Toward the close of , the prominent theatrical producer Sam H. Harris made a proposition to his friend Irving Berlin: if the popular songwriter would devise a musical revue, Harris would find a theatre for it. The Shuberts began acquiring shares of the venue from Harris in the s. When Harris died in , his wife sold half the shares in the theatre to the Shuberts, and half to Berlin.
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The Music Box Theatre was designed by architect C. Harris 's Music Box Revue. It opened in and hosted a new musical production every year until , when it presented its first play, Cradle Snatchers , starring Humphrey Bogart. The following year, Chicago , the Maurine Dallas Watkins play that served as the basis for the musical, opened at the theatre. It housed a string of hits for the playwriting team of George S. Cole Porter and George and Ira Gershwin also presented shows here. One of the smaller Broadway theatres, with a seating capacity of , the Music Box was co-owned by Berlin's estate and the Shubert Organization until the latter assumed full ownership in Its box seats are unusually large and round, and Dame Edna described them as "ashtrays" during her run there. The lobby features a plaque and wall exhibit commemorating the theatre's history.
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You'll be happy with nearly any seat in this cozy house, but as with most theaters, center orchestra and the front mezzanine are tops. The closest parking is not always the best as it often takes longer to park and retrieve your vehicle as fellow theatre goers have the same idea. A better choice of parking may be the second choice or further away by a couple of Avenues. Notes: Composer Irving Berlin was once co-owner of this theater, and many of his revues appeared here. It was built by Berlin and producer Sam H. Harris specifically to house these revues, and the theater hosted a new one every year until when it presented its first play, Cradle Snatchers, starring Humphrey Bogart. At 1, seats, the space was perfect for these sorts of lavish revues, as well as the large cast plays that were also popular during the Great Depression Era. The celebrated playwriting team of George S.