Theatre Details
Ethel Barrymore Theatre

243 W 47th St

New York, NY 10036

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Theater Description:
Designed by architect Herbert J. Krapp and constructed by the Shuberts, it opened on December 20, 1928 with The Kingdom of God, a play selected by leading lady Ethel Barrymore. Over the next dozen years she returned to star in The Love Duel (1929), Scarlett Sister Mary (1930), The School for Scandal (1931), and An International Incident (1940).

It is the only surviving theatre of the many the Shuberts built for performers who were affiliated with them. It has been used continuously as a legitimate house, unlike many of the older theatres that have been used for a variety of purposes throughout the years.

Even without Barrymore herself, the theatre was home to many successes in the 1930s and 40s. Fred Astaire starred in Cole Porter's Gay Divorce (1932), and Noel Coward wrote, produced and staged two plays with Alfred Lunt and Lynne Fontanne: Design for Living (1933) and Point Valaine (1935). Other notable productions include Death Takes a Holiday (1929), Clare Booth Luce's The Women (1936), Rodgers and Hart's Pal Joey (1940) starring Gene Kelly, and Tennessee William's A Streetcar Named Desire (1947) with Jessica Tandy and Marlon Brando.

The second half of the 20th century proved even more star-studded. Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn played in The Fourposter (1951), Anthony Perkins received a Tony nomination for his role in Look Homeward, Angel (1957), Sidney Poitier and Ruby Dee starred in Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun (1959), Lee Remick appeared in Wait Until Dark (1966), Robert Duvall starred in David Mamet's American Buffalo (1977), and August Wilson presented his Tony Award winning Best Play Joe Turner's Come and Gone (1988). Among other prominent shows and performers at the at the Barrymore were Peter Shaffer's Lettice & Lovage (1990), starring Maggie Smith and produced by the Shubert Organization, and Wendy Wasserstein's The Sisters Rosenzweig (1993), with a scene-stealing performance by Madeline Kahn. Kathleen Turner and Jude Law came to Broadway in Indiscretions (1995) and Dame Judi Dench starred in David Hare's Amy's View (1999).

Other productions at the Barrymore include an acclaimed revival of Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing (2000); Charles Busch's comedy The Tale of the Allergist's Wife (2000) starring Linda Lavin; Oscar Wilde's Salome (2003) with Al Pacino, Marissa Tomei, Dianne Wiest, and David Strathairn; the Tony Award winning revival of Stephen Sondheim's Company (2006); More recent productions include Exit the King (2009) starring Tony Award winner Geoffrey Rush and Susan Sarandon, and David Mamet's Race (2009).