Nederlander Theatre

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Nederlander Theatre
National Theatre, Billy Rose Theatre, Trafalgar Theatre
Nederlander-theatre-rent.jpg
Nederlander Theatre shown with its Rent façade
Address 208 West 41st Street
New York City
United States
Owner Nederlander Organization
Type Broadway
Capacity 1,232
Opened 1921
Website
nederlandertheatre.com

The David T. Nederlander Theatre (formerly the Billy Rose Theatre and National Theatre, commonly shortened to the Nederlander Theatre) is a 1,232-seat Broadway theatre located at 208 West 41st Street, in New York City. One of the Nederlander Organization's nine Broadway theatres, the legacy of the theatre began with David Tobias Nederlander, for whom the theatre is named. The theater holds the distinction of being the southernmost theater in the theater district.[1]

History[edit]

The commonly held history is that Walter C. Jordan built the theatre at a cost of $950,000. It opened September 1, 1921, as the National Theatre and seated 1,200 people.[1] The Shubert Organization owned the venue until 1956, when Harry Fromkes purchased it as part of the settlement of the Shubert antitrust case.[2] Fromkes died after a fall from his apartment, and his estate sold it to Billy Rose, who renamed it after himself in 1959.[3][4] The Nederlander Organization purchased the venue in 1979 and briefly renamed it the Trafalgar Theatre before dubbing it the David T. Nederlander Theatre in 1980. It housed Times Square Church before Nederlander sold the Mark Hellinger Theatre to the church's pastor, David Wilkerson. During the 2008 restoration of the venue, the owners discovered records indicating that the theatre was constructed as a carpenter's shop in 1920 before being converted to an entertainment venue the following year. This would mean that the Nederlander joins the Broadway and Winter Garden theatres as the only Broadway houses not originally built as such.[5]

The venue has hosted a wide variety of shows, including the Mercury Theatre production of William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, Edmond Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac, Noël Coward's Private Lives, Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and the Tony award winning Rent. Lena Horne won a 1981 Tony Award for her performance at the Nederlander in her eponymous Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music.[6]

When RENT, set in the Alphabet City neighborhood of Manhattan's East Village, opened in 1996, the theater underwent remodeling of the façade and interior to resemble a downtown nightclub. When Rent closed in 2008, refurbishing quickly got underway for the new show,[5] a revival of Guys and Dolls starring Oliver Platt and Lauren Graham.[7] The show played only 147 performances and was a box office failure when it closed June 14, 2009. The Neil Simon plays, Brighton Beach Memoirs and Broadway Bound were to premiere at the theatre in the fall, and perform alternating shows. However, due to weak ticket sales for Brighton Beach Memoirs, the show closed November 1, 2009 and the planned production of Broadway Bound was canceled.

The musical Million Dollar Quartet made its Broadway debut at the theatre April 11, 2010 and played through June 12, 2011.[8] Following MDQ, Newsies opened for a limited engagement, which was subsequently converted to an open run.[9] Newsies closed August 24, 2014, and began touring in October.[10] A new musical, Honeymoon in Vegas will begin previews November 18, 2014, with its official opening scheduled for January 15, 2015.[11]

Notable productions[edit]

Box office record[edit]

Newsies achieved the box office record for the Nederlander Theatre. The production played to 101%[12] capacity and grossed $1,024,516.60 for eight performances the week ending April 15, 2012.[13]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Nederlander Theatre (Broadway)". Reference: At This Theatre. Playbill. Retrieved 2014-11-06. 
  2. ^ Calta, Louis (27 September 1956). "SHUBERTS DISPOSE OF THEATRE HERE". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-11-06. 
  3. ^ "THEATRE OWNER DIES IN 12-STORY PLUNGE". The New York Times. 12 February 1958. Retrieved 2014-11-06. 
  4. ^ Calta, Louis (12 June 1958). "BILLY ROSE BUYS 41ST ST. THEATRE". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-11-06. 
  5. ^ a b Venutolo, Anthony (18 October 2008). "Curtain call". The Star-Ledger (Newark). Retrieved 2014-11-06. 
  6. ^ "Nederlander Theatre". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved 2013-11-09. 
  7. ^ "Everything Old is New Again". Stage Directions. August 2009. Retrieved 2014-11-06. 
  8. ^ Hetrick, Adam (11 June 2011). ""See You Later Alligator": Million Dollar Quartet Closes on Broadway June 12; Off-Broadway Is Next". Playbill. Retrieved 2014-11-06. 
  9. ^ Healy, Patrick (16 May 2012). "Don’t Stop the Press! ‘Newsies’ Run Is Now Open-Ended". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-11-06. 
  10. ^ Bowgen, Philippe (22 June 2014). "Disney Musical Newsies to End Broadway Run". Playbill. Retrieved 2014-11-07. 
  11. ^ "Box Office for Broadway's Honeymoon in Vegas Opens Today". Playbill. 12 October 2014. Retrieved 2014-11-07. 
  12. ^ Ku, Andrew. "Broadway Grosses: April 9-15". Playbill. Retrieved 12 June 2012. 
  13. ^ "INDUSTRY INSIGHT: Weekly Grosses Analysis - 4/16; NEWSIES, MAMMA MIA! & MORMON". Broadwayworld.com. 16 April 2012. Retrieved 2014-11-06. 

External links[edit]