by Chris Hale                            Address: 243 West 47th Street
14 July 2008                                            New York, NY 10036
                                                              Phone: (212) 239-6200

 

   The Ethel Barrymore Theatre was built in 1928 by the Shubert Organization for the legendary actress, Ethel Barrymore. The theatre was designed by Herbert Krapp with a stately, intricate golden interior with red curtains and seats along with a beautiful hanging crystal chandelier. In addition, the Shuberts commissioned a play for Ethel Barrymore for the opening night of her namesake theatre. The opening production was The Kingdom of God, starring Ethel Barrymore, in December 1928. Now under contract with the Shubert Organization, Ethel performed in a few more productions until 1940 with her final performance at the theatre in An International Incident. The Ethel Barrymore Theatre had always been used as a legitimate house, and not for other purposes that most other older theatres did over the years. Many successful productions followed throughout the 1930’s and 1940’s including Fred Astaire starring in the Cole Porter classic Gay Divorce, Gene Kelly starring in Rodgers and Hart’s Pal Joey, Jessica Tandy and Marlon Brando starring in Tennessee William’s A Streetcar Named Desire, Sidney Poitier and Ruby Dee starring in Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun. The theatre seats 1058. The Ethel Barrymore Theatre continued with many more successful productions throughout the decades and more recently had the Tony Award-winning revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Company and the current comedy November.
   The Ethel Barrymore Theatre is located between Broadway and 8th Avenue.