Theater fire kills hundreds in Vienna

Theater fire kills hundreds in Vienna


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A fire at the Ring Theater in Vienna, Austria, kills at least 620 people and injures hundreds more on December 8, 1881. The luxurious, ornate theater hosted the most popular performances of the day.

On December 8, it was featuring the second night of Jacques Offenbach’s opera Les Contes d’Hoffman, which was proving popular with both the wealthy and middle class of Vienna. According to the custom of the time, the wealthy theater patrons who sat up front near the stage did not arrive until the last minute so the two balconies at the Ring filled up first. It was about 6:45 p.m. when a stagehand took a long-arm igniter to light the row of gas lights above the stage. He inadvertently also lit some prop clouds that were hanging over the stage.

The flames quickly hit the stage curtain, but the theater’s established fire procedures were not followed. The theater’s iron fire curtain, used to restrict fire, was not lowered, nor were available water hoses used immediately. Worse, the stage managers panicked and shut off the gas totally, cutting off light in the theater. At this point, situation dissolved into chaos. The balconies became clogged as the exits jammed. A fire brigade brought ladders, but they were too short to reach even the first balcony. Despite an attempt to use a curtain to create a net, some people jumped from the balconies, not only killing themselves but also crushing people on the ground floor.

Finally, safety nets were brought in that allowed people to jump from the balconies, saving as many as 100 people, according to witnesses. The Royal Family of Austria arrived at the theater as the disaster was ending and immediately began collecting relief funds for the victims and their families. Crown Prince Rudolf was particularly emotional, crying upon seeing the hundreds of lifeless bodies. The estimated death toll was somewhere between 620 and 850 people.

The remainder of the structure was demolished and replaced with the Suhnhof building. This memorial was destroyed when Vienna was bombed during World War II.


The Ringtheater was built between 1872 and 1874 by Heinrich von Förster, following plans by Emil Ritter. It opened on January 17, 1874, under the direction of Albin Swoboda, Sr. as an 'Opéra Comique', antithetical to the "seriousness" of the Vienna State Opera, then called the Court Opera ('Hofoper'). However, in September 1878, the focus was shifted to spoken plays, German and Italian opera and variety, and the name was changed to the "Ringtheater".

Given that the footprint of the theatre was small—and the theatre was intended to hold an audience of 1700—the architect was forced to build high, but with disastrous consequences. On December 8, 1881, a fire broke out shortly before a performance of Les contes d'Hoffmann, [1] and 449 people were killed. [2] The following year, a new law was passed, regarding the outfitting and safety provisions, including safety curtains, outwards-opening doors and fireproofing of the set.

An apartment building called the Sühnhaus was built on the site of the Ringtheater out of Emperor Franz Joseph's private funds it was a private residence, which supported worthy causes. This was badly damaged by fire in 1945 and eventually collapsed in 1951. Between 1969 and 1974, an office block was erected on the site, in which the federal headquarters for police in Vienna and the general inspectorate of the federal security guards, and police commandos are housed. The fire is commemorated on a plaque on the police building. The Attic style statues, which had stood on the pilasters, are now in the Pötzleinsdorfer Schlosspark.

  1. ^Zeitzeichen auf WDR 5 am 8. Dezember 2006
  2. ^ Klein, A (1929). "Die Identifizierung durch die Zähne bei Brandkatastrophen. Ihre forensische Bedeutung". Schweiz Monatsschr Zahnheilkd. 38 (10): 607–28.

Most of the information in this article is taken from the German Wikipedia article.


비엔나에서 극장 화재로 수백명이 사망

오스트리아 비엔나의 링 극장에서 발생한 화재로 1881 년이 날 최소 620 명이 사망하고 수백 명이 부상을 입었습니다.고급스럽고 화려한 극장은 오늘 가장 인기있는 공연을 주최했습니다.12 월 8 일, 자크 오펜 바흐의 오페라 레 콩테 드 호프만 (Le Conte d' Hoffman)의 두 번째 밤이 비엔나의 부유 한 중산층 모두에게 인기를 끌고 있

오스트리아 비엔나의 링 극장에서 발생한 화재로 1881 년이 날 최소 620 명이 사망하고 수백 명이 부상을 입었습니다.

