The Playgoer: The Stephen Sondheim Theater

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Stephen Sondheim Theater

The Roundabout apparently has been raising a lot of money lately in a "naming opportunity" campaign to rebrand the new Henry Miller's Theatre that they bought and completely rebuilt as their third Broadway venue.

And the winner is...Stephen Sondheim!  It wasn't his money, though.

A small group of Stephen Sondheim devotees "initiated a generous contribution to the renaming dedication of the theatre to support Roundabout’s Musical Production Fund," according to the Roundabout, which also operates Broadway's Studio 54 and the American Airlines Theatre. At the donors' request, the amount of the contribution to the Musical Production Fund will not be disclosed.
It's fitting in that Roundabout has made something of a fetish in the past decade of Sondheim's work, becoming a veritable Sondheim rep company.  One of their current offerings is the concocted revue Sondheim on Sondheim currently playing at their...Studio 54 Theatre.

By lending Sondheim's name to the Henry Miller, maybe they're hoping to draw people to the desperate rental client there, the Dame Edna-Michael Feinstein oddity, All About Me.

FYI, no need to protest in the name of the great author Henry (Tropic of Cancer) Miller.  The Miller of the old Henry Miller's Theatre was a quite different, and now totally forgotten, chap.

Too bad they couldn't rename their "American Airlines Theatre" instead, huh?

1 comment:

alejandro morales said...

I don't know. I'm pretty happy one of the greatest writers for the musical theater got a Broadway theater named after him...especially considering how little of his influence is felt with contemporary musicals. He raised the bar and very few have risen with it.

Also I am no big Roundabout fan, but they revived three of his toughest shows--Assassins, Pacific Overtures and Sunday in the Park with George. Shows that would stand very little chance of getting a big New York production. I was very grateful to have been able to see the last two shows as they are favorites of mine.