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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

At this theatre

Ever notice the “At This Theatre” feature included in every Broadway Playbill? Maybe not. It’s the page or so that gives a brief history of the theatre you’re sitting in, and of the notable productions that have played there. You might’ve missed it (back in the day, it used to be more prominent in the program) or skipped over it, thinking “Who reads that stuff?”

If the latter is the case, I’ll answer that question: Me. I read that stuff. I’m that guy. If I’m sitting inside one of those great theatres waiting for a play to begin, you can bet that I’m a) excited about what I’m there to see and b) that I’m loving the architecture and history of the house too. And yeah, I’m geeky enough to be super-excited when I go to a Broadway show in a theatre I haven’t visited before…and when I am revisiting an old “friend” (e.g., at the St. James waiting for the 2008 revival of Gypsy to begin, remembering the concert revival of Sunday in the Park With George at the same venue 15 years earlier). I tend to keep most of this geekery to myself. Until now, of course.

Because I’ve always loved “At This Theatre” so much, earlier this year I treated myself to the huge book of the same title that catalogues all this information for every theatre on The Great White Way. Check it out. And so, it was great to run across this image (via @BroadwayGirlNYC) last week, of the Cort Theatre being prepared for the run of Lydia Diamond's Stick Fly

And, just in time for this post, posted images of the final result

How can I resist playing “At This Theatre” myself for a sec, especially since Stick Fly is entering such fabulous territory? One of Broadway’s older houses, The Cort – designed in the style of Louis XVI by architect Edward B. Corey -- since its opening in 1912 has been home to many notable productions including two Pulitzer Prize winners of the 1950s (The Shrike and The Diary of Anne Frank), 1982’s Medea starring Zoe Caldwell, Steppenwolf’s The Grapes of Wrath, and more recently The Little Dog Laughed. It has housed three of August Wilson’s plays: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Radio Golf, and last year’s revival of Fences

And speaking of signs, back at home, this one looks pretty good, too:

See you at the theatre.

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