overview

Opened as the Plymouth Theater in 1918, this venue has staged multiple productions involving major LGBT performers and creators, including Oliver Smith, Roberta Maxwell, Claudette Colbert, Lanford Wilson, Cynthia Nixon, Spencer Tracy, Tallulah Bankhead, Anthony Perkins, and Mary Martin, among others.

It was renamed the Gerald Schoenfeld Theater in 2005.

Header Photo
Credit: Christopher D. Brazee/NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project, 2022.

History

This venue, which opened in 1918, was originally known as the Plymouth Theater. Big hits with LGBT associations at the Plymouth were:

 

Other productions by LGBT creators and with LGBT performers at the Plymouth included:

  • The Wild Duck (1918), with actor Alla Nazimova, the most famous interpreter of Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen of her day
  • Hedda Gabler (revival, 1918), with actor Alla Nazimova
  • A Doll’s House (revival, 1918), with actor Alla Nazimova
  • Daddy’s Gone A-Hunting (1921-22) by Zoe Akins
  • A Royal Fandango (1923) by Zoe Akins, and with actor Spencer Tracy
  • In a Garden (1925-26), with actor Laurette Taylor
  • Burlesque (1927-28), with actor Barbara Stanwyck, in the role that established her as a star
  • The Channel Road (1929) by Alexander Woollcott and George S. Kaufman, and with actor Edmund Lowe
  • Dark Victory (1934), with actor Tallulah Bankhead
  • Pride and Prejudice (1935-36; opened at the Music Box Theater), with actor Nancy Hamilton
  • Susan and God (1937-38) by Rachel Crothers
  • Solitaire (1942) by John Van Druten
  • The Skin of Our Teeth (1942-43) by Thornton Wilder (Pulitzer Prize for Drama), and with actors Tallulah Bankhead and Montgomery Clift
  • Lovers and Friends (1943-44), with actor Katharine Cornell
  • The Rugged Path (1945-46), with actor Spencer Tracy
  • The Ryan Girl (1945) by Edmund Goulding, and with actor Edmund Lowe
  • Obsession (1946), with costume design by Adrian
  • Present Laughter (1946-47) by Noel Coward, and with actors Clifton Webb and Cris Alexander
  • Lute Song (1946), with actor Mary Martin
  • The Eagle Has Two Heads (1947) by Jean Cocteau, and with actor Tallulah Bankhead
  • Private Lives (revival, 1948-49) by Noel Coward, and with actor Tallulah Bankhead
  • Three Wishes for Jamie (1952, opened at the Mark Hellinger Theater), with costume design by Miles White
  • Happy Birthday (1948), with actor Musa Williams
  • Don Juan in Hell (1952), with actors Agnes Moorehead and Charles Laughton
  • Caine Mutiny Court-Martial (1954-55), directed by Charles Laughton, with actor Charles Nolte
  • Tiger at the Gates (1955), with scenic and costume design by Loudon Sainthill, and with actor Michael Redgrave
  • The Apple Cart (revival, 1956-57), with scenic and lighting design by Robert O’Hearn, and with actor Maurice Evans
  • Chips With Everything (1963-64), directed by John Dexter
  • Dylan (1964), with scenic design by Oliver Smith, and with actor Alec Guinness (Best Actor in a Play Tony Award)
  • Cambridge Circus (1964), with actor Graham Chapman
  • Slow Dance on the Killing Ground (1964-65), with scenic design by Oliver Smith, and with actor George Rose
  • The Star-Spangled Girl (1966-67), with scenic design by Oliver Smith, and with actor Anthony Perkins
  • Everything in the Garden (1967-68) by Edward Albee, with scenic and costume design by William Ritman
  • Twigs (1972, opened at the Broadhurst Theater) by George Furth
  • The Water Engine/ Mr. Happiness (1978), with scenic design by John Lee Beatty
  • The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby (1981-82), with actor Roger Rees (Best Actor in a Play Tony Award)
  • You Can’t Take It With You (revival, 1983), with actor James Coco
  • The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe (1985-86) by Jane Wagner, and with actor Lily Tomlin (Best Actress in a Play Tony Award)
  • Passion (1994-95), with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim (Best Musical and Best Original Score Tony Awards)
  • A Delicate Balance (revival, 1996) by Edward Albee (Best Revival of a Play Tony Award), with scenic design by John Lee Beatty, lighting design by Pat Collins, and with actor George Grizzard (Best Actor in a Play Tony Award)

 

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

  2. 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, November 14, 2007.

  3. Internet Broadway Database.

  4. Plymouth Theater Designation Report (New York: Landmarks Preservation Commission, 1987).

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