Pulitzer Prize-winning American playwright, August Wilson, that it was renamed in his honor, making it the first Broadway theatre to be named after an African-American. The August Wilson Theatre, in 1985, was designated a New York City landmark and seats 1275. Among the successful productions at this theatre include: City Of Angels, My Fair Lady, Smokey Joe’s Cafe, Little Shop of Horrors, Jelly’s Last Jam, Our Town, Say Darling, The Owl and the Pussycat, The Man of La Mancha, and the recent Tony Award-winning hit Jersey Boys.
   When attending a play at the August Wilson Theatre, the Russian Samovar Restaurant is a fine nearby dining choice serving Russian dishes and features live music. Mikhail Baryshnikov, part owner, frequents the restaurant as well as other celebrities. The Russian Samovar Restaurant is located at 256 West 52nd Street. Call for reservations: 212–757–0168.