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. For more than fifty years, the theater held the distinction of being the southernmost theater in the theater district. When the theater has a production (, it is the only active Broadway theatre located south of 42nd Street.
HistoryEditThe commonly held history is that the theater was built by Walter C. Jordan in 1921, the theatre was originally named the National Theatre and could seat 1,200 people when it first opened. It was renamed the Billy Rose Theatre in 1959, and in 1979 was very briefly renamed the Trafalgar Theatre; it became the David T. Nederlander Theatre in 1980. It housed Times Square Church before The Nederlander Organization sold the Mark Hellinger Theatre to the church's pastor, David Wilkerson. However, there are alternate histories about the theater's origins, namely as a carpenter's shop. While not confirmed, it would mean that the Nederlander joins the Broadway and Winter Garden theatres as the only Broadway houses not originally built as such.
A wide variety of shows have played the Nederlander, including Shakespeare's Julius Caesar and King Lear, 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.
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 went underway for their new show, a revival of Guys and Dolls starring Oliver Platt and Lauren Graham. The show played only 147 performances and was a box office failure when it closed on June 14, 2009. Recently 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 extremely weak ticket sales for Brighton Beach Memoirs, the show closed on November 1, 2009 and the other planned production of Broadway Bound was canceled.
The musical Million Dollar Quartet made its Broadway debut at the theatre in spring 2010 and closed on June 12, 2011. Following MDQ, Newsies opened for a limited engagement, which was subsequently converted to an open run.
- 1939: The Little Foxes
1943: The Patriots (play)
1948: Lend an Ear
1955: Inherit the Wind
- 1957: The Square Root of Wonderful
1962: Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
1964: Conversation At Midnight
2009: Guys and Dolls
2009: Brighton Beach Memoirs/Broadway Bound (billed as "The Neil Simon Plays")
2010: Million Dollar Quartet
2012: Newsies! The Musical