"Home" Runs on Broadway: Theatres That Housed Long-Running Hits

By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
and Robert Viagas
21 Mar 2014

The Richard Rodgers Theatre has housed nine long-running shows
The Richard Rodgers Theatre has housed nine long-running shows

Luck? Coincidence? Good sight lines? Short ladies' room lines? Outsized orchestra sections that can be sold at a premium price?

Who knows why certain Broadway theatres seem to produce (or attract) long-running hits? But a close examination of the Playbill Vault (PlaybillVault.com) reveals that most of the shows that have played more than 1,000 performances originally opened in only 14 of the 40 Broadway houses.

Other factors may have skewed these numbers. Some playhouses, like the American Airlines Theatre, only book short subscription runs. Some, like the Foxwoods Theatre, have been open for only a few years.

Nevertheless, Thalia and Melpomene, the muses of comedy and tragedy, must smile especially sweetly on theatres like the Rodgers or the Imperial, which have seen far more than their share of whopper hits.

The following list is categorized by the original theatres in which the long-running shows first opened and where they were reviewed by the press.



(* = ran for over 1,000 performances)

Richard Rodgers Theatre: 9 Shows
Chicago (Revival): 7,197 performances as of March 16, 2014 (moved to the Shubert* and Ambassador*)
The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas: 1,584 performances
How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying: 1,417 performances
Hellzapoppin: 1,404 performances (moved to the Winter Garden* and Majestic)
Movin' Out: 1,303 performances
1776: 1,217 performances (moved to the St. James and Majestic)
Guys and Dolls: 1,200 performances
In the Heights: 1,184 performances
Damn Yankees: 1,019 performances (moved to the Adelphi)

Imperial Theatre: 6 Shows
Fiddler on the Roof: 3,242 performances (moved to the Majestic* and Broadway)
Pippin: 1,944 performances (moved to the Minskoff)
Dreamgirls: 1,521 performances
Billy Elliot: The Musical: 1,312 performances
Annie Get Your Gun: 1,147 performances
They're Playing Our Song: 1,082 performances

Neil Simon Theatre: 5 Shows
Hairspray: 2,642 performances
#Annie: 2,377 performances (moved to the ANTA Playhouse, Eugene O'Neill and Uris)
Brighton Beach Memoirs: 1,299 performances (moved to the 46th Street)
Mister Roberts: 1,157 performances
Shenandoah: 1,050 performances (moved to the Mark Hellinger)

Shubert Theatre: 5 Shows
A Chorus Line: 6,137 performances
Crazy for You: 1,622 performances
Monty Python's Spamalot: 1,575 performances
Promises, Promises: 1,281 performances
Memphis: 1,166 performances

St. James Theatre: 5 Shows
Hello, Dolly!: 2,844 performances
The Producers: 2,502 performances
Oklahoma!: 2,212 performances
The King and I: 1,246 performances
The Pajama Game: 1,063 performances (moved to the Shubert)

Winter Garden Theatre: 5 Shows
Cats: 7,485 performances
Mamma Mia!: 5,135 performances as of March 16, 2014 (moved to the Broadhurst)
42nd Street: 3,486 performances (moved to the Majestic* and St. James)
Mame: 1,508 performances (moved to the Broadway)
Funny Girl: 1,348 performances (moved to the Majestic and Broadway)

Broadhurst Theatre: 4 Shows
Dancin': 1,774 performances (moved to the Ambassador)
Amadeus: 1,181 performances
Cabaret: 1,165 performances (moved to the Imperial and Broadway)
Fosse: 1,093 performances

Helen Hayes Theatre (Demolished in 1982): 4 Shows
Abie's Irish Rose: 2,327 performances (moved to the Theatre Republic*)
Mary, Mary: 1,572 performances (moved to the Morosco)
Arsenic and Old Lace: 1,444 performances (moved to the Hudson)
The Seven Year Itch: 1,141 performances

Majestic Theatre: 4 Shows
The Phantom of the Opera: 10,871 performances as of March 16, 2014
South Pacific: 1,925 performances (moved to the Broadway)
The Wiz: 1,672 performances (moved to the Broadway)
The Music Man: 1,375 performances (moved to the Broadway)

Al Hirschfeld Theatre: 3 Shows
Guys and Dolls (1992 Revival): 1,143 performances
The Teahouse of the August Moon: 1,027 performances
Grand Hotel: 1,017 performances (moved to the Gershwin)

Broadway Theatre: 3 Shows
Les Misérables: 6,680 performances (moved to the Imperial*)
Miss Saigon: 4,092 performances
Evita: 1,567 performances

Eugene O'Neill Theatre: 3 Shows
Grease! (1994 Revival): 1,505 performances
The Book of Mormon: 1,243 performances as of March 16, 2014
Big River: 1,005 performances

John Golden Theatre: 3 Shows
Tobacco Road: 3,182 performances (moved to the 48th Street and Forrest*)
Avenue Q: 2,534 performances
Angel Street: 1,295 performances (moved to the Bijou)

Palace Theatre: 3 Shows
Beauty and the Beast: 5,461 performances (moved to the Lunt-Fontanne*)
Aida: 1,852 performances
La Cage Aux Folles: 1,761 performances

Schoenfeld Theatre: 3 Shows
Jekyll & Hyde: 1,543 performances
Equus: 1,209 performances (moved to the Helen Hayes)
Plaza Suite: 1,097 performances