15 Revivals That Returned to the Show’s First Broadway Theatre
Which shows came back to the houses in which they premiered?
For some revivals, there’s truly no place like home. Here’s a look at 15 Broadway shows with revivals that played the same theatre as the original original production.
. Torch Song Trilogy
The Helen Hayes Theatre in 1982 and 2018
Writer and performer Harvey Fierstein became a major force in Broadway and Hollywood with his play Torch Song Trilogy, about a gay drag queen in New York navigating the murky waters of love, parenthood, and family. Fierstein himself starred in the play’s Broadway premiere at the Little Theatre, winning Tony Awards for Best Actor in a Play as well as Best Play. The play, now titled Harvey Fierstein’s Torch Song, was just announced to return this fall to Broadway for its first revival, which will again play the Little Theatre—now named the Helen Hayes.
2. Miss Saigon
The Broadway Theatre in 1991 and 2017
Loosely based on Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, this musical from Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil premiered on Broadway at the Broadway Theatre in 1991. It enjoyed an astonishing 4,092-performance (ten-year) run. The show returned to the Broadway Theatre last year in a new production that ran for 340 performances.
Read: HOW THIS 2017 MISS SAIGON HONORS THE VIETNAMESE PERSPECTIVE
3. The Gin Game
The John Golden Theatre in 1977 and 2015
D.L. Coburn’s Pulitzer Prize-winning two-hander about an elderly man and woman playing gin in their retirement home while coming to grips with their old age first came to Broadway in 1977, in a production that starred Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy and played the John Golden Theatre. The work’s second Broadway revival, starring James Earl Jones and Cicely Tyson, returned to the Golden for a three-month run in 2015.
. The Elephant Man
The Booth Theatre in 1979 and 2014
Bernard Pomerance’s drama about the life of John Merrick, a man severely disfigured by a rare disease, made its Broadway premiere in 1979 at the Booth, winning the Tony Award that year for Best Play and enjoying a run of 916 performances. The play’s second and most-recent revival, starring Bradley Cooper and Patricia Clarkson, returned to the Booth for a limited run of 83 performances beginning in 2014.
5. Golden Boy
The Belasco Theatre in 1937 and 2012
Clifford Odets’ Golden Boy tells the story of a young gifted violinist who has to decide whether to pursue a career in music or the potentially more lucrative world of prize fighting. The original production opened at Broadway’s Belasco in 1937, running for 250 performances. The work’s second Broadway revival returned to the Belasco 75 years later in 2012, in a production that starred Danny Burstein and Tony Shalhoub.
6. American Buffalo
The Belasco Theatre in 1977 and 2008
This David Mamet-penned play about a junk shop owner and his cronies attempting to steal a valuable coin collection premiered on Broadway in 1977 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, before moving to the Belasco Theatre in a production that starred Robert Duvall. The work’s second Broadway revival in 2008 returned to the Belasco with an all-star cast that included Cedric the Entertainer, John Leguizamo, and Haley Joel Osment.
7. Awake and Sing!
The Belasco Theatre in 1935 and 2006
Clifford Odets’ play about a Jewish family living in the Depression-era Bronx premiered on Broadway in 1935 in a production that starred real-life siblings Stella and Luther Adler. The play returned to Broadway for its fourth revival in 2006, again at the Belasco Theatre, in a production that starred Ben Gazzara, Mark Ruffalo, Lauren Ambrose, and Zoë Wanamaker.
8. I’m Not Rappaport
The Booth Theatre in 1985 and 2002
Herb Gardner’s I’m Not Rappaport centers on two octogenarian retirees who regularly share a Central Park bench. The original production, which ran for 891 performances at the Booth, won Judd Hirsch his first Tony Award, for Best Actor in a Play. The show came back to Broadway in 2002 again at the Booth with much of original production’s creative team, and Hirsch recreating his Tony-winning performance.
