Walter Kerr Theatre
The marquee of the Walter Kerr Theatre in 2006
|Address||219 West 48th Street
Manhattan, New York City
The Shubert family engaged Herbert J. Krapp to design their Ritz Theatre in 1921. ABC operated it as a radio and then television studio between 1943 and 1965. The Shuberts sold the theatre to John Minary in 1956, who sold it to Joseph P. Blitz later that year. In 1963, a partnership including Roger Euster acquired the property; in 1964 Euster sold his stake to Leonard B. Moore. It remained vacant from 1965 to 1971, when it reopened with the musical Soon, book by Martin Duberman, which closed after three performances. It housed a number of productions in the next two years and even screened adult films for a period before it became a children's theater named in honor of Robert F. Kennedy in 1973. Jujamcyn acquired the property in 1980. The last production staged at the Ritz was Chu Chem. On March 5, 1990, the theatre reopened after a $2 million restoration now renamed for theater critic Walter Kerr with August Wilson's The Piano Lesson. Since then it has housed seven winners of the Tony Award for Best Play: Angels in America: Millennium Approaches, Angels in America: Perestroika, Love! Valour! Compassion!, Proof, Take Me Out, Doubt, and Clybourne Park. It also housed one winner of the Tony Award for Best Musical: A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder.
Other notable productions
- 1937: Power (Living Newspaper)
- 1938: Murder in the Cathedral
- 1942: My Sister Eileen
- 1971: Dance of Death
- 1973: No Sex Please, We're British
- 1991: I Hate Hamlet
- 1992: Two Trains Running
- 1992: Stolen Moments: The Lady Sings... Jazz and Blues
- 1993: Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes
- 1996: Seven Guitars
- 1998: The Beauty Queen of Leenane
- 1999: The Weir
- 2000: A Moon for the Misbegotten
- 2004: Gem of the Ocean
- 2006: Grey Gardens
- 2007: A Bronx Tale (play)
- 2008: A Catered Affair
- 2008: The Seagull
- 2009: Irena's Vow (Mar-Jun)
- 2009: A Little Night Music
- 2011: The House of Blue Leaves
- 2011: Lysistrata Jones
- 2012: Clybourne Park
- 2012: The Heiress
- 2013: The Testament of Mary
- 2013: Forever Tango
- 2013: A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder
- 2016: The Crucible
- 2016: Falsettos
Box office record
"A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder" holds the box office record for the Walter Kerr Theatre. The production grossed $1,062,740 over eight performances, for the week ending December 28, 2014.
- Zolotow, Sam (July 18, 1956). "Ritz Theatre Sold". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-05-08.
- "48th St. Theatre Sold to Investor". The New York Times. December 21, 1956. Retrieved 2014-05-08.
- "Theater Building on 48th St. Sold". The New York Times. April 5, 1963. Retrieved 2014-05-08.
- "The Little Theater Changes Ownership". The New York Times. June 4, 1964. Retrieved 2014-05-08.
- Calta, Louis (February 17, 1972). "Ritz Theater Makes Broadway Return". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-05-08.
- "Doctor in the House Changes Character". The New York Times. September 20, 1973. Retrieved 2014-05-08.
- "Metropolitan Briefs: Kennedy Theater Evicted". The New York Times. May 5, 1976. Retrieved 2014-05-08.
- Blau, Eleanor (November 19, 1981). "Ritz Theater to Return as a Broadway House". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-05-08.
- Rothstein, Mervyn (March 6, 1990). "Broadway Musical Tribute To the Critic Walter Kerr". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-05-08.
- "Broadway Grosses-A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC: 2010".