The Lyceum is Broadway's oldest continually operating legitimate theatre. Built by producer-manager David Frohman in 1903, it was purchased in 1940 by a conglomerate of producers which included George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart. In 1950, the Shuberts took ownership of the theatre, and have operated it ever since.
Regarded by many as a crown jewel among New York's playhouses, the Lyceum has housed many new plays, revivals, and repertory companies since its inaugural production, The Proud Prince (1903). Other early shows include J. M. Barrie's The Admirable Crichton (1903) (its first original play), The Other Girl (1904) starring Lionel Barrymore, A Doll's House (1906) featuring Ethel Barrymore, and The Thief (1907) with Margaret Illington. Some stars who graced the stage of the Lyceum in its early years include Fanny Brice, Billie Burke, Humphrey Bogart, Walter Huston, Judith Anderson, Leslie Howard, and Bette Davis.
In the 1940s and 1950s, the Lyceum's biggest hit Born Yesterday (1946) launched the stardom of Judy Holiday and ran 1,642 performances, the theatre's longest run. Other productions during this era include Kaufman and Hart's George Washington Slept Here, Clifford Odets's The Country Girl (1950) starring Uta Hagen, A Hatful of Rain (1955) with Shelley Winters, The Happiest Millionaire (1956) featuring Walter Pidgeon, Alan Bates in John Osborne's Look Back in Anger (1957), Shelagh Delaney's A Taste of Honey (1960) with Angela Lansbury and Joan Plowright, and Harold Pinter's The Caretaker (1961) starring Alan Bates, Robert Shaw and Donald Pleasance.
A number of repertory companies have called the Lyceum Theatre home, starting with Frohman's own company, the Association of Producing Artists (APA)-Phoenix Repertory Company from 1965-69 which produced You Can't Take It With You (1965), The School for Scandal (1966) and The Cherry Orchard (1968). Tony Randall's National Actors Theatre produced more than a dozen shows here. Lincoln Center Theatre has also staged productions of Our Town (1988), Rose (2000) starring Olympia Dukakis, Tom Stoppard's The Invention of Love (2001), and Mornings at Seven (2002) (the second revival of this play at this theatre).
Other recent productions at the Lyceum include one person shows like Whoopi Goldberg (1984, 2004 revival), a tour de force which helped launch Goldberg's successful film career, Ian McKellan: A Knight Out at the Lyceum (1994), Julia Sweeney's God Said "Ha!" (1996), Mandy Patinkin in Concert (1997), and most recently, the Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning I Am My Own Wife (2003). There were also premieres of new plays like Athol Fugard's Master Harold...and the Boys (1982) starring Danny Glover, Harvey Feinstein's Safe Sex (1987), and Martin McDonagh's The Lonesome West (1999).
The Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning I Am My Own Wife (2003), Inherit the Wind (2007) with Brian Dennehy and Christopher Plummer, Mark Twain's Is He Dead? (2007) and Neil LaBute's Reasons to Be Pretty (2009) all called the Lyceum home. Most recently, the Lyceum showcased In the Next Room (2009), Kander and Ebb's The Scottsboro Boys (2010), John Leguizamo's Ghetto Klown (2011) and the Tony Award winning Venus in Fur (2012).
Designed in the Beaux Arts style by architects Herts and Tallant, the building boasts a handsome gray limestone façade with six ornate Corinthian columns. The foyer features two grand staircases leading to the mezzanine, and marble finished to approximate "the marble of Athens." When it opened, the theatre featured a state-of-the-art ventilation system: the auditorium was kept cool in the summer and warm in the winter as air was passed over either ice chambers or steam coils on its way into the theatre. Above the theatre, Frohman built an apartment for himself which included a small door that offers a bird's eye view of the stage below. Legend has it that Frohman waved a white handkerchief out the open door to tell his wife, the actress Margaret Illington, that she was overacting. This apartment is currently home to the Shubert Archive.
Details on the Lyceum Theatre's Accessibility
Theatre is not completely wheelchair accessible. There are no steps into the theatre from the sidewalk. Please be advised that where there are steps either into or within the theatre, we are unable to provide assistance.
Accessibility by Seating Section
Orchestra Location: Seating is accessible to all parts of the Orchestra without steps. There are no steps to the designated wheelchair seating location.
Mezzanine Location: Located on the 2nd Level, up 2 flights of stairs from Orchestra. Please Note: On the Mezzanine Level, there are approximately 2 steps per row. Entrance to Mezzanine is behind row J.
Balcony Location: Located on the 3rd Level, up 4 flights of stairs from Orchestra. Please Note: On the Balcony Level, there are approximately 2 steps per row. Entrance to Balcony is behind row J.
Handrails: Available at the end of every stepped seat row in the Mezzanine and Balcony.
None Available. No steps into theatre.
Located in the ticket lobby. Accessible at 54" w/utility outlet.
There is a wheelchair accessible restroom.
Located in the ticket lobby. Accessible at 36".