March 2-13, 2022
18 W Monroe St, Chicago, IL 60603
Capacity – 1800
Theatre buffs know that the Chicago Theatre or the Hollywood Theatre is among the best in the country. But are you aware of the story behind the name? Does it have anything to do with historical facts? Or maybe it’s just one of those cute nick names for the theatre in Chicago. But whatever your thinking, you definitely should learn more about the name Broadway in Chicago.
The James M. Nederlander Theatre was founded at 24 West Randolph Street in Chicago’s Loop neighborhood. The venue first opened in 1926 as an exclusive movie palace and vaudeville showroom. It was designed by Louis Sullivan as a grand hall where prominent dignitaries and movie Moguls entertained delegates from around the world. Today, the venue hosts musicals, corporate parties, dinner shows, holiday parties, and family concerts. The present-day Nederlander Theatre features two full floor levels with over 200 seats, and is the oldest remaining brick-and-mortar performing arts theatre in Chicago.
The beauty of Broadway in Chicago is its convenient location, which is conveniently situated just minutes away from the financial district of the city. When it comes to booking tickets for musicals or cibc theatre shows in Chicago, the Theatre Booking Agency is your best choice. This agency guarantees you a spot for musicals, new plays, classic plays, off-Broadway shows and more. They also provide a wide range of event services including corporate entertainment, corporate events and pre-show parties.
The history of Broadway in Chicago dates back to at least 1869. Back then, it was a modest performing arts theatre known simply as “The Adler House.” It later became the home of the nederlander organization. The nederlander organization had been instrumental in the founding of the first “Broadway theatre” in the US, and the Adler house became the model for many other such theatres across the country.
The success of Broadway in Chicago owes much to the rise and contribution of three important members of the nederlander organization. John Richard of Broadway in Chicago and his brother Melvirius are the founders of the present day nederlander Theatre Corporation. The company later became known as Theatre B in Chicago, and Melvirius soon left the organization and formed the Independent Theatre Company.
During the early years of the theatre business in Chicago, the nederlander organization was responsible for financing and owning the Chicago comfy-musical-theatre, the Holy Grail in downtown Chicago. The Holy Grail closed down in 1980. But Melvirius and John Richard remained in the business, with John Richard assuming sole ownership of the theatre after the latter left to take care of his own family. As time went by, the theatre was able to expand its offerings to include more lucrative genres such as adult and children’s plays and musicals. When the recession hit the economy in 2021, attendance at Broadway shows dropped considerably. But since the nederlander organization kept most of its funding in the form of salaries and performance fees, the troupe’s financial situation hardly suffered.
Today, thanks to its association with the famous John Richard and Melvirius, Broadway in Chicago is well-known and well-attended. In fact, the Theatre Trust has announced that the musical “Dear Mr. Russell” will be the first show to receive a full five-figure financing from the Trust in over forty years. This play revolves around a man who gets fired from his job because of an embarrassing public speech in which he impersonated a black man. A notable playwright involved with the production, Alex Seller, won rave reviews for a scene in which the character professed a love for whites only.
When compared to other theatres across the US, Chicago is actually quite unique when it comes to theatre. For example, most theaters have strict rules on musicals and on how they are presented. However, because of the artistic bent of some playwrights and for the sheer number of creative and talented artists that live here, the theatre community welcomes new shows with open arms and provides them with all the support they need to succeed. Thus, if you have an artistically-inclined friend or relative in Chicago, don’t miss out on the chance to add their name to the ever-growing legacy of the Broadway in Chicago.
Ultimate Guide to Broadway Musicals