St. James Theatre
The St. James Theatre, 2006
|Address||246 W. 44th St
New York City
|Architect||Warren and Wetmore|
It was built by Abraham L. Erlanger, theatrical producer and a founding member of the Theatrical Syndicate, on the site of the original Sardi's restaurant. It opened in 1927 as The Erlanger. Upon Erlanger's death in 1930, control of the venue was taken over by the Astor family, who owned the land on which the theatre stood. The Astors renamed it the St. James Theatre.
The theatre was taken over by the Shuberts in 1941. They were forced to sell it to William L. McKnight in 1957 following the loss of an antitrust case. McKnight renovated the St. James and reopened it in 1958. In 1970, McKnight then transferred the theatre to his daughter Virginia and her husband James H. Binger, who had formed Jujamcyn Theaters.
The St. James Theatre is expected to undergo renovations to extend its stage by 10 feet into the alley between the Helen Hayes Theatre and the St. James. This is part of a surge in Broadway theatre renovations. The bigger stage is expected to accommodate the 2018 Broadway run of the Disney musical Frozen.
Notable productions with opening dates
- Merry Malones (September 26, 1927) - Inaugural Production
- 1931–33, 1942 and 1951 seasons of Gilbert and Sullivan
- Thumbs Up! (December 27, 1934)
- Native Son (March 24, 1941)
- Oklahoma! (March 31, 1943)
- Where's Charley? (October 11, 1948)
- The King and I (March 29, 1951)
- The Pajama Game (May 13, 1954)
- Li'l Abner (November 15, 1956)
- Flower Drum Song (December 1, 1958)
- Becket (October 5, 1960)
- Do Re Mi (December 26, 1960)
- Hello, Dolly! (January 16, 1964)
- Two Gentlemen of Verona (December 1, 1971)
- Vieux Carré (May 11, 1977)
- On the Twentieth Century (February 19, 1978)
- Carmelina (April 8, 1979)
- Barnum (April 30, 1980)
- Rock 'N Roll! The First 5,000 Years (October 24, 1982)
- My One and Only (May 1, 1983)
- The Secret Garden (April 25, 1991)
- The Who's Tommy (April 22, 1993)
- A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (April 18, 1996)
- High Society (April 27, 1998)
- Swing! (Dec 9, 1999)
- The Producers (April 19, 2001)
- Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (November 23, 2007)
- Gypsy (March 27, 2008)
- Desire Under the Elms (April 27, 2009)
- Finian's Rainbow (October 29, 2009)
- American Idiot (April 20, 2010)
- Hair (July 5, 2011)
- On a Clear Day You Can See Forever (December 11, 2011)
- Leap of Faith (April 26, 2012)
- Bring It On: The Musical (August 1, 2012)
- Barry Manilow - "Manilow on Broadway: Live at the St. James" (January 29, 2013)
- Let It Be (July 24, 2013)
- Bullets Over Broadway (April 10, 2014)
- Side Show (November 17, 2014)
- Something Rotten! (April 22, 2015)
- Present Laughter (April 5, 2017)
- Frozen (Spring 2018)
In April and May, 2013, film director Alejandro González Iñárritu spent 30 days shooting his film Birdman almost entirely within the St. James Theatre and its environs. The film depicts the production of a Broadway show during its preview nights and premiere, and utilizes the theatre's stage, lobby, and backstage areas. The theatre features in the opening montage of Woody Allen's Manhattan, his "love letter" to New York City. St. James Theatre is also shown in the season 4 finale of Curb Your Enthusiasm when Larry David and David Schwimmer star in the Broadway version of The Producers. There is also a scene on the street in front of the theatre in which Larry David gets into a confrontation with a tourist played by Stephen Colbert. The Theatre is also referenced and used in NBC's Smash in a number of episodes.
- "13 NEW PLAYS SET FOR RURAL HOUSES - Next Week's Schedule Includes Large List of Tryouts for Monday Night PLANS OF LUTHER GREENE Cast Filled for Production of 'Walk Into My Parlor' - Opening in October - Article - NYTimes.com". Select.nytimes.com. Retrieved 2016-12-03.
- Gordon Cox (June 28, 2016). "Broadway Real Estate: St. James Theater to Expand Stage as Helen Hayes Begins Renovations". Variety. Retrieved September 21, 2016.
- "My One And Only". IBDb.com. Retrieved 2016-12-03.
- Ng, David (November 10, 2014). "In 'Birdman,' Broadway's St. James Theatre plays itself". L.A. Times. Retrieved November 22, 2014.
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