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Walter Kerr Theatre Background:
The Walter Kerr Theatre was only fairly recently given its new name, that of the beloved former New York Times drama critic. When it first opened in 1921, the theater was called the Ritz and housed plenty of hit plays, some notable revivals, and even a few productions from the Federal Theatre Project during the Great Depression, but few of the shows that debuted at the Ritz are well-remembered today. From the late '30s and on into the '70s, the theater went through an identity crisis, being used alternately as a radio and TV studio, a performance space, and, at one point, a movie house named the Robert F. Kennedy Children's Theatre. Since becoming the Walter Kerr in 1990, this theater has given us some of our greatest contemporary dramas. Four of the plays in August Wilson's ambitious 10-play cycle have been here: The Piano Lesson, Two Trains Running, Seven Guitars, and most recently the final installment, Gem of the Ocean. Acclaimed works like Love! Valour! Compassion!, The Beauty Queen of Leenane, and Take Me Out were all produced here, as well as Pulitzer Prize winners Proof and Doubt. The Walter Kerr Theatre's crown jewel has undoubtedly been Tony Kushner's Angels in America, the epic two-part drama which for a year ran in repertory here to great success.
Best Seats at the Walter Kerr Theatre:
The mid-center section of the orchestra is ideal. The mezzanine has a very steep rake, so most of the seats offer a clear view, but the rear section feels quite far away from the action. There is also a third tier, where two rows of seats in the front are sold. At $26 a pop, these seats are perfect for the cash-strapped, but keep in mind that the reason they're so cheap is that they offer a better view of the theater's ceiling than the stage.
Previous Shows at The Walter Kerr Theatre:
With just over 900 seats, the Walter Kerr Theatre is one of the smaller spaces on Broadway and over the years has almost exclusively shown plays, such as Dance of Death, No Sex, Please, We're British, The Piano Lesson, I Hate Hamlet, Angels in America: Millennium Approaches, Angels in America: Perestroika, Love! Valour! Compassion!, The Beauty Queen of Leenane, The Weir, Proof, Take Me Out, Doubt, and Grey Gardens. The Walter Kerr Theatre has also proven to be a suitable space for specialty programs, like The Flying KaramazovBrothers, Ian McKellen Acting Shakespeare, and Patti Lupone On Broadway.
Architect Herbert J. Krapp designed the Walter Kerr Theatre (then the Ritz) in the Italian Renaissance style. When Jujamcyn bought the theater in the early 1980s, they put it through two major refurbishments, not only re-making it into a legitimate Broadway house but also restoring the gorgeous interior, which has sumptuous colors, captivating designs, and moody lighting that creates a candle-lit effect inside the theater. The men's and women's restrooms, which are adequate (containing a decent number of stalls), are inconveniently situated on opposite landings between the orchestra and mezzanine levels. Outside, there are two cheesy yet charming marquees proclaiming in colorful lights that this is indeed the Walter Kerr Theatre.
The Walter Kerr Theatre is located on 48th Street, between Broadway and Eighth Avenue. It is number 9 on The Broadway Map
By Subway, take the C/E to 50th Street, walk south on Eight Avenue and then turn left onto 48th Street. Or take the 1 to 50th Street, walk south on Broadway and then make a right onto 48th Street.
Parking Parking garages in this area are very expensive. We have negotiated special deals wth parking garages that will save you both your wallet and your frustration of driving around trying to find a Parking garage that is reasonably priced.
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Restaurants We have created a list of bargain and value-driven restaurants that are local to this Broadway Theatre.
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