The Stage Theater des Westens (Stage Theatre of the West) is a significant architectural and artistic achievement in the style of Wilhelmine historicism in the Charlottenburg district of Berlin. Since 2003 it has hosted world wide hit musicals such as "Dance of the Vampire", "We Will Rock You", "Mamma Mia!" or "Ich war noch niemals in New York" (I've never been to New York).
The Theater des Westens, one of the most historical stages in Germany, opened in 1896. The architect Bernhard Sehring, wrote at the time about what was then an underdeveloped area, "There is only one single entertainment venue for three quarters of an hour: the zoological garden. And this whole area, with about a quarter of a million inhabitants, densely built up, theatre-less, is completely full of an entirely middle class audience. I get a warm feeling about my building being situated on Kantstraße."
In the 'twenties, the programme was dominated by opera and operetta premieres. During the Nazi regime, the name was changed to the Volksoper (People's Opera) but the company had to move due to bomb damage. Between 1945 and 1961 it served to house the city's opera house (Deutsches Opernhaus) until they reopened in their new building on Bismarckstraße.
For the 65 year anniversary of the house's establishment in 1961, the German-speaking premiere of the musical "My Fair Lady" was staged under the artistic direction of Hans Wölffer. The successful show ran for two years, establishing the genre of the musical in Germany. In 1984 the theatre was completely refurbished and reopened with the musical "Guys and Dolls" under the directorship of Prof. Götz Friedrich and Helmut Baumann. The German-speaking premiere of the musical "La Cage Aux Folles" was a sensational hit here in 1985. In 1999 Elmar Ottenthal became the new artistic director but failed to repeat the success of his predecessors. In 2002 the city authorities leased the Theater des Westens to Stage Entertainment which took over the 1,500 seat establishment as a privately run venue. The prestigious charm of the theatre and the impressive nature of the premises makes it ideal for galas, awards ceremonies and film presentations.