MCNY Blog: New York Stories

Iconic photos of a changing city, and commentary on our Collections & Exhibitions from the crew at

Tag Archives: Theater

Cymbeline; what’s a love story without some scandal?

It was January 25, 1897, the opening night of William Shakespeare’s romance Cymbeline, based on the legend of an early Celtic British king, at Wallack’s Theatre. The lavish production starred … Continue reading

July 28, 2015 · 1 Comment

From Dazzling to Dirty and Back Again: A Brief History of Times Square

Originally known as Long Acre (also Longacre) Square after London’s carriage district, Times Square served as the early site for William H. Vanderbilt’s American Horse Exchange. In the late 1880s, Long … Continue reading

July 14, 2015 · 4 Comments

The mystery of Mabel E. Johnston, who drew beautiful costumes

In 1978, the Museum received a collection of costume design renderings that featured the work of well-known theatrical designers such as Boris Aronson, Charles Le Maire, and Vincent Minelli.  Also … Continue reading

June 9, 2015 · Leave a comment

The Tempest: storms, schemes, and a happy end

On May 27th The Tempest opens the Public Theatre’s annual Shakespeare in the Park season at Central Park’s Delacorte Theatre. Refresh your memory of the plot details as we explore images of … Continue reading

May 26, 2015 · 1 Comment

Napoleon Sarony: Celebrity Photographer

  Before paparazzi and the celebrity media we all live with today, there were 19th century photographers, like Napoleon Sarony (1821-1896), who became internationally renowned for their celebrity portraits. Born in Québec, Sarony began his … Continue reading

April 28, 2015 · 2 Comments

Vandamm Studio

27 years. Over 2,000 Broadway productions. Countless negatives of every conceivable actor who graced the New York stage. Saying that the Vandamm Studio was the photograph studio for Broadway would … Continue reading

April 7, 2015 · 1 Comment

Benjamin J. Falk, photographer and master of light

It’s 1881. You’re an actor in the latest smash-hit sensation. Wanting to gain a little publicity for yourself, the show, and a potential national tour, the producers send you off to … Continue reading

March 24, 2015 · Leave a comment

Unidentified: Lingering mysteries in the Theater Collection

Since fall of 2013, the City Museum has been involved in a large scale digitization project to digitally capture and describe over 30,000 images of theatrical production. It gives me … Continue reading

February 24, 2015 · 7 Comments

Adolph Green: The boy from the Bronx makes good

Last Tuesday, December 2, 2014, marked the 100th birthday of Adolph Green, writer and lyricist. With his creative partner Betty Comden, Green composed lyrics for over 200 songs, wrote ten … Continue reading

December 9, 2014 · 3 Comments

Chantecler, a Barnyard Fantasy

While digitizing the vast collection of over 30,000 photographs that make up the theatre production files at the Museum of the City of New York, a project generously funded by the Institute … Continue reading

July 29, 2014 · 4 Comments

Elaine Stritch, Grande Dame of the Stage

Last Saturday night the crowd gathered around the piano at Marie’s Crisis to sing “The Ladies Who Lunch” from Broadway’s 1970 hit musical, Company, in honor of the dearly departed … Continue reading

July 22, 2014 · 1 Comment

The Ziegfeld Midnight Frolic

It’s a sweltering July evening in 1915 and the lights have just come up after the finale of a Ziegfeld Follies show at the New Amsterdam Theatre on 42nd Street. … Continue reading

July 1, 2014 · 1 Comment

Up on the roof, entertainment en plein air

Spring in New York City is glorious.  Allergy issues aside, the season of rebirth is especially welcome after this winter’s polar vortex shenanigans.  And though I celebrate the sunny days … Continue reading

June 10, 2014 · 1 Comment

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