Nederlanders Named 'Living Landmarks' by Landmark Conservancy Tonight
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by BWW News Desk
James M. Nederlander (Chairman) and James L. Nederlander (President) kick off the 100th anniversary of The Nederlander Organization by becoming the New York Landmark Conservancy's first father/son duo to be named "Living Landmarks," an honor that will be bestowed tonight at their annual gala at the Plaza Hotel.
On conferring this accolade, Peg Breen, NY Landmarks President, says, "It wouldn't be New York without Broadway. The Nederlanders are preserving the heart and soul of the City and providing great entertainment to boot." New York Congressmen Carolyn Maloney is commemorating this accolade with a proclamation read into the Congressional Record.
This honor reflects the entrepreneurship and social contributions made by this nationally known company that began in 1912 when D.T. Nederlander (James M. Nederlander's father) secures the lease on the Detroit Opera House. Since then, the Nederlander's have become industry leaders in theatre ownership, the production of Broadway shows, and the presentation of world-class theatrical and concert events on stages in New York, Chicago, Detroit, Durham, Los Angeles San Diego, San Jose, and elsewhere across America and in London.
In observing the company's 100th anniversary, the company is celebrating the life and career of the visionary theatrical impresario, James M. Nederlander, and saluting his son, James L. Nederlander, for his business acumen as he continues to lead the privately owned organization into the future.
"This is a year of celebration for the company," says James L. Nederlander. "My grandfather started the company in 1912 at the age of 26. During his lifetime, he built his Detroit-based operation into the most successful theatrical company in America. My father started his career in Detroit and while a young man expanded the company to New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, London and other major cities by buying and renovating theatres and presenting the best shows and renowned artists in the world. Today, our company entertains over 5 million customers annually at dozens of theatres and concert venues. As we have done for the last century, Nederlander remains committed to producing and presenting the best in live entertainment for the next 100 years."
Fittingly, Nederlanders' 100th anniversary also coincides with the opening night of Annie, a show that was originally produced by James M. Nederlander in 1977 and has since become one of the most beloved musicals in Broadway history. Annie opens tonight at the Palace Theatre, the first of 13 Broadway theatres James M. Nederlander purchased in New York since 1965.
According to Charlotte St. Martin, Executive Director of The Broadway League, "The Nederlanders' of the last 100 years is a uniquely American story of vision and determination, and a tradition of hard work that has been passed down from one generation to the next. The Nederlanders are Broadway royalty--as important to our industry as the Kennedy's are to politics and the Ford's are to automobiles. And, given the theaters Jimmy and his family have restored, the legion of artists they have supported, and the legacy of shows they have produced or presented over the last century, their contribution to our culture is as profound." The Broadway League and The Mayor's Office of Media & Entertainment, recently honored James M. Nederlander with the first Spotlight Award for his career-long dedication to supporting Broadway's cultural legacy.
To mark its centennial, the Nederlander Organization today unveiled its new corporate identity, only the second official logo in the company's history, designed by Julian Roca, Co-founder and Creative Director of Creative X's. "As a theatre owner, producer and presenter of Broadway shows or concert events, the logo will usually co-exist with other names and artwork. Therefore, it has to be simple, strong, useable across many lines of business, and adaptable in all media," explains Roca. "Given the breadth and scope of Nederlanders' business activities, the name itself has become the brand. The new corporate identity features a classic, yet timeless "N" placed center stage within a proscenium-like frame, doubled to signify how each generation builds upon the success of the one that came before. The color, Midnight Blue conveys integrity, stability and creativity. Although the company is in the business of presenting other artists, Nederlander has become a star in its own right in the galaxy of major American entertainment companies."
Nederlanders' commitment to the industry is reflected in part by its dedication to promoting the theatre to new audiences through the annual presentation of The National High School Musical Theater Awards, named the Jimmy® Award after James M. Nederlander, to celebrate outstanding student performances in high school musical productions across the United States. The program was recently the subject of a 3-hour PBS-produced documentary special entitled "Broadway or Bust," the first-ever television series to capture the behind-the-scenes coaching, grueling rehearsal schedule and highly charged atmosphere leading up to the presentation of this coveted annual award, live on a Broadway stage. Since its inception in 2009, over 50,000 students annually have participated in the NHSMTA at their local high school and nearly $500,000 in college scholarships has been provided to deserving students.
Nederlander's 100th anniversary will be celebrated throughout the 2012-2013 season at their theatres across the country with special promotions and local events. Visit www.nederlander.com to find out more information on centennial themed events and special offers.
About The Company: The Nederlander Organization is a company prominent for three generations in the ownership of theatres and the production of distinguished theatrical and concert presentations. Founded in 1912 when David T. Nederlander purchased a 99-year lease on the old Detroit Opera House, the company is one of the largest and most experienced managers of legitimate venues and entertainment properties in America today. Under the leadership of Chairman James M. Nederlander, and President James L. Nederlander, the Nederlanders have built a national network of theatres including nine Broadway venues in New York: the Brooks Atkinson, Gershwin, Lunt-Fontanne, Marquis, Minskoff, Nederlander, Palace, Richard Rodgers, and Neil Simon Theatres. Outside of New York, their venues include: The Bank of America Theatre, Ford Center/Oriental, Auditorium, Cadillac Palace and The Broadway Playhouse (Chicago, IL); The Durham Performing Arts Center (Durham, NC), The Pantages and Greek Theatres (Los Angeles, CA); The Broadway Series at the Civic and Balboa Theatres (San Diego, CA); TCC Music Hall (Tucson, AZ); North Charleston Performing Arts Center (North Charleston, SC); The Grove (Anaheim, CA); The San Jose Center for the Performing Arts (San Jose, CA); and the Aldwych, Adelphi and Dominion Theatres (London, England).
For over three decades, The Nederlanders have been prolific producers of theatrical productions with over 100 Broadway and touring productions to their credit. The company has been instrumental in presenting many of Broadway's most honored and successful shows, most notably Annie, Benefactors, Chicago, Copenhagen, La Cage aux Folles, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Legally Blonde, Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music, Me and My Girl, Movin' Out, Next to Normal, Noises Off, Peter Pan, The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, West Side Story, Whose Afraid of Virginia Woolf and many others. The company's current shows include Annie, Evita and the national tour of Jekyll and Hyde.
Beyond Broadway, Nederlander is acknowledged to be an innovator of the outdoor amphitheater concept as well as a presenter of thousands of concerts throughout the years featuring a wide array of world renown artists ranging from Adele, Jimmy Buffet, Billy Joel, Flora and the Machine, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Pink Floyd and The Police to international cultural attractions such as the Bolshoi Ballet, the Moiseyev Ballet, the D'Oyly-Carte Opera, the Georgian State Dance Company, Ballet Folklorico, and the Peking Opera, as well as national symphony concerts.
James M. and James L. Nederlander are industry leaders and generous supporters of arts organizations and social causes for which they have received countless honors.