Cole Albert Porter was an American composer and songwriter. Born to a wealthy family in Indiana, he defied the wishes of his domineering grandfather and took up music as a profession. Classically trained, he was drawn to musical theatre. After a slow start, he began to achieve success in the 1920s, by the 1930s he was one of the major songwriters for the Broadway musical stage. Unlike many successful Broadway composers, Porter wrote the lyrics as well as the music for his songs. After a serious horseback riding accident in 1937, Porter was left disabled and in constant pain, but he continued to work, his shows of the early 1940s did not contain the lasting hits of his best work of the 1920s and'30s, but in 1948 he made a triumphant comeback with his most successful musical, Kiss Me, Kate. It won the first Tony Award for Best Musical. Porter's other musicals include Fifty Million Frenchmen, DuBarry Was a Lady, Anything Goes, Can-Can and Silk Stockings, his numerous hit songs include "Night and Day", "Begin the Beguine", "I Get a Kick Out of You", "Well, Did You Evah!", "I've Got You Under My Skin", "My Heart Belongs to Daddy" and "You're the Top".
He composed scores for films from the 1930s to the 1950s, including Born to Dance, which featured the song "You'd Be So Easy to Love". Porter was born in Peru, the only surviving child of a wealthy family, his father, Samuel Fenwick Porter, was a druggist by trade. His mother, was the indulged daughter of James Omar "J. O." Cole, "the richest man in Indiana", a coal and timber speculator who dominated the family. J. O. Cole built the couple a house on his Peru-area property. After high school, Porter returned to his childhood home only for occasional visits. Porter's strong-willed mother began his musical training at an early age, he learned the violin at age six, the piano at eight, wrote his first operetta at ten. She falsified his recorded birth year, changing it from 1891 to 1893 to make him appear more precocious, his father, a shy and unassertive man, played a lesser role in Porter's upbringing, although as an amateur poet, he may have influenced his son's gifts for rhyme and meter. Porter's father was a talented singer and pianist, but the father-son relationship was not close.
J. O. Cole wanted his grandson to become a lawyer, with that in mind, sent him to Worcester Academy in Massachusetts in 1905. Porter brought an upright piano with him to school and found that music, his ability to entertain, made it easy for him to make friends. Porter did well in school and came home to visit, he became class valedictorian and was rewarded by his grandfather with a tour of France and Germany. Entering Yale University in 1909, Porter majored in English, minored in music, studied French, he was a member of Scroll and Key and Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity, contributed to campus humor magazine The Yale Record. He was an early member of the Whiffenpoofs a cappella singing group and participated in several other music clubs. Porter wrote 300 songs while at Yale, including student songs such as the football fight songs "Bulldog" and "Bingo Eli Yale" that are still played at Yale today. During college, Porter became acquainted with New York City's vibrant nightlife, taking the train there for dinner and nights on the town with his classmates, before returning to New Haven, early in the morning.
He wrote musical comedy scores for his fraternity, the Yale Dramatic Association, as a student at Harvard – Cora, And the Villain Still Pursued Her, The Pot of Gold, The Kaleidoscope and Paranoia – which helped prepare him for a career as a Broadway and Hollywood composer and lyricist. After graduating from Yale, Porter enrolled in Harvard Law School in 1913, he soon felt that he was not destined to be a lawyer, and, at the suggestion of the dean of the law school, switched to Harvard's music department, where he studied harmony and counterpoint with Pietro Yon. Kate Porter did not object to this move. In 1915, Porter's first song on Broadway, "Esmeralda", appeared in the revue Hands Up; the quick success was followed by failure: his first Broadway production, in 1916, See America First, a "patriotic comic opera" modeled on Gilbert and Sullivan, with a book by T. Lawrason Riggs, was a flop, closing after two weeks. Porter spent the next year in New York City before going overseas during World War I.
