The biggest theater hits with LGBT associations at the Ambassador Theater were Mulatto (1936) by Langston Hughes (opened at the Vanderbilt Theater); Me and Bessie (1975-76) with Linda Hopkins as Bessie Smith; You Know I Can’t Hear You When the Water’s Running (1967-68), with scenic design by Ed Wittstein, and with actor George Grizzard; Godspell (1977) by John-Michael Tebelak (opened at the Broadhurst Theater); Eubie! (1978-79) with Maurice Hines; and Bring in ‘Da Noise, Bring in ‘Da Funk (1996-99), conceived by and directed by George C. Wolfe (Best Direction of a Musical Tony Award).
Other productions by LGBT creators here included The Great Gatsby (1926) directed by George Cukor; A Passage to India (1962) based on the book by E.M. Forster, with scenic and costume design by Rouben Ter-Arutunian, and with actor James Coco; Absence of a Cello (1964-65), with scenic and lighting design by William Ritman; We Bombed in New Haven (1968), with scenic design by William Ritman; Celebration (1969), with scenic, costume, and lighting design by Ed Wittstein; Your Arms Too Short to Box with God (revival, 1980), with music and lyrics by Alex Bradford; Dreamgirls (revival, 1987) by Tom Eyen, with music by Henry Krieger; Ain’t Misbehavin’ (revival, 1988-89), with scenic design by John Lee Beatty, and with actors Nell Carter and Andre De Shields; and The Circle (revival, 1989-90) by W. Somerset Maugham, with scenic design by Desmond Heeley.
LGBT performers here have included Walter Pigeon in Night of January (1935-36), Jerome Robbins in The Straw Hat Revue (1939), Ethel Waters in Laugh Time (1943, opened at the Shubert Theater); Tyrone Power in Back to Methuselah (1958), Judith Anderson in Comes a Day (1958), and Anthony Rapp and B.D. Wong in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (1999).