Monday, February 17, 2014

It's President's Day

Some of us get this day off.  Some of us celebrate by shopping all those great sales.  But I'll bet not many of us - myself included - give much thought about what we are celebrating on this day.  Sure, George and Abe cross my mind every time I see the inevitable car dealer or furniture store ads that feature hapless private business owners hawking their wares in powdered wigs and stovepipe hats. My favorite this year features the Father of Our Country and Honest Abe rapping about great deals on used cars nearby.  But I digress...

On Broadway, rarely a season goes by when theatre fans don't have the opportunity to see a play or musical featuring one or more of our leaders.  Right now, people are flocking to see the acclaimed All the Way, featuring President Lyndon B. Johnson (Bryan Cranston).  I've blogged about Presidents in shows before, when, briefly, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson was all the rage. (HERE), but today I thought I'd see what I more could find out about Presidents on Broadway.

Bryan Cranston in All the Way

There have been seven shows on Broadway with "President" in the title:

  • Pretty straightforward: Mr. President (265 perfs in 1962)
  • Election Day?: The New President (unknown number of perfs 1861) or The Next President (13 perfs 1958)
  • Controversial term in office? War President (1 perf 1944) or The Selling of the President (5 perfs 1972)
  • Can't leave the family out of it: The President's Daughter (72 perfs 1970)
  • And even though Hillary wasn't even born yet: Madam President (128 perfs 1913)

4 of these were musicals and 3 were plays, and none were all that successful...

And back in the day, there was a Broadway theatre called The President Theatre.  It was at 247 48th Street, just down the street from what is today, the Walter Kerr.  It wasn't always called The President, but three different times it was called just that!


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