New Amsterdam Theatre

214 West 42nd Street,
New York, NY 10036

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LuisV
LuisV on May 25, 2010 at 8:37 pm

Thanks Brucec for the list of which Disney shows recouped and which didn’t. What is interesting is is that the shows that recouped are the best shows that Disney has produced. I loved Lion King and Aida, really liked Beauty and the Beast and enjoyed Mary Poppins. But I refused to see the other four on Broadway. I happened to see Chitty in London and it is among the worst things I have ever seen on the professional stage. I couldn’t believe they actually brought it to Broadway. They deserved to lose their shirts on that one. Tarzan and Shrek were terribly reviewed and Mermaid was tepid to mixed. Dumbo is intriguing to me as it has some beautiful songs and has a truly wonderful story. If they can pull it off it can be a winner.

bruceanthony
bruceanthony on May 25, 2010 at 2:57 pm

hdtv267 I have industry sources and don’t know who Perez Hilton is.There are many Broadway shows in the works but many never make it out of the development stage. I do know that Disney will most likely replace Mary Poppins in another year. Due to the economy less family shows are coming to Broadway. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,Shrek,Tarzan and The Little Mermaid failed to recoup there investment on Broadway. Disney has slowed down the number of shows they will produce on Broadway. The Disney shows that have recouped there investment on Broadway are Beauty and The Beast,Aida,The Lion King and Mary Poppins.The other show that I heard may be in development besides Dumbo is Aladdan. Remember it took Disney along with Cameron Macintosh almost 16 years before Mary Poppins arrived on Broadway.brucec

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on May 21, 2010 at 10:46 am

Nice photos and slideshows.

bruceanthony
bruceanthony on May 12, 2010 at 9:56 am

This is just a rumor. The next show that might play the New Amsterdam after “Mary Poppins” is “Dumbo”.brucec

LuisV
LuisV on May 11, 2010 at 4:22 pm

Another thing that we both agree on!!!!!!! LOL!!!

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on May 11, 2010 at 3:54 pm

A church giving money to the needy? I think it works the other way around.

LuisV
LuisV on May 11, 2010 at 3:33 pm

Money talks! The Christian thing to do would be to use all of the newfound money for programs to help the needy. Isn’t that what they “say” they are supposed to do after all? Times have changed and 41st Street in 2010 is NOT 41st Street in 1990! It is practically a paradise now compared to those dark days.

Anyway, it’s just an idea that I had and I still think it’s a very good one. What’s the Nederlander’s office number anyway? :–)

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on May 11, 2010 at 2:48 pm

That Church at the Mark Hellinger used to be at the Nederlander. They moved out due to the location so I am sure they have no intention of going back.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on May 11, 2010 at 2:41 pm

From playbill.com

Doris Eaton Travis, the Last of the Ziegfeld Girls, Dead at 106

Doris Eaton Travis, the former Ziegfeld Follies dancer who inspired 21st century audiences with her pluck, good will “ and fancy footwork ” at 12 of 13 annual Easter Bonnet Competition performances for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, died May 11 at the age of 106, according to Tom Viola, executive director of BC/EFA.

She was 106 and was thought to be “the last of the Ziegfeld Girls” “ the bejeweled ensemble of women who graced the stage of the New Amsterdam Theatre (and elsewhere) in producer Flo Ziegfeld’s revues in the first quarter of the 20th century.

She wowed a 1998 audience when she appeared with four other graying Ziegfeld veterans in the first Easter Bonnet fundraiser at the restored New Amsterdam on West 42nd Street, where she had performed 80 years earlier.

Ms. Travis' most recent East Bonnet appearance was April 26-27 at the Minskoff Theatre. The crowd, once again, went wild.

“She was truly our good luck charm,” Viola told Playbill.com. “In 1998, at 94, she was in incredible shape ” in amazing shape. We brought her back every year, and she would dance in the opening number. She taught Sutton Foster how to dance ‘The Black Bottom,’ she danced with the ‘Cagelles’ from the previous revival, we celebrated her 100th birthday on stage, she appeared with the cast of Billy Elliot"

Ms. Travis had lived recently with her nephew Joe Eaton and his wife outside of Chicago. She previously lived in Norman, OK, where she ran a horse ranch with her husband for 40 years.

