Text excerpted from, Showbill, January 1998.
[...] The [Foxwoods Theatre] in New York stands on a site formerly occupied by two beautiful 42nd Street theatres, the Lyric and the Apollo. The massive reclamation and reconfiguration both restore and extend their glories.
In the popular imagination, 42nd Street has always led a double life. It rivals Broadway itself as the street that means theatre But as the great musical film 42nd Street (1932) defines the spirit and the legend for all time, it also makes plain that even then 42nd Street meant sleaze as well as glamour.
Sleaze eventually took over. First-time, stage-struck visitors to New York would make a pilgrimage in search of the legend and find only porno movie houses. Now, 42nd Street will again become in reality what it has always been in fiction: a main highway of first-class theatre.
Both the Lyric and the Apollo had great musical pasts. The Lyric was actually born of a successful musical: Reginald DeKoven's 1890 smash Robin Hood, which gave the world the wedding anthem "Oh, Promise Me". DeKoven used some of the profits from the show's 13 years on the road to buy a site from the Shubert Brothers. He built a beautiful theatre, and the Shuberts managed it.