Opened in 1903, the Lyceum Theater has staged multiple productions involving major LGBT performers and creators, including Oliver Smith, Clyde Fitch, Katharine Cornell, Billy Barnes, Eva Le Gallienne, Thornton Wilder, Elsie de Wolfe, and Alan Bates, among others.

The two biggest hits at the Lyceum were The Gold Diggers (1919-21), with Lilyan Tashman, and Born Yesterday (1946-47), with Judy Holliday.

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


The Lyceum Theater opened in 1903. In the long history of LGBT-associated productions at the Lyceum Theater, the two biggest hits were The Gold Diggers (1919-21), with actors Lilyan Tashman, and Born Yesterday (1946-48), with Judy Holliday.

Other hits at the Lyceum included:

  • Look Back in Anger (1957-58), directed by Tony Richardson, and with actor Alan Bates
  • A Taste of Honey (1960-61), directed by Tony Richardson, and with production design by Oliver Smith
  • Your Arms Too Short to Box with God (1976-77), with music and lyrics by Alex Bradford
  • Morning’s at Seven (revival, 1980-81), with scenic design by William Ritman


Productions by LGBT creators and with LGBT performers at the Lyceum included:

  • The Other Girl (1904, opened at the Criterion Theater), with actor Elsie de Wolfe (the future interior designer)
  • Granny (1904) by Clyde Fitch
  • The Truth (1907, opened at the Criterion Theater) by Clyde Fitch
  • Penelope (1909-10) by W. Somerset Maugham
  • Mrs. Dot (1910) by W. Somerset Maugham
  • The Importance of Being Earnest (revival, 1910) by Oscar Wilde
  • Seven Sisters (1911), with actor Laurette Taylor
  • The Marionettes (1911-12), with actors Alla Nazimova and Franklin Pangborn
  • The “Mind-the-Paint” Girl (1912-13), with actor Jeanne Eagels
  • The Land of Promise (1913-14) by W. Somerset Maugham
  • Her Husband’s Wife (1917), with actor Eugene O’Brien
  • Little Miss Bluebeard (1923-24), with costume design by Travis Banton and others
  • The Way Things Happen (1924), staged by Guthrie McClintic, and with actor Katharine Cornell
  • Anna (1928), with actor Judith Anderson
  • A Hundred Years Old (1929), staged by James Whale
  • Solid South (1930), with actor Georgette Harvey
  • Payment Deferred (1931), with actors Elsa Lanchester and Charles Laughton
  • Bitter Oleander (1935) by Federico Garcia Lorca
  • Pre-Honeymoon (1936), with actor Georgette Harvey
  • I Want a Policeman (1936) by Rufus King and Milton Lazarus
  • St. Helena (1936), with actor Maurice Evans
  • The Gambler (1952), with costume design by Robert Mackintosh
  • Lullaby (1954) by Don Appell
  • The Happiest Millionaire (1956-57), with actors Walter Pidgeon and George Grizzard
  • Billy Barnes Revue (1959), with music and lyrics by Billy Barnes (opened at the John Golden Theater)
  • Goodbye, Charlie (1959-60), with scenic design by Oliver Smith
  • The Importance of Being Oscar (1961), a one-man show based on the works of Oscar Wilde, written and performed by actor Michael MacLiammoir
  • The Caretaker (1961-62), with actor Alan Bates
  • Nobody Loves an Albatross (1963-64), with costume design by Florence Klotz
  • Entertaining Mr. Sloane (1965) by Joe Orton, and with scenic design by William Ritman
  • The Show Off (revival, 1967-68) by George Kelly
  • Exit the King (1968), with scenic design by Rouben Ter-Arutunian, and with actors Eva Le Gallienne and Richard Easton
  • The Cocktail Party (revival, 1968-69), with actor Brian Bedford
  • The Misanthrope (revival, 1968-69), with actors Brian Bedford and Richard Easton
  • Hamlet (revival, 1969), with actor Richard Easton
  • Borstal Boy (1970), based on the autobiographical book by Brendan Behan (Best Play Tony Award)
  • The Trial of the Catonsville Nine (1971), with costume design by Albert Wolsky
  • The School for Wives (revival, 1971), with actor Brian Bedford (Best Actor in a Play Tony Award)
  • The Great God Brown (1972-73), with actor John Glover 
  • Out Cry (1973) by Tennessee Williams
  • Zalman or The Madness of God (1976), with scenic design by William Ritman
  • Something’s Afoot (1976), with actor Gary Beach
  • As Is (1985-86), one of the first plays about AIDS (Outstanding New Play Drama Desk Award), by William M. Hoffman, produced by John Glines and Lawrence Lane, directed by Marshall W. Mason, with costume design by Michael Warren Powell, and with actor Jonathan Hadary
  • Michael Feinstein in Concert (1988), with singer Michael Feinstein
  • Our Town (revival, 1988-89) by Thornton Wilder, and with actor Jeff Weiss
  • The Seagull (revival, 1992-93), directed by Marshall W. Mason
  • Timon of Athens (1993), with actor Brian Bedford
  • The Government Inspector (1994), with costume design by Lewis Brown
  • Night Must Fall (revival, 1999) by Emlyn Williams


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

NOTE: Names above in bold indicate LGBT people.

Building Information

  • Architect or Builder: Herts & Tallant
  • Year Built: 1902-03


  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. Lyceum Theater Interior Designation Report (New York: Landmarks Preservation Commission, 1987).

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