MID123-002.jpg (40388 bytes) New York Architecture Images- Midtown

Music Box Theater Landmark


C Howard Crane, E George Kiehler


239-247 W45, bet. Broadway and Eighth Ave.  














The neo-Classical facade is fronted by four columns supporting a porch. This elegant design hides within a classic Adamesque interior typified by fine plaster and paint work. The theater was built by producer Sam H Harris for Irving Berlin's Music Box Revues. The first production at the Music Box was, appropriately, Berlin's Music Box Revue of 1921. The Revues ran through 1924 years, and featured artists such as Grace Moore, Fanny Brice and Robert Benchley, who made his stage debut in the 1923 Revue. In the '30s, the Music Box played host to an astounding string of hits with George S Kaufman in the credits, shows that still exemplify Broadway

The Music Box was designated a New York City landmark in December 1987. Today, operated by the Shubert Organization, it is owned half by the Shubert's and half by Irving Berlin's estate

1925 Cradle Snatchers, the Russell Medcraft-Norman Mitchell smash-hit comedy runs for 485 performances. It stars Mary Boland, Edma Oliver, Margaret Dale and a young Humphrey Bogart

1926 Maurice Watkins' drama Chicago stars Francine Larrimore and Charles Bickford

1929 The first of The Little Show revues is staged with, among others, Clifton Webb, Fred Allen and Constance Cummings

1930 George S Kaufman's and Moss Hart's first musical at the Music Box, Once in a Lifetime, runs for 401 performances

1931 Kaufman and Hart return, this time with George and Ira Gershwin supplied music and lyrics. Of Thee I Sing wins the Pulitzer Prize.

1932 George S Kaufman again, this time teamed with Edna Ferber to bring Dinner at Eight to the Music box stage. The drama stars Judith Wood, Malcolm Duncan and Constance Collier, with Sam Levine and Cesar Romero in supporting roles

1933 Ethel Waters heats up the stage when she sings 'Heat Wave' and 'Harlem on My Mind' during the Moss Hart-Irving Berlin show As Thousands Cheer. The show also stars Marilyn Miller and Clifton Webb

1934 Kaufman and Hart are back, with 155 performances of Merrily We Roll Along

1936 The classic Broadway comedy Stage Door stars Margaret Sullivan. It was written by, of course, George S Kaufman, this time with Edna Ferber

1937 Steinbeck writes the book. George S Kaufman adapts it. Wallace Ford and Broderick Crawford star. Of Mice and Men becomes a towering classic Broadway drama

1939 George S Kaufman and Moss Hart author The Man Who Came to Dinner. The comedy closes 739 performances later

1942 Smoothed-over burlesque comes to the Great White Way with Gypsy Rose Lee and Georgia Southern bumping and grinding through 605 performances of the Star and Garter revue

1944 This time George S Kaufman directs Ruth Gordon, also the author, in the hit comedy Over 21

1944 Marlon Brando could not have asked for a better vehicle in which to make his Broadway debut. The Richard Rodgers-Oscar Hammerstein II produce I Remember Mama stars Mady Christian and Oscar Homolka and takes to the stage 714 times

1953 Playwright William Inge wins the Pulitzer Prize for Picnic. Joshua Logan receives the Tony for his direction. The show stars Kim Stanley, Ralph Meeker and Peggy Conklin. A young Paul Newman is also noticed on stage

1955 William Inge's acclaimed drama Bus Stop runs for 478 performances, one more than Picnic. Kim Stanley, Elaine Stritch and Albert Salmi star

1956 Margaret Leighton wins the Tony for her leading role in Terence Rattigan's Separate Tables

1957 William Inge's Dark at the Top of the Stairs is directed by Elia Kazan and stars Pat Hingle, Teresa Wright and Eileen Heckart

1959 John Gielgud directs Jessica Tandy in the 337-performance run of Peter Shaffer's drama Five Finger Exercise

1964 Don Porter and Sandy Dennis star in the Muriel Resnick comedy Any Wednesday. Duncan takes the Tony. A guy named Gene Hackman also appears

1967 Harold Pinter's drama The Homecoming is Tony's best play. Director Peter Hall and star Paul Rogers also take home Tony hardware

1970 Anthony Quayle and Kenneth Baxter star in Anthony Shaffer's Tony-winning drama Sleuth

1977 Stephen Sondheim's music and lyrics are featured in the revue Side by Side by Sondheim

1978 Ira Levin's classic thriller Deathtrap stars Jon Wood, Marian Seldes, Victor Garber, Marian Winters and Richard Woods. It runs for 1,809 performances

1982 Amanda Plummer wins a Tony for her performance in John Pielmeier's drama Agnes of God. She shares the stage with Geraldine Page and Elizabeth Ashley

1989 Aaron Sorkin's military drama, A Few Good Men, stars Tom Hulce

1997 Christopher Plummer is made for the title character of Barrymore, the role for which he receives the Tony for best dramatic actor

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