overview

Opened in 1913, the Longacre Theater has staged multiple productions involving major LGBT performers and creators, including Edith Head, Cyril Ritchard, Lorraine Hansberry, John Lee Beatty, Lanford Wilson, and Vincent Price, among others.

The Terrence McNally play The Ritz (1975-76) was set in a Manhattan gay bathhouse that was loosely modeled after the Continental Baths on the Upper West Side.

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

History

The Longacre Theater, opened in 1913, has had three big LGBT-associated hits:

 

Productions by LGBT creators at the Longacre included:

  • Festival (1955), with scenic and lighting design by Robert O’Hearn
  • Fair Game (1957-58), with costume design by Robert Mackintosh
  • The Pleasure of His Company (1958-59), with costume design by Edith Head, and with actor Cyril Ritchard
  • The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window (1964) by Lorraine Hansberry, which featured a gay male character, and with scenic design by William Ritman
  • Les Blancs (1970), also by Lorraine Hansberry (her final work)
  • The Ritz (1975-76) by Terrence McNally, and directed by Robert Drivas, set in a Manhattan gay bathhouse that was loosely modeled after the Continental Baths
  • Faith Healer (1979), with scenic design by John Lee Beatty
  • Angels Fall (1983) by Lanford Wilson, directed by Marshall W. Mason, with scenic design by John Lee Beatty
  • Passion (1983), with scenic design by John Lee Beatty
  • Cuba & His Teddy Bear (1986), with scenic design by Donald Eastman
  • Precious Sons (1986) by George Furth, with actor Anthony Rapp
  • Golden Child (1998), with costume design by Martin Pakledinaz, and scenic design by Tony Straiges
  • The Belle of Amherst (1976) was based on the life of Emily Dickinson
  • Taller Than a Dwarf (2000), with costume design by Martin Pakledinaz

 

LGBT performers at the Longacre have included:

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

NOTE: Names above in bold indicate LGBT people.

Building Information

  • Architect or Builder: Henry B. Herts
  • Year Built: 1912-13

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, Nov. 14, 2007.

  3. Internet Broadway Database.v

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

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