The Belasco Theatre c. 2002.
Address 111 West 44th Street City New York City Country USA Designation Broadway Architect George Keister Owned by The Shubert Organization Capacity 1,016 Opened October 16, 1907 Previous names Stuyvesant Theatre shubertorganization.com/theatres/belasco.asp
Designed by architect George Keister for impresario David Belasco, the interior featured Tiffany lighting and ceiling panels, rich woodwork and expansive murals by American artist Everett Shinn, and a ten-room duplex penthouse apartment that Belasco utilized as combination living quarters/office space. Technically it was outfitted with the most advanced stagecraft tools available, including extensive lighting rigs, a hydraulics system, and vast wing and fly space. Meyer R. Bimberg was the actual owner of the Stuyvesant/Belasco. He made his fortune selling political campaign buttons.
It opened as the Stuyvesant Theatre on October 16, 1907 with the musical A Grand Army Man with Antoinette Perry. Three years later Belasco attached his own name to the venue. After his death in 1931, it was leased first by actress Katharine Cornell and then playwright Elmer Rice. Marlon Brando had his first widely noticed success in this theater, in a production of Maxwell Anderson's "Truckline Cafe", which opened on Feb. 27th, 1946. He played the small but crucial role of Sage MacRae. The play flopped, but the press celebrated Brando as a new genius actor; occurring before his noted film performance in "A Streetcar Named Desire". The Shuberts bought it in 1949 and leased it to NBC for three years before returning it to legitimate use.
This theater is the subject of an urban legend that David Belasco's ghost haunts the theater every night. Some performers in the shows that played there have even claimed to have spotted him or other ghosts during performances. It was also reported that after Oh! Calcutta! (a musical revue with extensive full frontal male & female nudity) played the theater the ghost of David Belasco stopped appearing.
- 1908: The Warrens of Virginia
- 1916: Seven Chances
- 1921: Kiki
- 1927: Hit the Deck
- 1928: The Bachelor Father
- 1935: Awake and Sing!; Dead End; Waiting for Lefty
- 1937: Golden Boy
- 1938: Rocket to the Moon
- 1940: Johnny Belinda
- 1941: Clash by Night
- 1945: Kiss Them for Me
- 1946: The Song of Bernadette; Flamingo Road; Truckline Cafe
- 1948: The Madwoman of Chaillot
- 1953: The Solid Gold Cadillac
- 1955: Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?
- 1956: Fanny
- 1958: Jane Eyre
- 1959: A Raisin in the Sun; Tall Story
- 1964: The Crucible
- 1966: The Subject Was Roses; The Killing of Sister George
- 1968: Don't Drink the Water
- 1971: Oh! Calcutta!
- 1975: The Rocky Horror Show
- 1977: American Buffalo
- 1979: The Goodbye People
- 1980: Your Arms Too Short to Box with God
- 1981: Ain't Misbehavin'
- 1983: Marcel Marceau On Broadway
- 1986: As You Like It/'Macbeth/Romeo and Juliet
- 1991: The Crucible
- 1992: The Master Builder
- 1995: Hamlet
- 1997: A Doll's House
- 2000: James Joyce's The Dead
- 2001: Follies
- 2002: Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune
- 2003: Enchanted April
- 2004: Dracula, the Musical
- 2005: Julius Caesar
- 2006: Awake and Sing!
- 2007: Journey's End
- 2008: Passing Strange; American Buffalo
- 2009: Joe Turner's Come and Gone
- 2010: Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
- 2011: Fat Pig; Kathy Griffin
- ^ www.Broadway.tv article "Passing Strange Broadway Ghost"
- ^ Peter Manso, Brando. The Biography (New York: Hyperion, 1994. ISBN 0-7868-6063-4), p. 167-173.
- ^ "The Ghosts of Broadway" by Robert Viagas. Playbill.com, June 10 2005
- Official website
- Belasco Theatre at the Internet Broadway Database
- Belasco Theatre history
- Broadway Theatre Guide
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Belasco Theatre — The well established director producer David Belasco built his signature theatre in 1907 at 111 West 44th Street in New York City. Designed by George Keister, it was named the Stuyvesant until 1910. The theatre opened on 16 October 1907 with A … The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater
Belasco, David — (1853 1931) Born David Valasco in San Francisco, he learned theatre as a child, frequenting Maguire s and other theatres there. When the stars toured to San Francisco, young Belasco would find a spot in the company, and thus at age 11 he… … The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater
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Belasco, David — born July 25, 1853, San Francisco, Calif., U.S. died May 14, 1931, New York, N.Y. U.S. theatrical producer and playwright. He acted with traveling companies before becoming a theatre manager, first in San Francisco and later in New York City… … Universalium
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