고급스럽고 화려한 극장은 오늘 가장 인기있는 공연을 주최했습니다.

12 월 8 일, 자크 오펜 바흐의 오페라 레 콩테 드 호프만 (Les Contes d' Hoffman)의 두 번째 밤이 비엔나의 부유 한 중산층 모두에게 인기를 끌고 있었다. 당시의 관습에 따르면 무대 근처에 앉아 있던 부유 한 극장 후원자들은 막판까지 도착하지 않아 링의 두 발코니가 먼저 채워졌습니다. 오후 6시 45 분 정도였습니다. 무대 위의 가스등이 무대 위를 비추기 위해 장발 점화기를 사용했을 때. 그는 우연히 무대 위에 걸려 있던 소품 구름을 비췄다.

화염이 무대 커튼에 빨리 닿았지만 극장의 확립 된 화재 절차는 따르지 않았습니다. 화재를 제한하는 데 사용되는 극장의 철 방화 커튼은 낮추지 않았으며 즉시 물 호스를 사용할 수 없었습니다. 더 나쁜 것은 무대 관리자가 가스를 당황하게하고 가스를 완전히 차단하여 극장의 빛을 차단했습니다. 이 시점에서 상황은 혼란에 빠졌다. 출구가 막힐 때 발코니가 막혔습니다. 소방대가 사다리를 가져 왔지만 첫 발코니까지 도달하기에는 너무 짧았습니다. 그물을 만들기 위해 커튼을 사용하려는 시도에도 불구하고, 일부 사람들은 발코니에서 뛰어 내려 자신을 죽일뿐만 아니라 1 층에서 사람들을 짓밟기도했습니다.

목격자에 따르면, 사람들이 발코니에서 뛰어 내릴 수있는 안전망을 가져 왔으며, 최대 100 명을 절약 할 수있었습니다. 재난이 끝나자 오스트리아 왕실은 극장에 도착하여 희생자와 그 가족을 위해 구호 기금을 모으기 시작했습니다. 루돌프 왕자는 특히 감정적이며 수백 명의 생명이없는 육체를보고 울었습니다. 추정 사망자 수는 620 명에서 850 명 사이였습니다.

나머지 구조물은 철거되어 Suhnhof 건물로 교체되었습니다. 이 기념관은 제 2 차 세계 대전 중에 비엔나가 폭파되었을 때 파괴되었습니다. 오늘날 경찰서가 그 자리에 앉아 있습니다.


Oheň v Ring Theatre vo Viedni v Rakúsku zabil najmenej 620 ľudí a tento deň v roku 1881 zranil stovky ďalších.

V luxusnom zdobenom divadle sa konali najobľúbenejšie predstavenia dňa.

8. decembra predstavila druhú noc opery Jacquesa Offenbacha Les Contes d'Hoffman, ktorá sa stala populárnou pre bohatú aj strednú triedu Viedne. Podľa zvyku toho času bohatí patrónov divadla, ktorí sa posadili pred javisko, neprišli až na poslednú chvíľu, takže sa najprv naplnili dva balkóny v kruhu. Bolo to okolo 6:45 hod. keď divák vzal dlhou rukou zapaľovač, aby rozsvietil rad plynových svetiel nad javiskom. Neúmyselne zapálil aj niekoľko oblakov, ktoré viseli nad pódiom.