In 1917, when the United States entered World War I, Porter moved to Paris to work with the Duryea Relief organization. Some writers have been skeptical about Porter's claim to have served in the French Foreign Legion, but the Legion lists Porter as one of its soldiers and displays his portrait at its museum in Aubagne. By some accounts, he served in North Africa and was transferred to the French Officers School at Fontainebleau, teaching gunnery to American soldiers. An obituary notice in The New York Times said that, while in the Legion, "he had a specially constructed portable piano made for him so that he could carry it on his back and entertain the troops in their bivouacs." Another account, given by Porter, is that he joined the recruiting department of the American Aviation Headquarters, according to his biographer Stephen Citron, there is no record of his joining this or any other branch of the forces. Porter maintained a luxury apartment in Paris, his parties were extrava
Upper West Side
The Upper West Side, sometimes abbreviated UWS, is a neighborhood in the borough of Manhattan, New York City, bounded by Central Park and the Hudson River, West 59th Street and West 110th Street. Like the Upper East Side, the Upper West Side is an affluent residential area with many of its residents working in commercial areas of Midtown and Lower Manhattan, it has the reputation of being New York City's cultural and intellectual hub, with Columbia University and Barnard College located just past the north end of the neighborhood, the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts located at the south end. The Upper West Side is considered to be among New York City's wealthiest neighborhoods; the Upper West Side is part of Manhattan Community District 7 and its primary ZIP Codes are 10023, 10024, 10025, 10069. It is patrolled by the 24th Precincts of the New York City Police Department. Upper West Side is bounded on the south by 59th Street, Central Park to the east, the Hudson River to the west, 110th Street to the north.
The area north of West 96th Street and east of Broadway is identified as Manhattan Valley. The overlapping area west of Amsterdam Avenue to Riverside Park was once known as the Bloomingdale District. From west to east, the avenues of the Upper West Side are Riverside Drive, West End Avenue, Amsterdam Avenue, Columbus Avenue, Central Park West; the 66-block stretch of Broadway forms the spine of the neighborhood and runs diagonally north/south across the other avenues at the south end of the neighborhood. Broadway enters the neighborhood at its juncture with Central Park West at Columbus Circle, crosses Columbus Avenue at Lincoln Square, Amsterdam Avenue at Verdi Square, merges with West End Avenue at Straus Park. Traditionally the neighborhood ranged from the former village of Harsenville, centered on the old Bloomingdale Road and 65th Street, west to the railroad yards along the Hudson north to 110th Street, where the ground rises to Morningside Heights. With the construction of Lincoln Center, its name, though not the reality, was stretched south to 58th Street.
With the arrival of the corporate headquarters and expensive condos of the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle, the Riverside South apartment complex built by Donald Trump, the area from 58th Street to 65th Street is referred to as Lincoln Square by realtors who acknowledge a different tone and ambiance than that associated with the Upper West Side. This is a reversion to the neighborhood's historical name; the Upper West Side is part of Manhattan Community District 7 and its primary ZIP Codes are 10023, 10024, 10025, 10069. It is patrolled by the 24th Precincts of the New York City Police Department; the long high bluff above useful sandy coves along the North River was little used or traversed by the Lenape people. A combination of the stream valleys, such as that in which 96th Street runs, wetlands to the northeast and east, may have protected a portion of the Upper West Side from the Lenape's controlled burns. In the eighteenth and early nineteenth century, the Upper West Side-to-be contained some of colonial New York's most ambitious houses, spaced along Bloomingdale Road.
It became infilled with smaller, more suburban villas in the first half of the nineteenth century, in the middle of the century, parts had become decidedly lower class. The name "Bloomingdale District" was used to refer to a part of the Upper West Side – the present-day Manhattan Valley neighborhood – located between 96th and 110th Streets and bounded on the east by Amsterdam Avenue and on the west by Riverside Drive, Riverside Park, the Hudson River, its name was a derivation of the description given to the area by Dutch settlers to New Netherland from Bloemendaal, a town in the tulip region. The Dutch Anglicized the name to "Bloomingdale" or "the Bloomingdale District", to the west side of Manhattan from about 23rd Street up to the Hollow Way, it consisted of villages along a road known as the Bloomingdale Road. Bloomingdale Road was renamed The Boulevard in 1868, as the farms and villages were divided into building lots and absorbed into the city. By the 18th century it contained numerous farms and country residences of many of the city's well-off, a major parcel of, the Apthorp Farm.
The main artery of this area was the Bloomingdale Road, which began north of where Broadway and the Bowery Lane join and wended its way northward up to about modern 116th Street in Morningside Heights, where the road further north was known as the Kingsbridge Road. Within the confines of the modern-day Upper West Side, the road passed through areas known as Harsenville, Strycker's Bay, Bloomingdale Village. With the building of the Croton Aqueduct passing down the area between present day Amsterdam Avenue and Columbus Avenue in 1838–42, the northern reaches of the district became divided into Manhattan Valley to the east of the aqueduct and Bloomingdale to the west. Bloomingdale, in the latter half of the 19th century, was the name of a village that occupied the area just south of 110th street. Much of the riverfront of the Upper West Side was a shipping and manufacturing corridor; the Hudson River Railroad line right-of-way was granted in the late 1830s to connect New York City to Albany, soon ran along the riverbank.
