Wednesday, December 15, 2010

It's our 15th Birthday!

We can hardly believe it's been so long! 15 years ago The New 42nd Street brought innovation and imagination to this famous block and created The New Victory Theater. The New Victory's renovation and restoration began in August of 1994, lasting for 16-months and costing $11.4 million. On December 11, 1995, the official dedication of the New Vic to New York's children and families was made - a clear 180 degree shift from its seedy recent past ( a XXX movie house). During our 15th birthday month, we thought we'd share some little-known memories from over the last decade and a half!

Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey in Eternal Sunshine
-In 2004, scenes from the movie Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind were filmed here. Even though it did not make the final cut of the film, it was included in the deleted scenes section of the DVD. They even kiss in the orchestra! Watch the deleted scene here.

-If you look closely on the chair frames and upholstery as well as on the mezzanine and balcony facades, you will see bees. The bees are for David Belasco, the famous theater impresario and manager of The New Victory from 1902-1910. There are 31,566 bees inside the theater. A number of years ago we had an apprentice count them all!

-The famed, scandalous and long-dead actress, Mrs. Leslie Carter, has graced us with her ghostly presence since our opening and given many a visiting artists a fright!

Does the elevator look familiar?
Diane Keaton and Woody Allen in Manhattan Murder Mystery
 -The dressing rooms used to exist off stage right. They were what looked like box cars, stacked upon one another with a spiral staircase connecting them. In the 1993 Woody Allen film Manhattan Murder Mystery, these dressing rooms are shown towards the end of the movie where Diane Keaton’s character is held hostage. The finale of the movie was also shot onstage here.

- The New Victory Education Partnership Program has hugely expanded over the last decade and a half. During the theater’s first season in 1995-96, there were 29 school partners. Now there are 153 school partners, and this season alone, The New Victory Theater will provide over 30,000 tickets to New York City students and teachers – for $2 a ticket.

-Our FYI exhibit in the Lower Lobby chronicles the moments over the past 15 seasons with props, posters and backstage mementos from the past 15 years. We hope to see you this month while we celebrate our 15th year, and take a peek at the FYI before MOMENTUM to celebrate with us!

-The New Vic Usher Corps and Apprentice Program provides about 28,000 hours of paid employment for high school and college students in NYC.

-Memorable performances include: Sharps, Flats and Accidentals (The Flying Karamazov Brothers), 1996-7; The Green Bird directed by Julie Taymor, currently directing Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark (Theater For a New Audience), 1996; Shockheaded Peter (Cultural Industry), 2000; A Year with Frog and Toad which transferred to Broadway (The Childrens Theatre Company), 2002; Brundibar with collaboration by Maurice Sendak and Tony Kushner (Berkeley Repertory Theatre), 2006; Puss in Boots directed by Moises Kaufman (Gotham Chamber Opera/Tectonic Theater Project/Blind Summit Theatre), 2010.

What are your favorite memories of the New Victory? We will tweet any answers you share!

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