Viola told Playbill.com that she took ill Sunday and was taken to the hospital to be rehydrated and was released, but was brought back to the hospital on May 11. She was reportedly talkative in the car, then chatting with the nurses about being a Ziegfeld girl and having just returned from the Bonnet Competition in New York City.

She slipped away quietly, without incident, at the hospital. Viola said, “I’ll bet the sound of the extraordinary ovation she received on stage at the Minskoff just two weeks ago today was ringing in her ears.”

Ms. Travis took her first step on Broadway in the 1917 play Mother Carey’s Chickens, and took her last bow April 27, during the opening number of the 2010 Easter Bonnet show. She rode onstage in a giant Easter basket, giving the initial impression that she could no longer walk. But Ms. Travis brought the audience to its feet when she rose to her own feet and took center stage. Steadied by two shirtless young male dancers, she executed a kick or two and thanked the audience for the love they had shown her over the 12 years of her appearances at the Bonnet event. She then headed into the wings under her own power.

LuisV
LuisV on May 11, 2010 at 2:36 pm

I thought of that, but they could keep their offices at the old location. It’s not far. I doubt that they fill all of their seats, and if they do then they should have multiple services just like most of the churches do now. Think of all the poor they could help with the millions they could get by trading their theater?

Yes, I am aware of that planned theater as well. It will probably happen when the office building is eventually built and I believe the Shuberts would be the operator.

William
William on May 11, 2010 at 2:31 pm

One problem with that is the church would be downsizing it’s auditorium. The Hellinger seats 1505 and the Nederlander seats 1232. The church also has it’s offices located on Broadway around the corner.
There was a plans to build a new theatre complex around 45/46th. and 8 Ave.

LuisV
LuisV on May 11, 2010 at 1:57 pm

Here is what I would love to see: The Nederlanders should offer to trade the Nederlander theatre on 41st Street for the Mark Hellinger/Hollywood Theatre plus a wad of cash. This should be much cheaper than building a theater from scratch. The church gets a newly renovated theater to call home and Broadway gets one of its greatest theaters back in public hands. The church would also have a nice endowment or would be able to fund public works for the poor which should be what they should be focussing on. That would be the christian thing to do.

Brucec, thanks for your comments. Very informative and interesting. I believe there is a new theater going into the base of Related’s new tower on the Southeast corner of 42nd and 10th, but I believe it will not be big enough to be a Broadway house.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on May 11, 2010 at 12:59 pm

I would love to see the Mark Hellinger (born the Hollywood movie theater in 1930)return to showing movies. That’d be a blast.

