Washington D.C.- Underused National Theatre is ready for its next act

Carol Channing, Rex Harrison, Tallulah Bankhead, Laurence Olivier, Mae West, Jack Lemmon, Audrey Hepburn, Noel Coward: These are among the legends who have graced the stage of the National Theatre since it opened more than 175 years ago. And now, ladies and gentlemen . . .

Uh, Bryan Adams?

The “Cuts Like a Knife” rocker will headline the 1,676-seat theater Jan. 26, and while virtually nothing else is booked just yet, the concert signals a fresh direction for the historic but dramatically underused theater three blocks east of the White House. It’s the first oar in the water as new leadership tries to turn the often-empty vessel around.

“The National’s not just for Broadway anymore,” declares Bob Papke, vice president of theaters for SMG, a Philadelphia-based management group.

In September, the National Theatre Corporation announced that the building would be programmed by SMG, which handles venues from performing arts facilities to stadiums such as Soldier Field and the Superdome, and Chicago’s JAM Theatricals, which produces on Broadway and presents theatrical tours across the country.

To read the entire article from the Washington Post click here.

Thanks to THS Vice-President Mike Hauser for sending us this story.

One Comment

  1. Gary Parks

    THS toured the National during the 1992 Conclave. While there, we learned that the National did for a time see use as a movie house. The rather startling teal color in the auditorium was a design decision made during a redecoration some years ago. The person in charge got the idea from actual Colonial color schemes, and wanted to capture that effect, though many of us visiting the theatre found the hue a little overwhelming.

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