Plamene rýchlo zasiahli záves scény, ale nedodržali sa požiarne postupy stanovené v divadle. Železná protipožiarna opona divadla, ktorá sa používala na obmedzenie požiaru, sa neznížila, ani sa okamžite nepoužili dostupné vodné hadice. Horšie je, že divadelní manažéri úplne prepadli plynu a úplne zastavili svetlo v divadle. V tomto okamihu sa situácia rozpustila v chaos. Balkóny sa upchali, keď sa výstupy zasekli. Hasičský zbor priniesol rebríky, ale boli príliš krátke na to, aby sa dostali až na prvý balkón. Napriek pokusu použiť záves na vytvorenie siete, niektorí ľudia vyskočili z balkónov, nielen aby sa sami zabili, ale tiež rozdrvili na prízemí.

Nakoniec sa priviedli záchranné siete, ktoré umožnili ľuďom vyskočiť z balkónov a podľa svedkov ušetrili až 100 ľudí. Kráľovská rodina Rakúska prišla do divadla v čase, keď katastrofa skončila, a okamžite začala zbierať finančné prostriedky na pomoc obetiam a ich rodinám. Korunný princ Rudolf bol obzvlášť emotívny a kričal, keď videl stovky neživých tiel. Odhadované množstvo obetí bolo niekde medzi 620 a 850 ľuďmi.

Zvyšok stavby bol zbúraný a nahradený budovou Suhnhof. Tento pamätník bol zničený pri bombardovaní Viedne počas druhej svetovej vojny. Dnes na mieste sedí policajná stanica.


Friday, February 20, 2009

The "Fireproof" Iroquois Theater


The cover of the Iroquois' Playbill, proclaiming the theater to be "Absolutely Fireproof."

When the Iroquois Theater first opened on November 23, 1903, its first playbill was printed with the exclamation that the Iroquois was "Absolutely Fireproof." This was quite an astounding claim, one that theater patrons might have questioned, had they realized that the Iroquois had originally not been slated to be opened until the spring 1904. Instead, eager (or, some might argue, greedy) theater owners pulled strings, pushed bribes, hassled contractors, and had the Iroquois' opening day pushed up by several months, just in time to take advantage of holiday spending.

In fact, contractors were still putting the finishing touches on the theater when it opened its doors to ticket holders on November 23. Despite this, the first few weeks of operation seemed to sail along with nary a major glitch.

It's likely that Iroquois management found it necessary to include the reference to the "fireproof" nature of the premises in deference to two other notorious theater fires which may have been on the minds of ticket holders. One happened in Brooklyn, New York in 1876, claiming approximately 300 lives. The other occured in Vienna, Austria just five years later. It claimed over 800 lives.

Fire hazards aside, theaters had something of a nefarious reputation anyway. Theater-going was looked upon by conservative folk and religious adherents of the time as being frivolous and a shameful waste of money. Actors and actresses were considered an unsavory and unwholesome bunch, certainly not a type of people to be consorted with.

Finally, the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 was still on the minds of those who had been around long enough to remember it. The fire wiped out miles of the city's downtown, destroying businesses and some homes.

But in the subsequent thirty plus years, the city had managed to make a grand comeback. During its planning stages, the Iroquois was promised to become the most opulent and state of the art theater that Chicago had ever seen.

So the reference to its "Absolutely Fireproof" interior was management's way of assuring patrons that there was no need to worry, only to enjoy the fine furnishings and quality entertainment. What the Iroquois failed to do was to include in its playbill a diagram of the interior layout of the theater, clearly denoting all doors and emergency exits as was explicitly required by law. It seems as though they must have felt there was no need to waste the ink. After all, the building was "fireproof."

Unfortunately, this glaring omission was only one (and certainly not the first) of many oversights (whether accidental or deliberate) which would eventually lead to tragedy.


Az ausztráliai bécsi Gyűrűs színházi tűz legalább 620 embert öl, és még több száz is megsérül ezen a napon 1881-ben.

A fényűző, díszes színház rendezte a nap legnépszerűbb előadásait.

