by Chris Hale                           address:  1634 Broadway
9 July 2008                                             New York, NY 10019   
                                                            (between 50th and 51st St.)
                                                             Phone: 212-239-6200

   The Winter Garden Theatre was built, in 1911, by the Shubert Organization with the designs of architect William A. Swasey. The theatre was built on the site of an old American Horse Exchange and architect William A. Swasey used the showring to create an unusually wide stage area with one balcony. Many Al Jolson musicals were held at the Winter Garden Theatre in the 1910’s and 1920’s. In 1922, the Shuberts hired architect Herbert J. Krapp for an extensive renovation of the theatre to bring the interiors back to the “traditional Adamesque style” found in the other Shubert owned theatres. In 2001, the theatre had a multi-million dollar restoration by architect Francesca Russo to bring the theatre back “to its Twenties’ glory”. The Winter Garden Theatre seats 1526 and has the reputation of every seat in the house having a great view of the stage. Among the successful productions at this theatre includes: the long running smash hit Cats, the premiere of West Side Story (starring Chita Rivera and Carol Lawrence), The Unsinkable Molly Brown, Funny Girl (starring Barbra Streisand), Mame (starring Angela Lansbury), Peter Pan, Once Upon a Town, Follies, Gypsy, the premiere of 42nd Street, and the current long running hit Mamma Mia!.