Helen Hayes Theater Tickets
The present theater started as a small 299-seat theater, known as Winthrop Ames’ Little Theater, and opened in 1912. With the changing tastes of audiences, at the turn of the last century, builders opted for small theaters that gave off ‘drawing room’ experience. This was typified by the then Stuyvesant Theater of David Belasco (now the Belasco Theater). The architects Ingalls & Hoffman built this small Little Theater echoing the ‘domesticity’ of Belasco’s. Little Theater’s façade had the Colonial Revival theme and the same theme was used throughout the interior, as well. The Little Theater opened on March 12, 1912 with the production of The Pigeon.
In the 1917, his theater was redesigned by architect Herbert J. Krapp to increase its seating capacity, and improve its acoustics, in addition to profits. There were hardly any good productions to talk about during the times Ames was involved in active management. In 1931, the theater was sold to the New York Times, and in 1933, with the last production, One Sunday Afternoon, the theater was shut down and converted to a conference hall.
In 1959, it was reconverted into a theater for a very short time, and was renamed the Little Theater. Later in 1959 and up to 1963, it was leased to CBS Radio and ABC TV. On September 7, 1964, it reopened as Winthrop Ames Theater for a short while, and reopened on March 22, 1965 as the Little Theater once again. It continued to be so until July 12, 1983, when it was renamed the Helen Hayes Theater.The Other Theater
The Little-Theater-turned-Helen-Hayes-Theater was not the first Helen Hayes Theater. The first one, built as the Folies-Bergere in 1911 was renamed the Helen Hayes Theater in 1955, to honor Helen Hayes, the actress. In 1982, this theater, along with other four theaters - the Astor Theater, the Bijou Theater, Gaiety Theater and the Morosco Theater, was complexly demolished to build the new Marriot Marquis Hotel, along with the Marquis Theater in it.
The following year, on July 12, 1983, the Little Theater was renamed the Helen Hayes Theater. Some Distinguished Performances
Though in its earlier years as the Little Theater the theater did not show much profitability, there were certain productions that were well liked. A Frank Craven comedy - The First Year, ran for 725 performances, in 1920. This followed with Rachel Crother’s comedy - Let Us Be Gay, in 1929 with 363 performances. The Little Theater stopped functioning as a theater for many decades, and in 1977, the Albert Innaurato drama – Gemini, had 1,788 performances!
1995 saw Rob Becker’s comedy - Defending the Caveman, make 671 performances, and in 1997, The Last Night of Ballyhoo won the Tony for the best play.
Helen Hayes Theater tickets for the shows in this 550-seat theater are always difficult to come by, unless you know how.
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