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CAMELOT'S "Majestic" Backstage Alley

While writing my new novel, ONE MORE SEAT AT THE ROUND TABLE, I spoke to two actors who'd performed in The Phantom of the Opera (which recently closed) at The Majestic Theatre in New York. The actors kindly described the backstage area of the Majestic where Camelot debuted in 1960, and each explained how to find the stage door, hidden in a service alley off West 45th Street. (This in itself seemed unique because the front entrance to the Majestic is on West 44th.) The stage door alley is actually home to three theaters: the Golden, The Bernard Jacobs, and the Majestic, and it's hard to find even if you've been told what to look for. As I got close to finishing my book, I wanted to see the stage door for myself, so on a quick trip to Manhattan, my husband and I crept through two grey industrial doors, a stone's throw from Eighth Avenue, and found the exterior door to the alley. It was locked, but a few theater personnel were entering and kindly allowed us inside. There's a long narrow corridor that features the Majestic's emergency exit, but if you walk straight you eventually find the stage door, painted red. I could easily picture the stars of Camelot making their way through this alley which is spartanesque. But theater people love the grit as much as the glamor, and they probably enjoyed their trek to the stage door as much as I loved getting a glimpse of it. 

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