Views of the interior and exterior of the under-construction Ford Performing Arts Center on New York's 42nd Street. Clockwise from upper left: 43rd Street facade busts of Sir Arthur Sullivan, W.S. Gilbert and composer Reginald DeKoven; the atrium lobby of the Ford Center; the theatre's auditorium; and another view of the 43rd Street facade. Livent Inc. is inviting the public to tour its new Broadway Theatre, the Ford Performing Arts Center, which will light officially Dec. 26 with the first preview of Ragtime.
Built on the site of the old Lyric and Apollo Theatres on New York's once-blighted West 42nd Street, the $30 million complex will allow members of the public to visit the building, free of charge, 10 AM to 6 PM Sunday, Dec. 14. The event was arranged, according to Livent chief Garth Drabinsky, "to allow New Yorkers and theatre lovers to see and walk through one time before they have to buy a ticket."
Though the theatre's main entrance will be on 42nd Street, where visitors will enter Dec. 14, its longest exterior wall is on the 43rd Street side of the block, where there will also be the main box office.
Drabinsky's Livent Inc. has spent $30 million and more than a year demolishing the two old Broadway theatres, the 1903 Lyric and the 1920 Apollo, and building the new 1821-seat Ford Center, incorporating architectural elements of the two old theatres, notably the 43rd Street facade of the Lyric.
Rehearsals began Dec. 4 for the show that will relight the theatre, Livent's Toronto and Los Angeles hit, Ragtime. Previews for that show begin Dec. 26; opening is scheduled for Jan. 18, 1998.
-- By Robert Viagas