9. Noises Off
The Brooks Atkinson Theatre in 1983 and 2001
Before The Play That Goes Wrong, there was Noises Off, Michael Frayn’s three-act farce about a second-rate British touring company and everything that goes wrong with their production. The show made its Broadway premiere in 1983 in a production starring Victor Garber and Dorothy Loudon; it ran 553 performances. Noises Off returned to Broadway in 2001 again at the Brooks Atkinson in an all-star revival featuring Patti LuPone, Peter Gallagher, Faith Prince, Edward Hibbert, and Katie Finneran. Finneran won a Tony for her performance as Brooke Ashton.
10. A Streetcar Named Desire
Ethel Barrymore Theatre in 1947 and 1992
The original production of Tennessee Williams’ legendary play about an unstable Southern belle made stars of nearly its entire original cast, including Jessica Tandy, Marlon Brando, and Kim Hunter. Nearly 50 years later, the play returned to Broadway for its sixth revival, in a production starring Alec Baldwin and Jessica Lange. This production also returned to the play’s first Broadway home, the Ethel Barrymore Theatre. Though it has been revived two more times, neither of those productions were housed at the Barrymore.
The Richard Rodgers Theatre in 1975 and 1996
Broadway theatregoers going to the current long-running revival of Chicago today have to head to Broadway’s Ambassador theatre, but that’s actually this production’s third venue; this long-running revival first opened at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, then played the Shubert from February 1997 to January 2003, and then moved to the Ambassador. Until 1990, the Richard Rodgers was known as the 46th Street Theatre, where the original production of Kander and Ebb’s Chicago premiered in 1975.
12. How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
The Richard Rodgers Theatre in 1961 and 1995
Frank Loesser, Abe Burrows, Jack Weinstock, and Willie Gilbert’s hilarious and Pulitzer-winning satire of the corporate business world premiered on Broadway in 1961 at the 46th Street Theatre, now known as the Richard Rodgers. The show received its first Broadway revival in 1995, in a production starring Matthew Broderick, Megan Mullally, and Victoria Clark that also played the Richard Rodgers Theatre.
3. The Trip to Bountiful
The Stephen Sondheim Theatre in 1953 and 2013
Horton Foote’s play about a widow who leaves her family to return to the small Texas town where she grew up originally starred Lillian Gish and premiered on Broadway at Henry Miller’s Theatre in 1953. Beginning in the 1970s, the theatre became a movie house and then a disco and was later re-claimed as a Broadway house, but with a completely re-built interior, and opened in 2009. The venue was re-christened the Stephen Sondheim Theatre in 2010 and became home to The Trip to Bountiful’s first Broadway revival in 2013, a production that starred Vanessa Williams, Cicely Tyson, Cuba Gooding, Jr., and Condola Rashad.
14. The Caine Mutiny Court-Marshall
The Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre in 1954 and 2006
Playwright and author Herman Wouk adapted his novel The Caine Mutiny, about a Marine officer put on trial for seizing command of his ship during a typhoon, as The Caine Mutiny Court-Marshall. The play premiered on Broadway at the Plymouth Theatre in 1954. The work’s second Broadway revival brought it back to its original Broadway home—now re-named for Shubert Organization chairman Gerald Schoenfeld— in 2006, a production that starred David Schwimmer and Željko Ivanek.
15. Show Boat
The Ziegfeld Theatre in 1927 and 1946
Known for his elaborate Follies, producer and impresario Florenz Ziegfeld knew that Show Boat could be his crowning artistic achievement when Oscar Hammerstein II and Jerome Kern played the score for him. Ziegfeld premiered the work at his then-newly built and self-named Broadway theatre in 1927, and when Hammerstein and Kern produced a revival in 1946, they brought it back to the show’s first Broadway home. The theatre has since been razed for a skyscraper.
Logan Culwell-Block is a musical theatre historian, Playbill's manager of research, and curator of Playbill Vault. @loganculwell