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VIDEO: Broadway Comes Out to Celebrate the Newly Dedicated James Earl Jones Theatre

Jones has appeared in fourteen Broadway productions at Shubert theatres, including two at the newly renamed Cort Theatre.

Earlier this week, the Cort Theatre was officially renamed the James Earl Jones Theatre in honor of the iconic multi-award-winning American actor! Go inside the ceremony, which included special guests Brian Stokes Mitchell, Norm Lewis, Samuel L. Jackson, Phylicia Rashad, Danielle Brooks, cast members from the Tony-winning Best Musical, A Strange Loop and more!

With the help of Francesca Russo Architect, over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, Shubert has performed extensive renovation and construction work on the theatre. A new contemporary annex, designed by Kostow Greenwood Architects, expands accessibility, increases public space, adds dressing rooms and rehearsal space, and enhances the beauty of the 110-year-old theatre.

In the summer of 2020, in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, The Shubert Organization embarked on a mission to rename the Cort Theatre after a prominent BIPOC theatre legend upon completion of construction.

The Cort Theatre opened in 1912, designed in the style of an Eighteenth-Century French palace by renowned theatre architect Thomas Lamb to house productions of theatre impresario John Cort. The building was sold to the Shubert brothers in 1927.

The Theatre has undergone historic refurbishments to the interior and rehabilitation of the NYC historic landmark's façade, as well as the creation of a new, modern annex to compliment the historic theatre. The new space, designed by Kostow Greenwood Architects, is fully accessible and features lounges and new restrooms for theatre patrons, as well as a rehearsal spaces and offices for theatre staff. The dressing room tower has also been relocated to the annex, allowing for the expansion of the stage-left wing and an upgrade of the rigging system. These renovations have created an enhanced theatre functionality that allows for the presentation of more modern, technically demanding productions with larger casts.

Jones's Broadway career began in 1957, and in 1958 he played his first role at the Cort Theatre in Sunrise at Campobello. Over the following six-and-a-half decades Mr. Jones rose to star in countless stage and screen productions (including 21 Broadway shows), becoming one of a small number of lifetime "EGOT" (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony) winners. Jones's Tony Awards include Best Actor in a Play for The Great White Hope (1969) and Fences (1987), as well as a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017. He has additionally won seven Drama Desk Awards and has been awarded the National Medal of Arts and the Kennedy Center Honor.

Jones has appeared in fourteen Broadway productions at Shubert theatres, including two at the Cort Theatre. Most recently he starred opposite Cicely Tyson in the 2015 Broadway revival of Donald L. Coburn's The Gin Game at the Golden Theatre.

Watch below as Broadway comes out to celebrate the momentous occassion and watch performances of "Go the Distance" and "Make Them Hear You" from Norm Lewis and Brian Stokes Mitchell!


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