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

History

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

 

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

  • Maria Rosa (1914), with actor John L. Arthur
  • Nikki (1931), with actor Archie Leach (who later changed his name to Cary Grant)
  • Paradise Lost (1935-36), with actor Sanford Meisner
  • Hedda Gabler (revival, 1936), with actor Alla Nazimova
  • The Lady Has a Heart (1937), with actor Vincent Price
  • Morning Star (1940), with actor Georgette Harvey
  • Three’s a Family (1943-44), with actor Earl McDonald
  • 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
  • Everybody Loves Opal (1961), with actor James Coco
  • The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window (1964) by Lorraine Hansberry, with scenic design by William Ritman, and featuring a gay male character
  • Daphne in Cottage D (1967), with actor Sandy Dennis
  • Les Blancs (1970), by Lorraine Hansberry (her final work; produced posthumously)
  • 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
  • No Man’s Land (1976), with actors John Gielgud and Ralph Richardson
  • Faith Healer (1979), with scenic design by John Lee Beatty
  • Angels Fall (1983) by Lanford Wilson, directed by Marshall W. Mason, and 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
  • Any Given Day (1993), with actor Peter Frechette
  • Voices in the Dark (1999), directed by Christopher Ashley
  • Taller Than a Dwarf (2000), with costume design by Martin Pakledinaz

 

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, November 14, 2007.

  3. Internet Broadway Database.

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

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