"Playing the Palace" has been the dream of many performers since the theatre opened in 1913. For many years The Palace was the pre-eminent vaudeville theatre in the country and an engagement in this theatre meant that a performer had "made it." The who's who of entertainment royalty have performed on this stage, including Ethel Barrymore, Harry Houdini, Will Rogers, Ethel Merman, Judy Garland, Jerry Lewis, Harry Belafonte, Bette Midler, Shirley MacLaine and Diana Ross. In 1965, The Nederlanders turned it into a legitimate theatre for the opening of Sweet Charity starring Gwen Verdon. Since then, it has housed star-studded hits including Lauren Bacall in Applause and Woman of the Year, Richard Kiley in Man of La Mancha, George Hearn in La Cage aux Folles, and Keith Carradine in The Will Rogers Follies. In 1994, the theatre was transformed to house Disney's Beauty and the Beast, which was followed by their musical, Aida.