bruceanthony
bruceanthony on May 11, 2010 at 12:47 pm

Broadway was at its Zenith in the 1920’s with 70 operating Broadway theatres, by the 1970’s Broadway was down to 30 operating theatres. Broadway has bounced back as well as Times Sqaure and now there are 40 operating Broadway Theatres. The most sought after Broadway theatres are those that seat 1400 or more. Most producers prefer the vintage theatres over the newer theatres. The Minskoff was considered the ugliest theatre on Broadway but it had nearly 1700 seats. Disney moved over the Lion King only after the Minskoff was renovated. The most desired musical theatres on Broadway are The Majestic,Winter Garden,Imperial,Palace,St James,Shubert,New Amsterdam,Broadway and Lunt Fontanne becuase of there history and decor and seating capacity. These theatre are usually tied up with shows that run many years. Broadways largest theatre the Gershwin finally has a solid hit in “Wicked” has 1800 seats which was needed for a show this size. The Hilton is the most popular of the newer musical theatres because of its decor which is vintage and its seating capacity. The Richard Rogers is considered one of the best musical theatres on Broadway but sat less than 1400 and struggled for a few years attracting musicals until the demand for theatres grew. Many producers today want a more intimate setting for there musicals so you have La Cage in the Longacre,A litte Night Music in the Walter Kerr and Next To Normal in the Booth.The demand for theatres that host plays has increased the last few years with a star name in a limited run. The producer of plays prefer mid size theatres such as the Jacobs,Barrymore and Broadhurst. There are very few hard to book theatres today. The Belasco is currently being restored and is used by Lincoln Center for limited Runs on Broadway with the upcoming musical Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breadkown. Since the Shuberts have restored the Longacre they have had three hits in a row Boeing Boeing, Burn The Floor and La Cage. The Cort which is a favorite of many stars has had three major hits in a row Will Farrell,A Few From a Brige and Fences. The Lyceum is sometimes difficult to book due to the way sets are built and loaded for the theatre. The non-profit companies have lovingly restored some of the smaller theatres such as the Friedman,American Airlines and Studio 54 which require smaller capacity since they are a non-profit. I don’t see the need to build any new theatres for plays but there is a demand for a few more theatres that seat 1400 or more for musicals. There is a huge demand to reclaim the Mark Hellinger(Hollywood) for Broadway productions but the church who owns the theatre is not willing to sell at this time. The church has done a wonderful job of maintaining the Mark Hellinger which I think is the most beautiful of the theatres on Broadway.The economy is such that I don’t see any new large musical theatres being built anytime soon. Im happy that there is a huge demand for the 40 theatres on Broadway which keeps are historic theatres viable for years to come.brucec

LuisV
LuisV on May 5, 2010 at 12:47 pm

Yes Al, we’re getting closer and closer! :–)

The right theater is very important, but what constitutes “right” is the issue. Right usually means size of the theater; especially for a big budget musical because they can get the most revenue. That is why the Gershwin, the Winter Garden, the Hilton, The Marquis and the Richard Rodgers are usually booked solid. They are among the biggest on Broadway. For a play, a smaller house is usually better because the rent is less and plays generally rent for less money. If you believe in curses however, you would stay away from the Belasco and The Lyceum, both of which have a history of failures. I’ve only been to the Belasco once, because there is never anything playing that I want to see.

Al, we’re not as far apart as we thought.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on May 4, 2010 at 5:04 pm

LuisV, if you read that article again you will see that shows failed to open because they could not find the ‘right theatre’. It states that that some productions have resorted to second choice available theatres. Part of the reason there is a lack of theatres is that the three big theatre owners keep the numbers down so they can drive productions to places like the Nederlander. This was a major consideration in limiting the new 42nd Street locations when the Shuberts and Nederlanders and Jujamcyn fought 42nd street redevelopment in the seventies.

As tourists walk around they fill the seats at the shows that are in their face, not those on the side streets. The same way movies fill up. Hence a second rate cast of WICKED is still the biggest hit on Broadway. That wonderful production of HAIR was never full.

The Ziegfeld is still struggling and barely breaking even on world premieres, the way it did when I worked there twenty years ago. You and I may choose the Ziegfeld over a screen on 42nd street but most of my neighbors here on 42nd street never heard of the Ziegfeld.

The fact remains that if you have the right theatre, you have a much better shot.

LuisV
LuisV on May 4, 2010 at 3:44 pm

Hi Al, We were talking Broadway theaters, NOT movie theaters. Big difference. Many times I have decided to see a film at a theater other than the one closest to me because I preferred a better theater or a better location. That option does not exist with a live production which is why your argument doesn’t work. I can’t decide I want to see “In The Heights” at The New Amsterdam. But I can decide I want to see Avatar at the huge IMAX screen at Loews Lincoln Square and not at the puny IMAX at the Empire 25.

I don’t know of anyone that decides to see a play or a musical on the basis of the theater it is playing in.

Regarding Hair, another poor argument. Hair has recouped its investment and has been a huge success. The reason it may be down in receipts is because they moved all of their original cast stars to London for the opening of the production there and they have a totally new cast. Again, it has nothing to do with location.

