On a blustery Wednesday morning, mayor Michael Bloomberg, Manhattan Theater Club a.d. Lynne Meadow and N.Y. City Council speaker A. Gifford Miller pulled a faux, oversized electric switch to symbolically relight the Biltmore Theater, now fully renovated by MTC after laying abandoned since 1987.
“We have to do it very carefully because we don’t want to cause another blackout,” Bloomberg quipped.
Confetti then showered attendees as they filed into the theater to the tune of “Let the Sunshine In” from “Hair,” which played the historic Broadway house from 1968 to 1972.
Guests made the very first indentations in the plush gold seats, admiring the ornate, gold wall and ceiling reliefs restored to their 1925 glory while rather absurdly facing the set of a dilapidated 1919 interior for Richard Greenberg‘s “The Violet Hour,” which begins previews today.
The indoor program featured ebullient thank-yous from Meadow plus MTC’s Barry Grove andchairman Peter J. Solomon, with speeches by genuinely moved thesp Brian Stokes Mitchell and “Violet Hour” star Robert Sean Leonard, who declared, “This is my 20th year (doing theater) in New York, and I’ve never been a part of anything more exciting than this.”