At Home With Hairspray and Kinky Boots’ Jerry Mitchell in His Midtown Penthouse

By Micki Siegel
31 Aug 2014

Jerry Mitchell
Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Playbill.com's new column offers readers an exclusive inside look at the homes of Broadway's stars and behind-the-scenes movers and shakers.

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If there's one thing two time Tony Award-winning director/choreographer Jerry Mitchell knows (besides how to create a hit show), it's how to throw great parties. And he has the perfect terrace to throw them on.

"I've had just so many amazing parties," he says. "Like the time 300 people came over and we broke the elevator in the building. Or the times everybody stayed till sunup when I made a batch of popcorn and ran Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers movies against the outer wall of the apartment. And, at New Year's Eve parties, we get a close-up view of the ball dropping. Then we turn our heads a bit to the east and watch the fireworks in Central Park. It's an amazing terrace."

That amazing terrace sits on top of an elegant 1912 co-op in the heart of the Theatre District. Mitchell rented the one-bedroom apartment, with 800 square feet inside and another 1,200 outside, in 1991. But the terrace needed a lot of work.

"It was tar beach," said the transplant from Paw Paw, MI. "But I believed the apartment was perfect for someone who loves Broadway and who has roots in the Midwest, because I had to have outdoor space."

Today the terrace, designed by architect James Bartholomew, is very beautiful, with room for plants (basil and rosemary because Mitchell loves to cook), an outdoor shower and a grill where he prepares chicken and steaks. ("But, he jokes, "nobody eats on Broadway. Gotta fit into their costumes tomorrow night.") And, until recently, the terrace also included a sandbox so everyone could kick off their shoes and play.

He rented the apartment in 1991, and when it was clear Hairspray was going to be a huge success, he bought it in 2002.

A view of the terrace
Joseph Marzullo/WENN



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