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Imperial Theatre, May 2012
|Address||249 West 45th Street|
Manhattan, New York City
|Owner||The Shubert Organization|
|Type||Broadway, Musical Theatre|
|Production||Ain't Too Proud|
|Opened||December 25, 1923|
|Architect||Herbert J. Krapp|
The Shubert Organization's fiftieth venue in New York City, it was constructed to replace their outdated Lyric Theatre. Designed by Herbert J. Krapp specifically to accommodate musical theatre productions, it opened on December 25, 1923 with the Oscar Hammerstein II-Vincent Youmans production Mary Jane McKane.
Since then, it has hosted numerous important musicals, including Annie Get Your Gun (1946), Fiddler on the Roof (1964), Dreamgirls (1981), The Mystery of Edwin Drood (1985) and Les Misérables (1990), which played at the theatre until 2003. Billy Elliot the Musical played at the theatre from November 2008 until January 2012.
Among the famed 20th-century composers and lyricists whose works were housed here are Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart, Irving Berlin, Harold Rome, Frank Loesser, Lionel Bart, Bob Merrill, Stephen Sondheim, Jule Styne, E.Y. Harburg, Harold Arlen, and George and Ira Gershwin. Performers who have graced the stage include Ethel Merman, Gertrude Lawrence, John Gielgud, Clifton Webb, Montgomery Clift, Mary Boland, Ray Bolger, Desi Arnaz, Lucie Arnaz, Mike Tyson, Mary Martin, Zero Mostel, Danny Kaye, Davy Jones, Jerry Orbach, Shelley Winters, Bernadette Peters, Ben Vereen, George Rose, Hugh Jackman, John Lithgow, Nikki M. James, Matthew Broderick, and Josh Groban. It is also the venue of the first Ms. Globe Pageant in 1951.
- 1924: Rose-Marie
- 1926: Oh, Kay!
- 1927: The Desert Song
- 1928: The New Moon
- 1932: Flying Colors
- 1933: Of Thee I Sing; Let 'Em Eat Cake
- 1935: Jubilee
- 1935: Panic
- 1936: On Your Toes
- 1938: Leave It to Me!
- 1939: Too Many Girls
- 1940: Louisiana Purchase
- 1941: Let's Face It!
- 1943: One Touch of Venus (Kurt Weill's Broadway debut)
- 1944: Song of Norway
- 1946: Annie Get Your Gun
- 1949: Miss Liberty
- 1950: Call Me Madam
- 1951: Miss Globe
- 1952: Wish You Were Here
- 1955: Silk Stockings
- 1956: The Most Happy Fella
- 1957: Jamaica
- 1959: Destry Rides Again
- 1960: Gypsy
- 1961: Carnival!
- 1963: Oliver!
- 1964: Fiddler on the Roof
- 1967: Cabaret
- 1968: Zorba
- 1970: Minnie's Boys; Two by Two
- 1971: On the Town
- 1972: Pippin
- 1977: Mark Twain Tonight!; Chapter Two; Anna Christie
- 1979: They're Playing Our Song
- 1981: Dreamgirls
- 1985: The Mystery of Edwin Drood
- 1988: Chess
- 1989: Jerome Robbins' Broadway
- 1990: Les Misérables
- 2003: The Boy from Oz
- 2005: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
- 2006: High Fidelity (closed after only 14 performances)
- 2007: Coram Boy, August: Osage County (limited engagement)
- 2008: Billy Elliot the Musical
- 2012: Nice Work If You Can Get It
- 2013: 700 Sundays
- 2014: Les Misérables
- 2016: Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
- 2018: Carousel; Ruben & Clay's First Annual Christmas Carol Family Fun Pageant Spectacular Reunion Show (limited engagement)
- 2019: Ain't Too Proud
Box office record
Winner of 10 Tony Awards, the West End musical Billy Elliot achieved the box office record for the Imperial Theatre. The production grossed $1,663,895 over eight performances, for the week ending January 3, 2010.
- Moniuszko, Sara M (June 29, 2020). "Broadway suspends performances through 2020 amid coronavirus, extends ticket refunds to 2021". Retrieved July 2, 2020.
- Imperial Theatre at the Internet Broadway Database
- Shubert Organization website
- Imperial Theater  home page
- Museum of the City of New York drawing of the Klaw, Imperial and Music Box Theatres
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