NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — This morning, we are Cruisin’ Connecticut to New Haven, home of the historic Shubert Theatre, opened in 1914.
We’re going on a backstage tour of the “birthplace of the world’s greatest hits.” The theatre received that name after the number of shows that premiered there, or opened there prior to Broadway. There have been over 300 world premieres at the Shubert. Stars like Jerry Lewis, Marlon Brando, and Debbi Reynolds have taken to the stage.
Many of Rogers and Hammerstein’s musicals started at the Shubert. “Away We Go” was a show first previewed in New Haven, and when it opened on Broadway, was renamed “Oklahoma!” This started a whole string of hits that Rogers and Hammerstein premiered at the Shubert, including “Carousel”, “The King and I”, right through their last collaboration which was “The Sound of Music.”
During the behind-the-scenes tour you’re able to walk across the stage and see the overwhelming view of the 1,600 seat theatre, from the actor’s perspective. You’ll hear the tale of the Shubert’s “ghost light,” which is constantly lit, when there isn’t a show on-stage. It’s said to keep light on for the (friendly) spirits that call the Shubert, home.
During select shows, a trapdoor is installed for actors to disappear underneath the stage. When underneath the stage, you’ll look up, and hear the creaking of the original floor beams from 1914. You can experience the backstage tours of the Shubert, on the first Wednesday and Saturday of each month at 11am. Learn more about the tour at www.Shubert.com
Visit the Shubert Theatre: 247 College St, New Haven, CT 06510