overview

Opened in 1918, the Broadhurst Theater has staged multiple productions involving major LGBT performers and creators, including the play The Green Hat (1925-26), staged by Guthrie McClintic, starring Katharine Cornell, and featuring a closeted gay character.

A sampling of other LGBT names associated with the Broadhurst include Vincent Price, Beatrice Lillie, Oliver Smith, John Kander and Fred Ebb, Eva La Gallienne, and Barbara Stanwyck.

Header Photo
Credit: Sarah Sargent/NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project, 2019.

History

One fairly successful gay-themed play appeared at the Broadhurst Theater prior to the Wales Padlock Law (1927), which forbade the depiction of “sex perversion” on stage. Michael Arlen’s The Green Hat (1925-26), staged by Guthrie McClintic, with actor Katharine Cornell, featured a closeted gay character.

The Broadhurst over the decades has had a large number of hit plays with LGBT associations:

 

Productions by LGBT creators at the Broadhurst also included:

  • 39 East (1919) by Rachel Crothers
  • Topics of 1923 (1923-24), with costume design by Erte
  • America’s Sweetheart (1931), directed by Monty Woolley, with lyrics by Lorenz Hart
  • Streets of Paris (1939-40), with costume design by Irene Sharaff
  • Boys and Girls Together (1940-41), with costume design by Irene Sharaff
  • Old Acquaintance (1941) by John Van Druten (opened at Morosco Theater)
  • Early to Bed (1943-44), with costume design by Miles White
  • Lend Me An Ear (1949), with scenic, costume and lighting design by Raoul Pene Du Bois (opened at the National Theater)
  • Along Fifth Avenue (1949), with scenic design by Oliver Smith
  • Romeo and Juliet (revival, 1951), with scenic and costume design by Oliver Messel
  • Sail Away (1961-62), with book, music, and lyrics by Noel Coward, scenic and costume design by Oliver Smith, and with actor Grover Dale
  • Bravo Giovanni (1962), with costume design by Ed Wittstein
  • 110 in the Shade (1963-64), with scenic design by Oliver Smith, and with actor Will Geer
  • Weekend (1968) by Gore Vidal, with scenic design by Oliver Smith
  • Private Lives (revival, 1970) by Noel Coward, with actor Brian Bedford (opened at the Billy Rose Theater)
  • Four on a Garden (1971), with scenic design by Oliver Smith
  • 70, Girls, 70 (1971) by Fred Ebb and Norman L. Martin, and with music and lyrics by John Kander and Ebb
  • Twigs (1971-72) by George Furth
  • The Heiress (revival, 1976, based on the novel Washington Square by Henry James), with scenic design by Oliver Smith
  • Long Day’s Journey Into Night (revival, 1986), with scenic design by Tony Straiges
  • Private Lives (revival, 1992) by Noel Coward, with costume design by William Ivey Long
  • Once Upon a Mattress (revival, 1996-97), with scenic design by John Lee Beatty and lighting design by Pat Collins
  • Proposals (1997-98), with scenic design by John Lee Beatty
  • The Judas Kiss (1998), about the life of Oscar Wilde, with scenic and costume design by Bob Crowley

 

LGBT performers at the Broadhurst included:

 

Entry by Jay Shockley, project director (June 2019, with multiple additions).

NOTE: Names above in bold indicate LGBT people.

Building Information

  • Architect or Builder: Herbert J. Krapp
  • Year Built: 1917-18

Sources

  1. Adam Hetrick, “The Work of Broadway’s Gay and Lesbian Artistic Community Goes on Display Nov. 14 When the Leslie/Lohman Gay Art Foundation Gallery Presents ‘StageStruck: The Magic of Theatre Design’,” Playbill, Nov. 14, 2007.

  2. Broadhurst Theater Designation Report (New York: Landmarks Preservation Commission, 1987)

  3. Internet Broadway Database.

  4. Kaier Curtin, “We Can Always Call Them Bulgarians”: the Emergence of Lesbians and Gay Men on the American Stage (Boston: Alyson Publications, 1987).

  5. The 1st List of: Gay/Lesbian/Bi Industry People, Both in Front and Behind the Camera,” www.imdb.com, May 31, 2013.

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