James M. Nederlander Theatre Lights Up Marquee
Feb 8, 2019
Today, Broadway In Chicago's newly named JAMES M. NEDERLANDER THEATRE lit its marquee for the first time. The theatre, located at 24 W. Randolph, honors the late James M. Nederlander, the legendary Broadway theatre owner and producer, founder of Broadway In Chicago and champion of Chicago's Downtown Theatre District. His family lit the marquee in remembrance of him and his work.
"In 1954, James M. Nederlander had faith in Chicago as a long-run theatre town and has supported Chicago getting the best of Broadway since then," Lou Raizin, President of Broadway In Chicago, said. "He brought his shows to the finest theatres in Chicago including the Blackstone, the Studebaker, the Shubert and the Michael Todd, and in creating Broadway In Chicago, changed the landscape of Chicago theatre, making this great city one of the most successful commercial homes for Broadway outside of New York. Renaming the theatre gives us a way to say thank you and to acknowledge the extraordinary difference he made for Chicago in his lifetime."
Upcoming productions for the new JAMES M. NEDERLANDER THEATRE include DEAR EVAN HANSEN (Feb. 12 - March 10, 2019), A BRONX TALE (March 12 - 24, 2019), ANASTASIA (March 26 - April 7, 2019), Dein Perry's TAP DOGS (April 16 - April 21, 2019), RENT 20th Anniversary Tour (May 10 - 19, 2019), FALSETTOS (May 28 - June 9, 2019) and CATS (July 16 - August 4, 2019).
James L. Nederlander, now president of The Nederlander Organization, said, "The renaming of the theatre on Randolph, in honor of my father, is something he would have been so proud of, as he had a love for Chicago that manifested in his steadfast support of Chicago's theatre community until the day he died. I am lucky to have inherited his love for Chicago and I am moved by this acknowledgement of his work on Broadway and his commitment to Chicago as a beacon for theatre across the country."
ABOUT JAMES M. NEDERLANDER
James M. Nederlander built The Nederlander Organization, one of the largest private live entertainment companies in the world that now encompasses venue ownership and management, theatrical producing and concert presentation, merchandising, concessions and patron services.
Jimmy started working in the theatre at age 7, sweeping floors for his father David Tobias (D.T.) Nederlander in Detroit, Michigan. During a career that spanned 70 years, Jimmy amassed a network of premier legitimate theatres, with nine theatres on Broadway: the Brooks Atkinson, Gershwin, Lunt-Fontanne, Marquis, Minskoff, Nederlander, Neil Simon, Richard Rodgers, and the renowned Palace; theatres in Chicago including: Cadillac Palace Theatre, CIBC Theatre, James M. Nederlander Theatre, and The Broadway Playhouse; theatres in Los Angeles including, the magnificent Pantages Theatre; and in London, the Adelphi, Aldwych, and Dominion Theatres.
He produced over one hundred of the most acclaimed Broadway musicals and plays of all time, including: Annie, Applause, La Cage aux Folles, Me and My Girl, Nine, Noises Off, Peter Pan, Sweet Charity, The Will Rogers Follies, Woman of the Year, and many more.
Jimmy M. Nederlander's name will be forever linked to some of the world's most distinguished performing companies, whose work he produced and presented on Broadway including: the Royal Shakespeare Company's acclaimed productions of The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Cyrano and Sherlock Holmes, Rudolf Nureyev and Friends, The Bolshoi Ballet, and the Virsky's Ukranian State Dance Company.
Jimmy was credited with developing the outdoor amphitheatre concept as the developer of premier venues including the New Jersey Garden State Arts Center, Pine Knob Music Theatre, the Merriweather Post Pavilion, the Pacific Amphitheatre, and as the decades-long operator of the Greek Theatre where he presented headline artists including Tony Bennett, Judy Garland, Lena Horne, Liza Minnelli, and Frank Sinatra, among many others.
"Generous," "loyal" and "trusted" are just a few of the accolades Jimmy's numerous friends used to describe him-many of whom enjoyed a life-long personal and business relationship with Jimmy. In 1972, Jimmy and friends Earl Blackwell, Gerard Oestricher, and Arnold Weissberg founded the Theatre Hall of Fame, which is still housed in the lobby of the Gershwin Theatre. In 1973, he partnered with George Steinbrenner to purchase the New York Yankees.
Beloved by the industry, Jimmy was the recipient of many distinguished honors including the United Nations Foundation Champion Award (2012), The Broadway League's Schoenfeld Vision for Arts Education Award (2011), the New York Pop's Man of the Year (2008), the Tony Award Special Tony Award for Life Time Achievement (2004), The Actors' Fund Medal of Honor (2002), United Jewish Appeal-New York Federations' Bernard B. Jacobs Excellence in the Theatre Award (1997), and the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, located outside the Pantages Theatre at 6233 Hollywood Blvd. In 2009, The National High School Musical Theater Award was established and named The Jimmy to celebrate his career-long dedication to supporting young talent. Jimmy received an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts at the Forty-third Commencement exercises at The University of Connecticut School of Medicine, School of Dental Medicine and Graduate School on Monday, May 12, 2014.
In Chicago, he is responsible for bringing hundreds of shows since 1954. After creating Broadway In Chicago in 2000, he was able to lure long-run shows to Chicago beginning with the success of WICKED and its three-and-a-half-year run, followed by two and a half years of JERSEY BOYS, a year of LION KING, and many more and including the current run of HAMILTON for over two years. As a legendary theatrical producer, he was able to establish Chicago as a breeding-ground for Pre-Broadway including the premieres of THE PRODUCERS, SPAMALOT, MOVIN OUT, KINKY BOOTS, to name only a few, and most recently PRETTY WOMAN THE MUSICAL and TOOTSIE.
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