One major non-industrial deve
Oh, Boy! (musical)
Oh, Boy! is a musical in two acts, with music by Jerome Kern and book and lyrics by Guy Bolton and P. G. Wodehouse; the story concerns befuddled George, who elopes with the daughter of Judge Carter. He must win over his Quaker aunt, his dapper polo champion friend Jim is in love with madcap actress Jackie, but George must hide her while she extricates herself from a scrape with a bumbling constable whom she punched at a party raid. The piece was the most successful of the "Princess Theatre Musicals", opening in February 1917 and transferring to the Casino Theatre in November 1917 to finish its Broadway run of 463 performances. A London production, under the title Oh, Joy! opened in January 1919 at the Kingsway Theatre, where it ran for 167 performances. A silent film version was produced in 1919. Early in the 20th century, American musical theatre consisted of a mix of elaborate European operettas, like The Merry Widow, British musical comedy imports, like The Arcadians, George M. Cohan's shows, American operettas, like those of Victor Herbert, ragtime-infused American musicals, the spectacular revues of Florenz Ziegfeld and others.
But as Cohan's and Herbert's creative output waned, new creative talent was being nurtured on Broadway, including Jerome Kern, George Gershwin, Irving Berlin and Sigmund Romberg. Kern began by revising British musicals to suit American audiences, adding songs that "have a timeless, distinctly American sound that redefined the Broadway showtune."The Princess Theatre was a designed, 299-seat Broadway theatre that had failed to attract successful productions because of its small size. Theatre agent Elisabeth Marbury asked Kern and Bolton to write a series of musicals tailored to its smaller setting, with an intimate style and modest budgets, that would provide an alternative to the star-studded extravaganzas of Ziegfeld and others. Kern and Bolton's first Princess Theatre musical was Nobody's Home, an adaptation of a London show called Mr. Popple of Ippleton, their second was an original musical called Very Good Eddie. The little show ran for 314 performances on a modest budget. British humorist and lyricist/playwright P. G. Wodehouse had supplied some lyrics for Very Good Eddie but now joined the team at the Princess.
Oh, Boy!, like the first two Princess Theatre shows, featured modern American settings and simple scene changes to more aptly suit the small theatre, eschewing operetta traditions of foreign locales and elaborate scenery. The authors deliberately attempted to have the humor flow from the plot situations, rather than from musical set pieces. In 1918, Dorothy Parker described in Vanity Fair how the Princess Theatre shows integrated story and music: "Bolton and Wodehouse and Kern are my favorite indoor sport. I like the way they go about a musical comedy.... I like the way the action slides casually into the songs.... I like the deft rhyming of the song, always sung in the last act by two comedians and a comedienne, and oh, how I do like Jerome Kern's music." It became the most successful of the Princess Theatre shows, one of the first American musicals to be a success on the London stage. According to Bloom and Vlastnik, Oh, Boy! Represents "the transition from the haphazard musicals of the past to the newer, more methodical modern musical comedy... the libretto is remarkably pun-free and the plot is natural and unforced.
Charm was uppermost in the creators' minds... the audience could relax, have a few laughs, feel superior to the silly undertakings on stage, smile along with the simple, lyrically witty but undemanding songs". They call it good clean fun and "honest, non-ironic, hardworking theatre". Oh, Boy! was first performed, as a tryout, in Schenectady, New York, before receiving its Broadway premiere on February 20, 1917 at the Princess Theatre. It ran for 463 performances, it was produced by F. Ray Comstock. Staging was with scenery by D. M. Aiken and costumes by Faibsey. A London production, under the title Oh, Joy! was produced by George Grossmith, Jr. containing some modified lyrics, starring Beatrice Lillie as Jackie – her first role in a book musical. It opened on January 1919 at the Kingsway Theatre, where it ran for 167 performances. A silent film version was produced in 1919. An anonymous admirer wrote a verse in praise of the musical's authors that begins: This is the trio of musical fame and Wodehouse and Kern.
