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Broadway In Chicago Renames Oriental Theatre To Honor Late James M. Nederlander

November 13, 2018 - 1:37 pm

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The marquee for the Oriential Theatre will display a new name next year.

Broadway in Chicago announced Tuesday their plans to honor the late James M. Nederlander, the legendary Broadway theatre owner and producer by renaming the Oriental Theatre as the James M. Nederlander Theatre.

"As founder of Broadway In Chicago, it is appropriate for the name James M. Nederlander to grace the marquee of Chicago’s iconic theatre at 24 W. Randolph," Lou Raizin, President of Broadway In Chicago said in a statement.

“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. 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."

The new marquee and signage will be unveiled as the Nederlander Theatre on Tuesday, Feb. 12, with the opening of "Dear Evan Hansen." This will be the first time the Nederlander family name has even dressed a Loop marquee.

“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," said James L. Nederlander, now president of The Nederlander Organization, in a statement. 

The Oriential Theatre at 24 W. Randolph St. has held the name for 92 years. 

Upcoming productions for the new Nederlander Theatre include "Dear Evan Hansen," Feb. 12 – March 10, "A Bronx Tale," March 12 - 24, "Anastasia," March 26 - April 7, "Tap Dogs,"April 16-21, "Rent 20th Anniversary Tour," May 10- 19, "Falsettos," May 28 - June 9, and "Cats," July 16 - August 4.