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'Birdie' gets a home in the Henry Miller's Theatre

'Birdie' gets a home in the Henry Miller's Theatre

The first Broadway revival of "Bye Bye Birdie" has found a home.
The Roundabout Theatre Company says it will open the musical Oct. 15 at the new Henry Miller's Theatre, constructed behind the restored neo-Georgian facade of the original theater, which was built more than 90 years ago.
The new 1,055-seat theater is located on West 43rd Street in the new Bank of America Tower near Times Square. The Roundabout will program the theater.
"Birdie" will star John Stamos, Gina Gershon and Bill Irwin. Preview performances begin Sept. 10 for a limited run through Jan. 10, 2010. It will be directed and choreographed by Robert Longbottom.
The 1960 musical concerns an Elvis Presley-like rock 'n' roll star named Conrad Birdie who is being drafted into the Army and the effect his departure has on the teenagers in a small Ohio town. "Birdie" features a score by Charles Strouse and Lee Adams and a book by Michael Steward.
Stamos will play the star's manager, Albert Peterson, and Gershon will portray the manager's long-suffering secretary.
The new 50,000-square-foot (20,000-hectare) theater is a joint venture of the Durst Organization and Bank of America. Although the original theater was demolished, many of its historical artifacts were incorporated into the new structure including doors, wrought iron and decorative plasterwork.
The original theater was built by actor-manager Henry Miller and opened April 1, 1918. Among its hit tenants were the anti-war drama "Journey's End" (1929), Thornton Wilder's "Our Town" (1938), "Dear Ruth" (1944), T.S. Eliot's "The Cocktail Party" (1950), "The Moon is Blue" (1951), Agatha Christie's "Witness for the Prosecution" (1954) and "Enter Laughing" (1964).
The theater fell on hard times in the mid-1960s as the fortunes of Times Square declined. For a while, under the name Park-Miller, it showed gay adult films. In 1978, the theater was transformed into the disco Xenon, a reincarnation that lasted until 1984. Then it became a dance hall known as Shout!
The theater was used infrequently after that, until the Roundabout reclaimed it for its 1998 Tony-winning revival of "Cabaret." The musical "Urinetown" (2001) later moved into the space. The old theater was permanently closed in 2004.


Updated : 2021-03-03 07:23 GMT+08:00