Designed in an Art Nouveau style by set designerRalph Alswang, it is situated on the lower levels of a towering office complex built at an estimated cost of $12.5 million on the site of the historical Capitol Theatre. It opened as the Uris Theatre on November 28, 1972 (named for the building developer Uris Brothers) with the musical Via Galactica starring Raul Julia. It proved to be an inauspicious start for the venue, with the first show to lose a million dollars closing after only seven performances. From 1974-76 it served as a concert hall for limited engagements by a number of legendarypop music and jazz performers.
The blockbuster musical Wicked achieved the box office record for the Gershwin Theatre. The production grossed $2,228,235 over eight performances, for the week ending January 2, 2011, which was the highest grossing week for any musical in the history of Broadway theatre, until Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark broke the record a year later, (on the week ending January 1, 2012), grossing $2,941,790.20.