Better than anyone else you can name Wodehouse and Kern. The telegram boy arrives at George Budd's apartment at Medowsides, Long Island, Briggs, George's butler, puts the telegram aside. Jim Marvin, a young dandy, enters through the window followed by a troupe of young people. Jim's polo team has won a silver cup, he's brought all his friends to George's house to celebrate. Jim is surprised to find. However, Jim decides to continue the party and goes into the dining room with his friends to find some food and drink. George is not home, they return to the apartment ready to spend their first night together, not realizing they have guests. They go into the bedroom, Jim and his friends return to the living room, not knowing George is home with Lou Ellen. Jim rhapsodizes on the wonders of an available female. George and Lou Ellen open the door, they see no one, as everyone is now in the dining room. It is from his Quaker Aunt Penelope, who controls his
W. Somerset Maugham
William Somerset Maugham, CH, better known as W. Somerset Maugham, was a British playwright and short story writer, he was among the most popular writers of his era and reputedly the highest-paid author during the 1930s. After both his parents died before he was 10, Maugham was raised by a paternal uncle, cold. Not wanting to become a lawyer like other men in his family, Maugham trained and qualified as a physician; the initial run of his first novel, Liza of Lambeth, sold out so that Maugham gave up medicine to write full-time. During the First World War he served with the Red Cross and in the ambulance corps, before being recruited in 1916 into the British Secret Intelligence Service, for which he worked in Switzerland and Russia before the October Revolution of 1917. During and after the war, he travelled in Southeast Asia. Maugham's father, Robert Ormond Maugham, was a lawyer who handled the legal affairs of the British embassy in Paris. Since French law declared that all children born on French soil could be conscripted for military service, his father arranged for Maugham to be born at the embassy, technically on British soil.
His grandfather, another Robert, was a prominent lawyer and co-founder of the Law Society of England and Wales. Maugham refers to this grandfather's writings in Chapter 6 of his literary memoir, The Summing Up: "...in the catalogue of the Library at the British Museum there is a long list of his legal works. He wrote only one book, not of this character, it was a collection of essays that he had contributed to the solid magazines of the day and he issued it, as became his sense of decorum, anonymously. I once had the book in my hands, a handsome volume bound in calf, but I never read it and I have not been able to get hold of a copy since. I wish I had, for I might have learnt from it something of the kind of man he was." His family assumed his brothers would be lawyers. His elder brother, Viscount Maugham, enjoyed a distinguished legal career and served as Lord Chancellor from 1938 to 1939. Maugham's mother, Edith Mary, had tuberculosis, a condition for which her physician prescribed childbirth.
She had Maugham several years. His brothers were away at boarding school by the time. Edith's sixth and final son died on 25 January 1882, one day after his birth, on Maugham's eighth birthday. Edith died of tuberculosis six days on 31 January at the age of 41; the early death of his mother left. He kept his mother's photograph at his bedside for the rest of his life. Two years after Edith's death Maugham's father died in France of cancer. Maugham was sent to the UK to be cared for by his uncle, Henry MacDonald Maugham, the Vicar of Whitstable, in Kent; the move was damaging. Henry Maugham was cold and cruel; the boy attended The King's School, difficult for him. He was teased for his short stature, which he inherited from his father. Maugham developed a stammer that stayed with him all his life, although it was sporadic, being subject to his moods and circumstances. Miserable both at his uncle's vicarage and at school, the young Maugham developed a talent for making wounding remarks to those who displeased him.
This ability is sometimes reflected in Maugham's literary characters. Aged 16, Maugham refused to continue at The King's School, his uncle allowed him to travel to Germany, where he studied literature and German at Heidelberg University. During his year in Heidelberg Maugham met and had a sexual affair with John Ellingham Brooks, an Englishman ten years his senior, he wrote his first book there, a biography of Giacomo Meyerbeer, an opera composer. After Maugham's return to Britain his uncle found him a position in an accountant's office, but after a month Maugham gave it up and returned to Whitstable, his uncle tried to find Maugham a new profession. Maugham's father and three older brothers were distinguished lawyers. A career in the Church was rejected because a stammering clergyman might make the family appear ridiculous, his uncle rejected the Civil Service, not because of the young man's feelings or interests, but because his uncle concluded that it was no longer a career for gentlemen, since a new law required applicants to pass an entrance examination.
