Cort Theater


The Cort Theatre is at Broadway located at 138 West 48th Street in midtown-Manhattan.

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John Cort (ca. 1861-1929), founder of the Northwestern Theatrical Association, commissioned architect Thomas W. Lamb to design the theater. Its fa├žade was modeled on the Petit Trianon in Versailles. The resulting 1082-seat Cort Theater is one of the few Lamb theaters still extant and functioning as a legitimate theater. The interior of The Cort Theatre was designed in the style of the era of Louis XVI, with a Pavanozza marble lobby with plasterwork panels. The arch of the proscenium stage consists of perforated plaster treated with art glass, and was designed to be lit during performances. The arch still exists as of 2007, although the lighting feature is no longer in operation.

The theatre was used as a television studio housing The Merv Griffin Show from 1969-72.
The Cort Theatre opened on December 20, 1912 with Laurette Taylor starring in the play Peg o' My Heart, which ran for 603 performances, an auspicious start for the new venue. Numerous famous British actors have appeared at the Cort: Basil Rathbone played Dr. Nicholas Agi in The Swan in October 1923, and in April 1927 appeared as Vladimir Dubriski in Love is Like That. In October 1924 Henry Daniell appeared as Aubrey Tanqueray in The Second Mrs Tanqueray, was there again in August 1943 in Murder Without Crime, and in January 1946 appeared as Leontes in The Winter's Tale.
In the 1968 at The Cort Theatre, version of the comedy film The Producers, directed by Mel Brooks, the Cort Theatre was seen in the movie across the street from the Playhouse Theater (torn down in 1969), whose marquee can be glimpsed momentarily and exterior was used only. However, in the scene where the theater blows up, we see the marquee of the Cort Theater.
The Shubert Organization purchased the theatre in 1927, two years before John Cort's death.

The (Box Office Record) Tony-Award winning revival of Fences, starring award winners Denzel Washington and Viola Davis, achieved the box office record for the Cort Theatre. The production grossed $1,175,626 over eight performances, for the week ending July 11, 2010.


Famous past productions:
1912-1914: Peg o' My Heart (first production)
1919-1920: Abraham Lincoln
1922: Merton of the Movies
1930: Uncle Vanya
1932: The Blue Bird
1937: Room Service
1940: The Male Animal; Charley's Aunt (revival)
1946: Antigone in repertory with Candida
1951-1952: Saint Joan
1954: The Rainmaker
1955-1957: The Diary of Anne Frank
1958: Sunrise at Campobello
1960: Once Upon a Mattress
1960-1961: Advise and Consent
1961-1962: Purlie Victorious
1963: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
1965: Boeing-Boeing
1974: The Magic Show
1979: King Richard III starring Al Pacino
1985: A Moon for the Misbegotten (revival)
1985-1986: Ma Rainey's Black Bottom
1988-1989: Sarafina!
1990: The Grapes of Wrath
1991-1992: Two Shakespearean Actors
1993: Face Value (closed in previews)
1994: Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992
1995: The Heiress (revival)
1997: An American Daughter
1998: Freak; The Blue Room
1999: Marlene; Kat and the Kings
2002: Hollywood Arms
2003: A Year with Frog and Toad; Bobbi Boland (closed in previews)
2004: Laugh Whore
2005: On Golden Pond (revival)
2006: Barefoot in the Park (revival)
2007: The Little Dog Laughed; Radio Golf
2007–2008: The Homecoming (revival)
2008: The 39 Steps
2009: You're Welcome America: A Final Night with George W. Bush
2010: A View from the Bridge (revival); Fences (revival); Time Stands Still