The American premiere of Arnold Bennet’s The Great Adventure inaugurated the Booth on October 16, 1913. Other productions which graced its stage in its first three decades include Clare Kummer’s A Successful Calamity (1917), Arthur Richman’s romantic comedy Not So Long Ago (1920) starring Eva Le Gallienne and Sidney Blackmer, John Drinkwater’s Bird in Hand (1929), and J. B. Priestley’s Laburnum Grove (1935). In 1936, George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart’s You Can’t Take It with You opened to huge commercial success and won the Pulitzer Prize.
A vast array of stars visited the theatre in the 1950s and 60s. Shirley Booth was showcased in Come Back, Little Sheba (1950), and Henry Fonda and Anne Bancroft appeared in William Gibson’s Two For the Seesaw (1958). Mike Nichols directed Alan Arkin, Eli Wallach and Anne Jackson in a production of Murray Schisgal’s Luv (1961). Butterflies Are Free (1969) starred Blythe Danner, Eileen Heckart, Keir Dullea, and Paul Michael Glaser.
In the 1970s, the Booth welcomed a number of transfers from Off Broadway. Two shows came from Joseph Papp's Public Theatre: Jason Miller’s Pulitzer Prize-winning That Championship Season (1972) and Ntozake Shange’s For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf (1976). In 1978, The Elephant Man transferred to the Booth after an Off Broadway run.
A number of small-scale musicals achieved critical and commercial success at the Booth in the 1980s and 1990s. Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Sunday in the Park with George (1984) won the Pulitzer Prize for drama, one of the few musicals to do so. Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty made their Broadway debut with Once on This Island (1990), and a two-piano revival of Frank Loesser’s operatic The Most Happy Fella (1992) opened to acclaim.
Some modern classics played here in the 1980s and 1990s, including I’m Not Rappaport (1985) starring Judd Hirsch, Robert Morse in Tru (1989), Frank McGuiness’s prison drama Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me (1992), and Having Our Say (1995) with Mary Alice and Gloria Foster as the Delany sisters. A string of one-person shows followed, starting with Barry Humphreys playing his alter-ego Dame Edna Everage in Dame Edna: The Royal Tour (1999), Lily Tomlin in a revival of The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe (2000), and Bea Arthur in Bea Arthur on Broadway (2002). Paul Newman returned to Broadway in a much-praised revival of Thorton Wilder’s classic Our Town (2003). The playhouse has been the home to Faith Healer (2006) with Ralph Fiennes and Cherry Jones, The Year of Magical Thinking (2007) with Vanessa Redgrave and the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prizing-winning musical Next to Normal (2009). The Booth was home to High (2011) with Kathleen Turner and Lincoln Center Theater's acclaimed production of Other Desert Cities (2011).
Most recently the Booth hosted the Tony-winning revival of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (2012), Bette Midler's long-awaited return to Broadway in I'll Eat You Last (2013), Bradley Cooper in The Elephant Man (2014) and the Tony nominated play Hand to God (2015) .