The local physician suggested Maugham's uncle agreed. Maugham had been writing since he was 15, wanted to be an author, but he did not tell his guardian. For the next five years he studied medicine at the medical school of St Thomas's Hospital in Lambeth; the school was independent, but is now part of King's College London. Some critics have assumed that the years Maugham spent studying medicine were a creative dead end, but Maugham did not feel this way about this time, he was living in the great city of London, meeting people of a "low" sort whom he would never have met otherwise, seeing them at a time of heightened anxiety and meaning in their lives. In maturity, he recalled the value of his experience as a medical student: "I saw. I saw. I saw what hope looked like and relief..."Maugham kept his own lodgings, took pleasure in furnishing them, filled many notebooks with literary ideas, continued writing nightly while at the same time studying for his medical degree. In 1897, he published his first novel, Liza of Lambeth, a tale of working-class adultery and its consequences.
It drew its details from Maugham's experiences as a medical student doing midwifery wo
West Point, New York
West Point is the oldest continuously occupied military post in the United States. Located on the Hudson River in New York, West Point was identified by General George Washington as the most important strategic position in America during the American Revolution; until January 1778, West Point was not occupied by the military. On January 27, 1778, Brigadier General Samuel Holden Parsons and his brigade crossed the ice on the Hudson River and climbed to the plain on West Point to intercept Lt. Major Roldan Kramer and from that day to the present, West Point has been occupied by the United States Army, it comprises 16,000 acres including the campus of the United States Military Academy, called "West Point". It is a Census Designated Place located in the Town of Highlands in Orange County, New York, located on the western bank of the Hudson River; the population was 6,763 at the 2010 census. It is part of the New York–Newark–Jersey City, NY–NJ–PA Metropolitan Statistical Area as well as the larger New York–Newark, NY–NJ–CT–PA Combined Statistical Area.
West Point, was a fortified site during the Revolutionary War. Picked because of the abnormal S-curve in the Hudson River at this point, the defenses of West Point were designed by Polish military engineer Tadeusz Kościuszko, who served as a brigadier general in the Continental Army, it was manned by a small garrison of Continental Army soldiers from early in 1776 through the end of the war. A great iron chain was laid across the Hudson at this point in 1778 in order to prevent British Navy vessels from sailing further up the Hudson River, but it was never tested by the British; the site comprised multiple redoubts, as well as Fort Putnam, situated on a high hill overlooking the river. Named after its builder, Revolutionary War general and engineer Rufus Putnam, the fort is still preserved in its original design. In the most infamous act of treason in American history, General Benedict Arnold attempted to turn the site over to the British Army in 1780 for a bribe consisting of a commission as a Brigadier General in the British Army and a cash reward of £20,000.
However, Arnold's plot failed. Arnold received a decreased cash reward of £6,000 but was commissioned as a Brigadier General in the British Army. After the conclusion of the American Revolution, West Point was used as a storage facility for cannon and other military property used by the Continental Army. For two months in 1784 the United States Army consisted of only about 80 soldiers under the command of Brevet Major John Doughty at West Point; the United States Military Academy was established at West Point in 1802 and is the nation's oldest service academy. West Point has the distinction of being the longest continuously occupied United States military installation. In 1937, the West Point Bullion Depository was constructed. West Point is located at 41° 23′ N 73° 58' W. According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 25.1 square miles. West Point and the contiguous village of Highland Falls, New York, are on the west bank of the Hudson River. West Point has a humid continental climate, with four distinct seasons.
Summers are humid, while winters are cold with moderate snowfall. The monthly daily average temperature ranges from 27.5 °F in January to 74.1 °F in July. The average annual precipitation is 50.5 inches, distributed evenly throughout the year. Extremes in temperature range from 106 °F on July 22, 1926 down to −17 °F on February 9, 1934; as of the census of 2010 there were 6,763 people, 685 households residing in the CDP. The population density was 293.4 per square mile. There were 1,044 housing units at an average density of 42.9/sq mi. The racial makeup of the CDP was 82.31% White, 9.09% African American, 0.50% Native American, 3.35% Asian, 0.15% Pacific Islander, 1.64% from other races, 2.96% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.56% of the population. There were 685 households out of which 75.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 87.8% were married couples living together, 4.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.7% were non-families. 5.4% of all households were made up of individuals and none had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older.