If you read the article that I referenced in last week’s NY Times, even they note that it has not been proven that the location of the theater has any noticeable effect on receipts which is why all of the theaters are in demand and not just those on 45th Street.
I think we still have the Ziegfeld

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on May 4, 2010 at 3:25 pm

LuisV, if that was true then the Empire would not consistently outgross the Ziegfeld which is just off the beaten-path. Every other theatre on Broadway or on Seventh Avenue that day and dated with the Ziegfeld outgrossed it. Move-overs from the Ziegfeld and Radio City Music Hall often picked up.

If location didn’t matter there would be no theatre district in Manhattan.

By the way, the lowest grossing musical on Broadway is HAIR at the Hirshfeld, on the wrong side of Eighth Avenue.

LuisV
LuisV on May 4, 2010 at 3:05 pm

Hi Saps, yes it is true that the Belasco and the Lyceum specifically have had a tough time over the years getting a hit, especially the Lyceum, but its location is not the problem. The Lyceum is small and a pretty small house. I’m not saying that some theaters are not more successful than others, just that the location in and of itself is not the primary or even an statistically important reason.

There are some theaters I don’t care for, say the Gershwin and the Marquis, but they have booked many a show over the years that I have loved and therefore I have been many times. That’s my point.

It makes me VERY happy when I get to go see a show that I want to see AND it is in a theater I love like the New Amsterdam, The Cort, The Lyceum, The Hilton, The Richard Rogers, The Hirshfeld and The Music Box!

edblank
edblank on May 4, 2010 at 2:18 pm

I concur. The legit theaters east of Broadway sense “off the beaten path” to theatergoers.

A blockbuster booking such as Denzel Washington in “Fences” can override that perception, but I don’t think people like going down the darker side streets where there’s only one playhouse. They feel isolated, vulnerable and removed from the merry hustle-bustle.

Also, if you go to a show at a theater that’s very much in the middle of things – say the Imperial or the Music Box on West 45th, you notice the titles on marquees of the other theaters, which gives those shows a bit of allure.

The other, more isoloated theaters don’t benefit from that visibility and the street-traffic factor.

This is truest of the Nederlander, which is truly a block beyond the perceived border of Broadway. Again, a big enough hit, such as “Rent,” can override the disadvantage. But in that particular case, “Rent” was helped by its funky nature, as “Hair” would be. “Rent” attracted a disproportionately young (teens, 20s) audience that is just naturally less concerned about the amenities of being in the heart of the highly illuminated heart of Broadway.

At “Rent,” more than any show of its era, you’d see early-arriving patrons curled up on the sidewalk. Fancy that at “Morning’s at Seven” or “Fiddler on the Roof.”

I remember that at the packed performance I attended of Lena Horne’s “The Lady and Her Music” at the Nederlander, she remarked candidly – OK, snidely – about the, uh, theater her show had been plunked down in.

The theaters at Lincoln Center are even farther afield than the aforementioned but have the advantage of being in a cluster of upscale artsy activity and seem, if anything, even tonier than Broadway itself.

AGRoura
AGRoura on May 4, 2010 at 2:13 pm

I agree with you saps, but If I want to see a show I will go. So I also agree with LuisV.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on May 4, 2010 at 1:09 pm

I don’t know, Luis, but some houses don’t seem to attract hits — the Belasco, the Cort, the Lyceum, the Nederlander…

LuisV
LuisV on May 4, 2010 at 1:00 pm

In all my years of theater going (almost 35 years) I have NEVER not gone to see a show because of a theater location. It is ridiculous to think that anyone would. If those people exist it would be an insignificant number. Unlike Marcus Loew who famously “sold tickets to theaters, not movies” that is not the case on Broadway. The show must be good enough or have the marketing good enough to succeed on its own. Just because a show is good doesn’t mean it will succeed. The theater location has virtually nothing to do with it. I personally have no desire to see Million Dollar Quartet, though, ironically I do want to see the theater restoration results.

I will qualify my statement somewhat……Way back when, in the 70’s and 80’s I might have though twice about the Nederlander because it was on the worst block in Manhattan, but certainly not in the clean and safe reality of today.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on May 4, 2010 at 12:49 pm

Bill, although it just opened it already has the second lowest attendance percentage for a musical on Broadway. The Tony nomination could help but so could getting out of the Nederlander.