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Gallery: Curtain Up in New York

First Published 28 November 2016, Last Updated 2 December 2016

The magic, majesty and rich heritage of 40 years of award-winning theatre in New York and London is being celebrated at the New York Public Library, as the Curtain Up Exhibition opens on Broadway.

For the first time we can bring you the installation shots, courtesy of photographer Jonathan Blanc and the exhibition’s new home, the New York Public Library.

Co-curated by the Library for the Performing Arts and the V&A, in partnership with Society of London Theatre (SOLT), Curtain Up: Celebrating The Last 40 Years Of Theatre in New York and London is on display until 30 June 2017, featuring costumes, designs, models, photographs, archival production materials and multimedia elements from the institutions’ unique and renowned collections.

Having debuted in London’s Victoria & Albert Museum earlier this year, the exhibition transferred to the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, honouring the inspirational creative talent behind the award-winning productions in both cities.

Celebrating 40 years of the Olivier Awards in London, and 70 of the Tony Awards in New York, the exhibition tells the story of the craft and collaboration that goes into creating the numerous award-winning plays, musicals and productions that have captured the hearts and minds of audiences on both sides of the Atlantic.

Visitors can enjoy highlights including:

  • More than 14 costumes from original productions of Kinky Boots, Jersey Boys, The Phantom of the Opera, The Producers, The Audience, Mary Poppins, Wicked and others.
  • Set models from Carousel, Sunday In The Park With George, In The Heights, An Inspector Calls, Arcadia, Matilda, and War Horse.
  • Masks and costumes from Disney’s The Lion King.
  • An installation of A Chorus Line, featuring iconic top hats from one of the show’s most famous scenes.
  • Original Chicago costumes from William Ivey Long.
  • Historic promotional posters and other unique marketing materials.
  • Olivier and Tony Awards.
  • Sound-mixing interactive kiosk featuring Hairspray.

“Like many of the shows featured in this exhibition, Curtain Up is now making the journey to New York after a stunning debut in London,” said Jacqueline Z. Davis, Barbara G. and Lawrence A. Fleischman, Executive Director of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. “London and New York have a unique relationship in the theatre world, sharing and enriching each other’s creative communities and delighting audiences with productions originating in both cities. We are very proud to be co-producers of this exhibition.”

“After a tremendously successful run at the V&A,” said Julian Bird, Chief Executive, Society of London Theatre & UK Theatre Association, “we’re delighted that Curtain Up is now transferring to The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. The exhibition is the result of the collaborative spirit between the world’s the two great theatre cities and the close relationship between the Olivier and Tony awards. Across the world, these awards have become the mark of theatrical excellence and the exhibition celebrates all the hard work and craft that goes into performing these spectacular shows.”

For more information on the exhibition, please visit the New York Public Library’s website.


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