New Amsterdam Theater

214 W 42nd St New York

LGBT Theater District/New Amsterdam Theater
NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project
Written By NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project

The first initiative to document historic and cultural sites associated with the LGBT community in New York City, illustrating the richness of the city's history and the community's influence on America.

History

Productions by LGBT creators at the New Amsterdam Theater have included Her Own Way (1903) and Beau Brummell (1904-07) by Clyde Fitch; Ziegfeld Follies of 1923, with costume design by Erte and others; 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; and Murder at the Vanities (1933) by Earl Carroll and Rufus King. LGBT performers here have included Gareth Hughes in Margaret Schiller (1916), Lilyan Tashman in Ziegfeld Follies of 1916 and 1917, Bert Savoy & Jay Brennan, a vaudeville team, in Ziegfeld Follies of 1918, Clifton Webb in Sunny (1925-26), Eva Le Gallienne, Alla Nazimova, and Josephine Hutchinson in The Cherry Orchard (revival, 1933), and Libby Holman in Revenge with Music (1934-35).

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.

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Building Information

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

Sources

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, Nov. 14, 2007. Internet Broadway Database. “The 1st List of: Gay/Lesbian/Bi Industry People, Both in Front and Behind the Camera,” www.imdb.com, May 31, 2013.

Cover Photo

Credit: Sarah Sargent/NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project, 2019.

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