Broadway Marquees #1 – Ambassador, American Airlines, Brooks Atkinson & Ethel Barrymore Theatres

After this last visit to New York City a friend and I were talking about what Broadway theatres we have been to. It turns out that I’ve been to 32 out of the 40 theatres on Broadway. This Broadway Marquee series will go through each Broadway theatre (alphabetically) four at a time.

Ever since my first trip to New York City in June 2000, I have been taking pictures of various Broadway marquees. I will try to include all of the pictures I have and list the shows I’ve seen at that particular theatre.

AMBASSADOR THEATRE – CHICAGO

The picture was taken on Thanksgiving in 2006.

Theatre Info:
The theatre opened on February 11, 1921 with the musical The Rose Girl. The Shuberts sold the property in 1935, and for the next two decades it was used as a movie theater and television studio for NBC and the DuMont Television Network. In 1956 the Shuberts assumed ownership again and returned it to strictly legitimate use.

1080 seats

List of recent notable shows: (bold are shows I’ve seen)
2003 – Chicago – transferred from the Schubert Theatre
2001 – A Class Act

The Broadway Critic’s History:
I haven not seen a show at the Ambassador Theatre. I saw Chicago in 2002 when it was still playing at the Schubert Theatre and so I haven’t had the opportunity to revisit this production. It’s one of my favorite musicals, so maybe next time I’m in New York City, I’ll jump on it.

AMERICAN AIRLINES THEATRE – MRS. WARREN’S PROFESSION

Picture courtesy of: Playbill.com

Theatre Info:
The Roundabout Theatre Company committed to renovating the Selwyn in 1997. It was restored to its former grandeur (albeit now with just 740 seats), renamed the American Airlines in honor of its principal sponsor, and reopened on June 30, 2000. The American Airlines Theatre, which is still informally known by its former name among many theatre fans, currently serves as the home of the Roundabout and houses its major dramatic productions.

740 seats

List of recent notable shows: (bold are shows I’ve seen)

2010 – Mrs. Warren’s Profession
2010 – Everyday Rapture
2008 – The 39 Steps
2006 – The Pajama Game
2004 – 12 Angry Men
2003 – Big River
2000 – Betrayal

The Broadway Critic’s History:
My first time at the American Airline theatre was when I saw Big River in August 2003. It was a stunning production. I will never forget when the cast sang and signed, “Waiting for the Light to Shine”. Beautiful. The following year, I took the missus on her first trip to New York City. We saw around 8 or 9 shows that trip (including Wicked), but one of our favorites was 12 Angry Men. We purchased box seats and loved it. I haven’t been back to the American Airline Theatre since 2004.

BROOK ATKINSON THEATRE – ROCK OF AGES

Photo taken in October 2010.

Theatre Info:
In 2000, the interior was refurbished with restored decorative finishes by EverGreene Architectural Arts, and now the theatre is once again illuminated by the original chandelier that had been removed over 40 years ago. It has 1,069 seats and is one of the Nederlander Organization‘s nine Broadway houses.
1,069 seats

List of recent notable shows: (bold are shows I’ve seen)

2009: Rock of Ages
2007: Grease
2005: The Odd Couple
2004: Democracy
2000: Jane Eyre

The Broadway Critic’s History:
The first time I was in the Brooks Atkinson was on that same Christmas trip to NYC in 2004 as 12 Angry Men. I saw Democracy with Richard Thomas. It was a last second purchase and it ended being way over my head. In the summer of 2009, I saw Rock of Ages on the front row because I won the lottery. I was the last name to be picked out of the bucket! While, I saw Rock of Ages, the missus saw Angela Lansbury in Blithe Spirit. I’m pretty sure she saw the better show, even though I enjoyed Rock of Ages.

Photo taken April 2007


Photo was taken October 2010

Theatre Info:
It is the only surviving theatre of the many the Shuberts built for performers who were affiliated with them. It has been used continuously as a legitimate house, unlike many of the older theatres that have been used for a variety of purposes throughout the years.
List of recent notable shows: (bold are shows I’ve seen)
2010: Elling
2009: Race
2006: Company
2006: Ring of Fire
2005: The Glass Menagerie
2000: The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife

The Broadway Critic’s History:
I saw Company featuring Raul Esparza twice in this theatre. This was the first time I have ever gone back to see a production again on Broadway. I was so blown away by the piece, that I had to bring my friends to the production.
Photo taken Thanksgiving 2006

What shows have you seen at these theatres? Tell us your favorites!
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2 thoughts on “Broadway Marquees #1 – Ambassador, American Airlines, Brooks Atkinson & Ethel Barrymore Theatres

  1. Ambassador: You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown
    AA: 12 Angry Men
    Atkinson: Jane Eyre, Noises Off
    Barrymore: Nothing! I was supposed to see Race, but my plane was late and I missed it.

    My most-visited theaters (not counting productions I saw more than once) are the Marquis (6), Shubert (5) and Beaumont (5).

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