December 8-án Jacques Offenbach „Les Contes d’Hoffman” operajának második estét mutatták be, amely népszerűségnek bizonyult Bécs gazdag és középosztályában egyaránt. A korszak szokása szerint a színpad közelében ülő gazdag színházi védőszemélyek csak az utolsó pillanatban érkeztek, így a gyűrű két balkonja először megtelt. 18:45 körül volt. amikor a színpad egy hosszú karú gyújtót vett be a színpad feletti gázlámpák sorának meggyújtására. Véletlenül megvilágított néhány, a színpad fölött lógó felhőt is.

A lángok gyorsan megütötte a színpadi függönyt, de a színház kialakított tűzkezelési eljárásait nem tartották be. A színház vas tűzfüggönyét, amelyet a tűz korlátozására használtak, nem mélyítették le, és a rendelkezésre álló vízcsöveket sem azonnal használták fel. Sőt, ami még rosszabb, a színpadvezetők pánikba estek, és teljesen leállították a gázt, leállítva a fényt a színházban. Ezen a ponton a helyzet káoszba oldódott. Az erkélyek eltömődtek, ahogy a kijárak elakadtak. Egy tűzoltóság létrákat hozott, de ezek túl rövidek voltak ahhoz, hogy elérjék az első erkélyt is. Annak ellenére, hogy megpróbálták egy függönyt háló létrehozására használni, néhány ember ugrott az erkélyekről, nemcsak megölve magukat, hanem az földszinten is zúzva az embereket.

Végül biztonsági hálókat hoztak be, amelyek lehetővé tették az emberek számára, hogy ugráljanak az erkélyekről, és a tanúk szerint 100 embert takarítottak meg. Az osztrák királyi család megérkezett a színházba, amikor a katasztrófa véget ért, és azonnal elkezdte segélyalapok gyűjtését az áldozatok és családtagjaik számára. Rudolf koronaherceg különösen érzelmileg sírt, amikor látta az élettelen test százaságát. A becslések szerint a halálos áldozatok száma 620 és 850 ember között volt.

A szerkezet fennmaradó részét lebontották, és felváltották a Suhnhof épülettel. Ezt az emlékművet elpusztították, amikor Bécset a második világháború alatt bombázták. Ma egy rendőrség ül a helyszínen.


The Globe theatre fire of 1613: when Shakespeare’s playhouse burned down

On 29 June 1613, the original Globe theatre in London, where most of William Shakespeare’s plays debuted, was destroyed by fire during a performance of All is True (known to modern audiences as Henry VIII). But what caused the fire and when was the new Globe theatre rebuilt?

This competition is now closed

Published: June 29, 2020 at 1:00 pm

Here, author and broadcaster Andrew Dickson brings you the facts about the Globe fire of 1613…

In early May 1613, having just turned 49, William Shakespeare was at the height of his career. He was the most famous playwright of the age, imitated by younger writers and lauded even by jealous contemporaries. He wasn’t just a royal servant no fewer than six of his works had recently been performed by the King’s Men (Shakespeare’s acting company) at court, some during the elaborate celebrations to mark the wedding of James I’s daughter Elizabeth.

Among them were the triumphant late dramas The Winter’s Tale (first performed at the Globe in May 1611) and The Tempest (first performed in November 1611). Shakespeare was doing well financially, too: that March, he had bought an apartment in the Blackfriars complex, near the company’s indoor theatre. It was his first property investment in London, adding to a substantial portfolio back home in Stratford-upon-Avon.

He was also hard at work on a new play: he and a younger playwright, John Fletcher, were finalising a script called All is True, a historical thriller based on the divorce of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon (to modern audiences, it is usually named after its hero, Henry VIII). Packed with spectacular pageantry and effects, it was a new mode for the playwright – perhaps a new beginning.

That summer, All is True finally went on stage. On 29 June 1613, in the mid-afternoon, the Globe playhouse on Bankside was packed the performance, probably the play’s third or fourth outing, seemed to be going smoothly. When a set of stage cannons were fired near the end of Act One to mark the entrance of King Henry for a masque scene at Cardinal Wolsey’s residence, barely anyone in the crowd noticed that a piece of flaming material from one of the cannons had landed on the theatre’s thatched roof. Even when smoke began to curl upwards, no one paid much attention in the words of one eyewitness, “their eyes [were] more attentive to the show”.

