overview

Opened in 1903, the New Amsterdam Theater has staged several productions involving major LGBT performers and creators, including Clyde Fitch, Erte, Patsy Kelly, the vaudeville team of Bert Savoy & Jay Brennan, Eva La Gallienne, and Marie Dressler, among others.

The theater became a movie palace in 1937 and, since 1997, has been a legitimate theater for Disney productions.

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

History

The New Amsterdam Theater opened in 1903. Productions by LGBT creators and with LGBT performers at the New Amsterdam included:

  • Her Own Way (1903) by Clyde Fitch
  • Beau Brummell (1904-07), by Clyde Fitch
  • The Merry Widow (1907-08), with costume design by Percy Anderson and others
  • Oliver Twist (1912, revival), with actor Constance Collier
  • Margaret Schiller (1916), with actor Gareth Hughes
  • Ziegfeld Follies of 1916 and 1917, with actor Lilyan Tashman
  • Ziegfeld Follies of 1918, with actors Bert Savoy & Jay Brennan, a vaudeville team
  • Monsieur Beauclaire (1919-20), with costume design by Percy Anderson
  • Ziegfeld Follies of 1923, with costume design by Erte and others
  • Ziegfeld Follies of 1925, with actor Peggy Fears
  • Sunny (1925-26), with actor Clifton Webb
  • Betsy (1926-27), with lyrics by Lorenz Hart
  • Earl Carroll’s Vanities (1930-31), with costume design by Vincente Minnelli, and with actor Patsy Kelly
  • Murder at the Vanities (1933) by Earl Carroll and Rufus King
  • The Cherry Orchard (revival, 1933), with actors Eva Le GallienneAlla Nazimova, and Josephine Hutchinson
  • Revenge with Music (1934-35), with actor Libby Holman

 

At the New Amsterdam Rooftop, Marie Dressler appeared in The Boy and the Girl (1909), and Bert Savoy & Jay Brennan were in Ziegfeld Midnight Frolic (1919) and Ziegfeld Nine O’Clock Review (1919).

It became a movie palace in 1937. Since 1997, it has been a legitimate theater for Disney productions.

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

NOTE: Names above in bold indicate LGBT people.

Building Information

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

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.

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