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Curtain Up: Celebrating the Last 40 Years of Theatre in New York and London

The Society of London Theatre and London's Victoria and Albert Museum have partnered with The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center to celebrate the extraordinary story of the world's two greatest theatrical districts, London's West End and New York's Broadway in a ground-breaking new exhibition—Curtain Up: Celebrating the Last 40 Years of Theatre in New York and London.

Curtain Up celebrates the coincidence of two anniversaries of the biggest awards for commercial theatre: 40 years of the Olivier Awards in London and 70 years of the Tonys® in New York. By telling the story of the plays, musicals and productions that have won both an Olivier and a Tony Award, Curtain Up explores the craft and collaboration that creates spectacular international theatre. Visitors will be able to explore and interact with unique collections from both the V&A and The Library for the Performing Arts highlighting how the theatre districts of both cities have flourished and developed since 1976.

Highlights include costumes and masks from Disney's The Lion King; the original costume designs from The Phantom of the Opera by Maria Björnson shown alongside the costume worn by a recent West End Phantom; a celebration of the international hit, A Chorus Line; and the original set models for In the Heights, Arcadia, and War Horse. Film clips from notable theatre productions from the V&A’s National Video Archive of Performance (NVAP) and NYPL’s Theatre on Film and Tape archive (TOFT) are embedded throughout.

 

October 31st, 2016 - June 30th, 2017 New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center

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Curtain Up

Curtain Up celebrates the coincidence of two anniversaries of the biggest awards for commercial theatre: 40 years of the Olivier Awards in London and 70 years of the Tonys® in New York. The exhibition explores the craft and collaboration that creates spectacular international theatre and displays a series of costumes, costume designs, set models, film clips, prompt scripts, photographs, and correspondence from plays and musicals that have won (or been nominated for) both a Tony® and Olivier Award, including Phantom of the Opera, In the Heights, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, A Chorus Line, and more! Curtain Up is organized by The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), and the Society of London Theatre, in association with MasterCard. A special thanks to Theatre Development Fund, the American Theatre Wing, The Broadway League, and Disney Theatrical Productions for their support. The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts gratefully acknowledges the leadership support of Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman. Additional support for exhibitions has been provided by Judy R. and Alfred A. Rosenberg and the Miriam and Harold Steinberg Foundation.

From the Exhibition

The New York cast of A Chorus Line in 1976

The New York cast of A Chorus Line in 1976. On view in Curtain Up. Photo: Martha Swope / © The New York Public Library.

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Sponsors

Curtain Up is organized by The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), and the Society of London Theatre, in association with Mastercard. A special thanks to Theatre Development Fund, the American Theatre Wing, The Broadway League, and Disney Theatrical Productions for their support.

The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts gratefully acknowledges the leadership support of Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman. Additional support for exhibitions has been provided by Judy R. and Alfred A. Rosenberg and the Miriam and Harold Steinberg Foundation.

Curtain Up exhibition sponsor logos