But within minutes the fire had run around the inside of the roof “like a train”, and the Globe was doomed. As the flames consumed the all-wooden structure there was a panicked evacuation, so rapid that a number of people left their cloaks behind. One man apparently had his clothes set on fire and had to throw a bottle of ale over himself. According to another account, someone else was burned after attempting to save a child. No one is reported to have died, but for Shakespeare’s playhouse, the most famous theatre in England, it was the end. The day was hot and dry, and within little more than an hour only smoking ruins were left. The fire raged so intensely that a house next door went up too.

That we know so much about the most infamous fire in theatre history indicates what major news it was at the time: several eyewitnesses noted the event, and it must have been the talk of Jacobean London. Much of this information derives from a letter written by the diplomat and politician Sir Henry Wotton a few days later, which recorded the catastrophe in remarkable detail, from the “paper or other stuff” that set fire to the thatch to the unfortunate theatregoer who “had his breeches set on fire, that would perhaps have broyled him, if he had not by the benefit of a provident wit, put it out with a bottle of ale”.

The tone of this account is jocular – perhaps because Wotton seems to have been irked by common players depictingrevered historical figures such Henry VIII and Cardinal Wolsey, and felt that Shakespeare and his theatre had got their just deserts. Theatre-hating puritans couldn’t help crowing, too, detecting divine vengeance in the “sudden fearful burning”. Not long after the conflagration a street ballad appeared, marking the event (its author is unknown). Its refrainpuns on the title of the play that had caused the tragedy:

This fearful fire began above,

A wonder strange and true,

And to the stage-house did remove,

And burnt down both beam and snag,

And did not spare the silken flag.

Oh sorrow, pitiful sorrow, and yet all this is true.

Indeed, the burning of the Globe was anything but a comedy for Shakespeare and his fellow shareholders in the King’s Men. Not only would the theatre have to be rebuilt – in an era before buildings insurance, they would have to foot the cost – it would need to be done in a hurry, because every day without a playhouse depleted their reserves even more. The company could continue to perform at the Blackfriars, but that theatre only seated a few hundred ticket-buyers at the open-air Globe, they could cram in as many as 3,000.

It has been speculated that the shock of the fire destroyed Shakespeare’s health as one of the authors of All is True, he might even have felt somehow responsible, particularly as the fire was caused by a boastful piece of staging (it was more usual to fire cannons for battle scenes rather than for the entrance of a monarch). Certainly, when the King’s Men banded together to pay £1,400 for the erection of the new Globe, which took a year to build – this time with a fireproof tiled roof – Shakespeare was not among them, having apparently sold his shares in the company in the interim.

Shakespeare’s last script, The Two Noble Kinsmen, another collaboration with Fletcher, was probably written later that year its Prologue refers to “our losses” in what looks wistfully like a reference to the fire. By the end of the year, Shakespeare seems to have been based full-time in Stratford and engaged in bitter litigation over his land rights. His writing career was over. Two years later, in April 1616, he was dead.

Andrew Dickson is a broadcaster and author. His books include The Globe Guide to Shakespeare (2016) and Worlds Elsewhere: Journeys Around Shakespeare’s Globe (2015)

This article was originally published by HistoryExtra in 2018


Oheň v Ring Theatre ve Vídni v Rakousku zabil v roce 1881 nejméně 620 lidí a další stovky zranil.

Luxusní, ozdobené divadlo hostilo nejpopulárnější představení dne.

8. prosince představila druhou noc opery Jacquese Offenbacha Les Contes d'Hoffman, která se proslavila jak u bohaté, tak u prostřední třídy ve Vídni. Podle zvyklostí času bohatí divadelní mecenáši, kteří seděli vpředu poblíž jeviště, dorazili až na poslední chvíli, takže se nejprve naplnily dva balkony u Prsten. Bylo to asi 6:45 hodin. když divák vzal dlouhou pažní zapalovač, aby zapálil řadu plynových světel nad jevištěm. Nechtěně také rozsvítil několik podpěrných mraků, které visely nad jevištěm.

