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A New Life For Boston's Colonial Theatre06:57

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The Colonial Theatre, owned by Emerson College, shut its doors in 2015. (Amy Gorel/WBUR)
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The Colonial Theatre, owned by Emerson College, shut its doors in 2015. (Amy Gorel/WBUR)

After Boston's Colonial Theatre opened in 1900, performers like Ethel Merman, Fred Astaire, Vivian Leigh, Noel Coward and Katharine Hepburn all took the stage there. It was long seen as a testing ground for Broadway shows before they went to New York. But, faced with renovations estimated to be in the millions of dollars, the Colonial closed its doors in September 2015. Now, there's a new deal to reopen the Colonial, under the guidance of the Ambassador Theatre Group, a U.K.-based theater company that operates more than 40 theater venues around the world.

Emerson College owns the Colonial. Emerson President Lee Pelton told WBUR: "This is a unique and game-changing relation for us and for ATG. It provides our students with an unparalleled access to world-class theater."

Guest

Jeremy Goodwin, contributor to WBUR's ARTery and a member of the Boston Theater Critics Association. He tweets @JeremyDGoodwin.

This segment aired on January 9, 2017.

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