Location: New York, New York
Address: 208 W. 41st St.
Capacity: approx 1230
The Nederlander Theatre quickly became one of the most cutting-edge structures on Broadway when it opened in 1921 as The National Theatre. The venue, which was built by theatrical agent Walter C. Jordan and designed by architect William Neil Smith, opened up with 1,200 seats and could easily accommodate both musicals and dramas. Early performers raved about its spacious dressing rooms with full bathrooms, while audiences enjoyed the beautiful Italian Renaissance architecture with gilded embellishments. The theatre changed hands in 1959 when it was purchased by producer Billy Rose, who refurbished and renamed the building after himself. The Nederlander Organization bought the building in 1978 and changed its name in 1980 to honor the late theatre owner David Tobias Nederlander.
The performance hall would open its doors with the Sidney Howard production Swords, but the show turned out to be a bust and lasted only 36 performances. Throughout the years the intimate nature of the space made it ideal for dramas and comedies, but it also remained a choice spot for award-winning musicals and doubled as a concert venue for many leading musicians and performers.
The Nederlander would receive its first big hit in 1923 when Walter Hampden revived the Rostand classic Cyrano de Bergerac. The show would last for 232 performances and lay the groundwork for a number of classical plays and revivals that would bring the theatre great success in the coming years. Herman Shumlin would create another modern classic in 1930 with his drama Grand Hotel, based on a play by Vicki Baum. The show, which was one of the first productions to use a revolving stage, left audiences enthralled by the set design and ran for an impressive 459 performances. The Nederlander would go on to host such memorable productions as Macbeth, Julius Caesar, King Lear, and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf. However, the theatre is probably best known for the unprecedented success of the musical Rent, which would run for 12 years, last for more than 5,000 performances and become the longest-running production at the performance hall. The show won several Tony awards, including Best Musical, Best Original Score and Best Actor.
The Nederlander Theatre has been beautifully restored and updated with modern amenities by the Nederlander Organization, and its storied history and landmark productions have given it a special place in the hearts of theatre buffs all over the country.
Nederlander Theatre Ticket Information:
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