Plameny rychle zasáhly divadelní oponu, ale postup při požáru nebyl dodržen. Železná protipožární clona divadla, používaná k omezení palby, nebyla snížena, ani nebyly okamžitě k dispozici vodní hadice. Horší je, že scénografičtí manažeři zpanikařili plyn a úplně vypnul plyn, čímž v divadle přerušil světlo. V tomto okamžiku se situace rozptýlila v chaos. Balóny se ucpaly, jak se východy zasekly. Hasičské sbory přinesly žebříky, ale byly příliš krátké na to, aby se dostaly na první balkon. Navzdory pokusu použít oponu k vytvoření sítě, někteří lidé vyskočili z balkonů, nejen aby se sami zabíjeli, ale také drtili lidi v přízemí.

Nakonec byly zavedeny záchranné sítě, které umožnily lidem vyskočit z balkónů, což podle svědků zachránilo až 100 lidí. Královská rodina Rakouska dorazila do divadla, když katastrofa skončila, a okamžitě začala vybírat finanční prostředky na pomoc obětem a jejich rodinám. Korunní princ Rudolf byl obzvláště emotivní a brečel, když viděl stovky mrtvých těl. Odhadovaný počet obětí byl někde mezi 620 a 850 lidmi.

Zbytek struktury byl zbořen a nahrazen budovou Suhnhof. Tento památník byl zničen při bombardování Vídně během druhé světové války. Dnes na místě sedí policejní stanice.


Contents

The Oriental Theater, now the James M. Nederlander Theatre, opened in 1926 as one of many ornate movie palaces built in Chicago during the 1920s by the firm Rapp and Rapp. In addition to movies, it occasionally showed live acts. The Oriental continued to be a vital part of Chicago's theater district into the 1960s, but patronage declined in the 1970s. Late in the decade, the theater survived by showing exploitation films. It closed in 1981 and its lobby was refitted as a retail TV and radio store, while the theater remained vacant for more than a decade. [2]

The Oriental replaced an earlier theater venue on the site opened November 27, 1903, the Iroquois Theatre, which burned in the deadliest theatre fire in U.S. history. After the fire's recorded death toll reached over double the death toll of The Great Chicago Fire, city officials closed all theaters in the city for inspection. Following the incident, the city enacted new laws that addressed aisle-way and exit standards, scenery fireproofing, and occupancy limits. [3]

The Oriental-Ford Center for the Arts reopened as a live theater venue in the 1990s and was renamed the Nederlander Theatre in 2019. [4] The theater is one of several houses now operating in Chicago's revitalized Loop Theater District. According to Richard Christiansen of the Chicago Tribune, the reopening of the Oriental spurred the restoration of other theaters in The Loop. [5] The district is also home to the Cadillac Palace Theatre, CIBC Theatre, the Goodman Theatre, and the Chicago Theatre. Randolph Street was traditionally the center of downtown Chicago's entertainment district until the 1970s when the area began to decline. The now demolished United Artists Theatre, Woods Theatre, Garrick Theater (originally constructed as the Schiller Theater and Building), State-Lake Theatre, Erlanger and Roosevelt Theatre were located near the intersection of Randolph and State Streets.

