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The Palace Theatre was originally built by impresario Richard D'Oyly Carte as The Royal English Opera House in 1891, but was soon renamed as The Palace Theatre of Varieties. In 1912, it was the venue for the first Royal (and only true ‘command') Variety Performance.Throughout the 20th Century the theatre became a popular venue for musicals and revues including Gay Divorce in which Fred Astaire gave his last stage performance before going to Hollywood. The Palace hosted the original London productions of The Sound of Music and Jesus Christ Superstar which played for eight years. Other important musicals were Finian's Rainbow, King's Rhapsody, Cabaret, Song and Dance, The Woman in White, Spamalot and the Royal Shakespeare Company's Les Misérables (1985) which became the longest run in the building's history with 7602 performances before transferring to the Queen's Theatre in 2004.
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