Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Hakuna Matata

September hosts Back 2 Broadway in NYC to welcome the new season.  The event allows free tours in select theatres, a festival in Times Square where they preview shows, concerts, etc.  We were out of town or busy for most events, however we were able to tour the Minskoff Theatre.

The Minskoff Theatre, designed by Kahn and Jacobs, was built in 1973 and is located on 45th and Broadway.  It has been the host to musicals, dance companies, concerts, and even the Miss Universe pageant in 1981.  The Minskoff is a post war theatre and built on the premise that what is on stage should take, well, center stage.  The walls were left white and bare.  The only design element were the silver domes for the lights.  In fact Kahn and Jacobs specifically requested it remain this way and for interior "desecrators" to never touch his design.

However, their wishes had to be ignored when the theatre began housing The Lion King.  According to our proctor it took six months to refurbish the theatre in order to house the show.  The main lobby now features hand painted, gold-leaf sculpted tablets and large colorful murals.  On the escalator wall there is a large (~30 feet tall) wooden lion face on a red wall.  The theatre is no longer void of decorations, completely the opposite.

Personally, I still prefer the character and charm of an old theatre.  But it's all the same when the lights go down right?

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