On November 13, 2018, Broadway In Chicago announced that the theater would be renamed to honor James M. Nederlander, founder of Broadway In Chicago, Broadway theater owner and producer, and champion of Chicago’s Downtown Theater District, who died in 2016. The venue unveiled its newly renovated marquee, vertical blade sign and signage as the James M. Nederlander Theatre on February 8, 2019. [6]

The architects of the Nederlander Theatre were George L. and Cornelius W. Rapp, who also designed the Palace and Chicago Theatres. The Nederlander Theatre features decor inspired by the architecture of India. The city's dominant theater chain, Balaban and Katz (a subsidiary of Paramount Pictures) operated the 3,250-seat venue. [7] [8]

Restoration Edit

On January 10, 1996, Canadian theatrical company Livent announced it acquired the property and would renovate the structure with an anticipated completion date of 1998. [9] The city of Chicago pledged $13.5 million toward the restoration and Ford Motor Company entered into a sponsorship agreement with Livent for a reported $1 million annual fee. [10]

In November 1998, Livent filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S. and the Bankruptcy Court approved the sale of its assets to SFX Entertainment. [11]

The restored theater reopened October 18, 1998, with a reconfigured seating capacity of 2,253. [2] The restored venue now hosts touring Broadway shows, and premiers.

During the restoration, architect Daniel P. Coffey created a design plan that would increase the theater's backstage area by gutting the adjacent Oliver Building while preserving one-third of its original steel structure, as well as the building's Dearborn façade and a portion of its alley façade.

SFX's corporate successor, Live Nation, sold the venue to the Nederlander Organization in 2007. [12]

In 2015, a developer purchased the adjacent 22-story office building with the intent of converting the space into 230 apartments. However, the plan quickly changed to a 198-room hotel which opened in 2017. [13] During the renovation, workers on the fourteenth floor removed a false ceiling and discovered a long-forgotten Masonic meeting space. The developer preserved parts of the original architecture and renovated the space into a spiegeltent which opened in Spring 2019. [14]

The venue presented both movies and vaudeville acts during its early years, but by the 1930s it became predominantly a movie house, though live performances and concerts continued. Duke Ellington and his orchestra made frequent appearances at the Nederlander.

In October 1934, 12-year-old Frances Gumm and her sisters performed at the theater but received laughs when George Jessel would introduce them as The Gumm Sisters. At his urging, they changed their name to The Garland Sisters after his friend, Robert Garland, critic for The New York Times. Frances Garland would later change her first name, to become Judy Garland.

Performers Edit

The theater re-opened in 1998 with the Chicago premiere of the musical Ragtime. From June 2005 through January 2009, the theater housed a sit-down production of Wicked, making it the most popular stage production in Chicago history. Wicked exceeded expectations, according to producer David Stone: "To be honest, we thought it would run eighteen months, then we'd spend a year in Los Angeles and six months in San Francisco." [15]

The venue hosted the pre-Broadway run of The Addams Family, starring Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth from November 13, 2009 through January 10, 2010, and a production of the 2009 Tony Award winner for Best Musical Billy Elliot starring Cesar Corrales as Billy from March 18 to November 28, 2010. [16] [17] The theatre also hosted the pre-Broadway runs of On Your Feet! June 2 through July 15, 2015 and SpongeBob SquarePants from June 7 to July 10, 2016. [18] [19]

The Cher Show, a so-called "bio-musical" of Cher's life and music, opened June 12, 2018, for a five-week run before moving to New York's Neil Simon Theatre in the fall. [20] [21]

In March 2019, James L. Nederlander announced that a musical based on the songs of Britney Spears Once Upon a One More Time would premiere at the venue October 29 and run until December 1 when it will move to New York. [22] In January, the Michael Jackson Estate and Columbia Live Stage had announced that MJ: The Musical, a bio-musical of Michael Jackson would play during that period, but they instead opted to premiere in New York City. [23]


1. Peshtigo Fire - 2,500

The Peshtigo Fire was a massive wildfire that broke out on October 8, 1871, in Peshtigo, Wisconsin, resulting in between 1,500 to 2,500 deaths. It is often cited as the deadliest fire in American history. In the area, fire was commonly used to clear forest land for agricultural activity. However, on this day, a strong wind fanned the fire out of control, creating firestorms. By the time the fire was brought under control, 1.2 million acres of the forest had been consumed. The Peshtigo fire occurred on the same day as the Great Chicago Fire, with some people believing that the two fires may have been caused by fragments from Comet Biela.



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