The average household size was 3.69. The age distribution is 16.7% under the age of 18, 51.2% from 18 to 24, 23.0% from 25 to 44, 3.8% from 45 to 64, 0.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 21 years. For every 100 females, there were 207.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 259.7 males. All of these statistics are typical for military bases; the median income for a household in the CDP was $56,516, the median income for a family was $56,364. About 2.0% of families and 2.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.6% of those under age 18 and none of those age 65 or over. Painter Edith Hoyt was born in West Point. Author Gore Vidal Hudson Valley portal Military of the United States portal Visit Orange County West Point, NY "West Point, N. Y.". The New Student's Reference Work. 1914
New Amsterdam Theatre
The New Amsterdam Theatre is a Broadway theatre located at 214 West 42nd Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues in the Theater District of Manhattan, New York City, off of Times Square. It was designed by the architecture firm of Henry Hertz and Hugh Tallant; the remainder of the building was utilized for offices. From 1913 to 1927, the theatre was the home of the Ziegfeld Follies, whose producer, Florenz Ziegfeld, Jr. maintained an office in the building, operated a nightclub on the roof. George White's Scandals and Eva LeGallienne's Civic Repertory Theatre were subsequent tenants, it was used as a movie theatre beginning in 1937, closed in 1985, was leased by The Walt Disney Company and renovated by Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer in 1995–97 to be the flagship for Disney Theatrical Productions presentations on Broadway. Both the Beaux-Arts exterior and the Art Nouveau interior of the building are New York City landmarks, having been designated in 1979. In addition, the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.
Along with the Hudson and Lyceum Theatres built in 1903, the New Amsterdam is one of the oldest surviving Broadway venues. The Beaux-Arts facade of the New Amsterdam is a narrow slice which leads to the theatre's interior, the first concrete example of architectural Art Nouveau in New York, The building was constructed in 1902–03 by the partnership of impresarios A. L. Erlanger and Marcus Klaw, was designed by architects Herts & Tallant. Decorating was carried out by an extensive team of painters and sculptors that included George Gray Barnard, Robert Blum, the brothers Neumark, George Daniel M. Peixotto, Roland Hinton Perry and Albert G. Wenzel. At the time of construction, it was the largest theatre in New York, with a seating capacity of 1,702; the theatre opened October 1903 with a production of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. For many years, it hosted the Ziegfeld Follies, showcasing such talents as Fanny Brice, Bert Williams, Will Rogers, Eddie Cantor, W. C. Fields, Marilyn Miller, Sophie Tucker, Eaton siblings and silent film star Olive Thomas whose ghost haunts the theatre.
A racier sister show of the Follies, the Midnight Frolics, played in the New Amsterdam's Roof Garden theatre. The New Amsterdam was the scene of Marilyn Miller's greatest triumphs in the musicals Sally and Sunny, which opened in September 1925 co-starring Clifton Webb as Harold Wendell-Wendell and ran for three seasons, but the theatre hosted serious productions, in June 1927 Basil Rathbone appeared there as Cassius in Julius Caesar. The premiere of the Jerome Kern and Otto Harbach scored Roberta starring Bob Hope, George Murphy, Fay Templeton and Lyda Roberti opened at the New Amsterdam November 18, 1933; the Great Depression did much harm to the legitimate-theatre business, in 1936 the New Amsterdam closed. It was soon converted to a movie theatre; the New York City Industrial Development Corporation raised a US$4 million bond issue to purchase the property in 1982 and retained title while responsibility for development and bond payment rested with the Nederlander Organization. In 1984, the Empire State Development Corporation and New York City Economic Development Corporation purchased the property.
After having spent US$15 million on the property, Nederlander announced in 1990 that it did not consider restoration of the property to be economically feasible. During its years as a movie theatre, the Roof Garden was used as a rehearsal space for a number of shows, including the original Broadway productions of My Fair Lady and Camelot. Disney Theatrical Productions signed a 49-year revenue-based lease for the property in May 1995, with Disney Development restoring the building; the theatre, used as a filming location for the movie Vanya on 42nd Street, was dilapidated. The roof garden remained closed when inspectors discovered that it could not meet modern building codes; the New Amsterdam was reopened on April 2, 1997. In November 1997, after the premiere of the film Hercules and a limited engagement of a concert version of King David, Disney's stage version of The Lion King opened. On June 4, 2006, The Lion King closed in The New Amsterdam Theatre, moving two blocks uptown to the Minskoff Theatre on June 13, 2006.
