Monday, June 27, 2011

The Venue: The Palace Theatre on Broadway Hosts 'Priscilla Queen of the Desert' The Musical

The Palace Theatre opened in 1913 as a vaudeville venue and in 1965 turned into one of Broadway's legitimate theatres. It's high-profile location on 7th Avenue across the Times Square tkts booth makes it popular for stage musicals. With seating for 1,750 it's one of the larger theatres on the street.

Among the recent productions to play the palace include 'Beauty and the Beast' (1994), 'Aida' (2000), 'Legally Blonde' (2007) and a revival of 'West Side Story' (2009). Today the transfer of the London and Australian hit 'Priscilla Queen of the Desert' plays the venue. Other past productions include 'La Cage Aux Folles' (1983) and 'The Will Rogers Follies' (1991).

Although today a Doubletree Suites hotel towers over the Palace and the theatre building itself obscured by a wall of billboards, the lavishly decorated auditorium was restored to its original glory over a four year period in the 1980s.

Generous public spaces makes the theatre one of the more comfortable one on Broadway before the show and during intermission. The box office lobby leads to an interior lobby where the souvenir kiosk and bar is located. This leads into the foyer and grand staircase to upper level seats.

The seating is on three levels and the seats on the upper balcony are notorious for obstructed views from almost every seat. The theatre is also one the few to feature a center aisle splitting the orchestra section in two rather than two aisles with a center orchestra seating. Seats on the side orchestra are comprised of chairs rather than traditional auditorium seats and raked at a higher level than the two center orchestra sections. Click HERE for the Palace Theatre seating chart. Ticketing is through

The 'Priscilla' curtain with a giant lipstick marking the route of the
namesake bus from Sydney to Alice Springs.
Rear orchestra seats beneath the mezzanine.
The kiosk and bar is located in the lobby.


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