Mary Poppins began previews at the New Amsterdam Theatre on October 16, 2006 and opened on November 16, 2006, where it continued to run until March 3, 2013. The theatre was renovated to accommodate Disney's Aladdin, mounted in the theatre in 2014. In 2008, The Roof Garden and 42nd Street office tower were renovated to become the home offices for Disney Theatrical Productions. Aladdin broke the house record at the New Amsterdam Theatre for the week ending August 10, 2014, with a gross of $1,602,785.00. The previous record of $1,587,992.50 was set by Mary Poppins for the week ending December 30, 2007. The New Amsterdam has hosted events benefitting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, including the annual Easter Bonnet Competition, until the event moved to the Minskoff Theatre; the New Amsterdam is now home to BC/EFA's annual Gypsy of the Year Competition, the fall/winter sister event to the Easter Bonnet. In recent years, the benefit's honored guest had been centenarian Doris Eaton Travis, who performed on the New Amsterdam stage
Century Theatre (New York City)
The Century Theatre the New Theatre, was a theatre located at 62nd Street and Central Park West in New York City. Opened on November 6, 1909, it was noted for its fine architecture but due to poor acoustics and an inconvenient location it was financially unsuccessful; the theatre was replaced by the Century Apartments building. The New Theatre was once called "New York's most spectacularly unsuccessful theater" in the WPA Guide to New York City. Envisioned in 1906 by Heinrich Conried, a director of the Metropolitan Opera House, its construction was an attempt to establish a great theatre at New York free of commercialism, one that, broadly speaking, would resemble the Comédie Française of Paris. Thirty founders each subscribed $35,000 at the start, a building designed to be the permanent home of a repertory company was constructed on Central Park West on the Upper West Side at a cost of three million dollars. Architecturally, it was one of the handsomest structures in the city, designed by the prominent Beaux-Arts architectural firm Carrère and Hastings.
With Winthrop Ames as the only director, the New Theatre Company occupied the building for only two seasons, 1909–10 and 1910–11. Capable of seating 2,300 persons, the New Theatre was opened on November 6, 1909, with impressive ceremonies and under the most favoring auspices, but a serious defect in the acoustics became apparent at once and this was only remedied by the installation of a sound-deflecting bell. Several Shakespearean plays were given, by far the most notable presentation being that of The Winter's Tale. On the whole the company did its best ensemble work in some of the modern plays of that time, like Maeterlinck's The Blue Bird and Sister Beatrice, Galsworthy's Strife, Edward Sheldon's The Nigger starring Annie Russell. A poetic drama of distinction was Josephine Preston Peabody's The Piper. From Europe in 1912 came Judith Gautier and Pierre Loti and supervisors of The Daughter of Heaven. In most cases the stage settings were of high quality. Not long ago an institution, expected to benefit the Stage and the Public went down in miserable failure, in the collapse of the New Theatre.
The Directors of that institution provided'practically unlimited capital' for the venture, — an aid which Lester Wallack, for one, never had and never dreamed of having. The observer of to-day was able to see at first hand what kind of theatrical company could be formed after a long absence of stock-companies; the building was located a mile above the Theater District, it was exceedingly expensive to maintain. Financially, the venture proved to be a boondoggle. At the end of the second season, it was found to be impracticable to plan for a third; the building was leased to other theatre managers, who changed the name to the Century Theatre, the Century Opera House, the Century once more, with Florenz Ziegfeld as manager. In 1917, producers Florenz Ziegfeld and Charles Dillingham opened the roof garden as a nightclub and named it the Cocoanut Grove, based on the success of a similar venue, Ziegfeld Midnight Frolic at the New Amsterdam Theatre, it was of no use. The "Shrine of Snobbism" as a populist New York paper dubbed it was demolished and the Art Deco Century Apartments, designed by the office of Irwin S. Chanin, rose on the site in 1931.
Consult The New Theatre, which gives the names of founders, etc. with biographical sketches and portraits of the company, The New Theatre, Season 1909-10, for titles of plays, dates of production, etc. Both the foregoing were circulated by the management. Consult the magazines of 1909-11 W. P. Eaton, in the Atlantic Monthly, volume cv, John Corbin, in the World's Work, volume xxii; the WPA Guide to New York City. Listing at WorldCat. Snippet view at Google Books; this article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Gilman, D. C.. "article name needed". New International Encyclopedia. New York: Dodd, Mead; the New/Century Theatre at Internet Broadway Database New Theatre costume designs, 1909-1911, held by the Billy Rose Theatre Division, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts