Stephen Sondheim Theatre: Henry Miller’s to be renamed

Longtime collaborators James Lapine and John Weidman announced the renaming of Henry Miller’s Theatre to the Stephen Sondheim Theatre.

The renaming of the theatre is dedicated to Stephen Sondheim, "the greatest and best known artist in American musical theatre on his 80th birthday." The announcement was made at Roundabout Theatre Company’s gala performance on 22 Mar 2010 of the new Broadway musical Sondheim on Sondheim.

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. The Musical Production Fund was established in 2003 by Roundabout’s Board of Directors to sustain this important art form and insure that Roundabout can continue its mission to produce musical revivals as well as developing new musicals by both established and emerging composers. At their request, the amount of the contribution to the Musical Production Fund will not be disclosed.

Stephen Sondheim is widely acknowledged as the most innovative, most influential, and most important composer and lyricist in modern Broadway history. He is the winner of an Academy Award, numerous Tony Awards, multiple Grammy Awards and a Pulitzer Prize. Some of his other accolades include a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Kennedy Center Honors (1993), the National Medal of Arts (1996), the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Gold Medal for Music (2006) and a special Tony Awardâfor Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre (2008).

Roundabout Theatre Company' Artistic Director Todd Haimes said, “Stephen Sondheim is, quite simply, an artistic genius. Perhaps no writer of musical theatre has had a greater influence on his chosen art form. We are so proud that Roundabout has had the privilege of being a theatrical home to some of Steve’s greatest works, including 'Company,' 'Follies,' 'Assassins,' 'Pacific Overtures,' 'Sunday in the Park with George' and the concert performance of 'A Little Night Music.' It’s thrilling to see one of the greatest artists of our time be able to join the other legendary theatre artists who have had Broadway theatres named after them, like Ethel Barrymore, David Belasco, Edwin Booth, George Broadhurst, George Gershwin, Alfred Lunt & Lynn Fontanne, Richard Rodgers, Helen Hayes, Eugene O’Neill, Neil Simon and August Wilson.”

John Weidman said,“Steve Sondheim has been, without question, the pre-eminent artist working in the musical theatre for the last fifty years. The appropriateness of naming a theatre after him is self-evident. The hope in naming a theatre after him is that it will become a home for artists whose work aspires to the heady level of daring, honesty and rigor which has always characterized Steve’s. It’s been my experience that billing has never mattered much to Steve, but it’s nice to know there is now one Broadway house where his name will always appear above the title.”

The Durst Organization and Bank of America completed construction and restoration of the Henry Miller’s Theatre on West 43rd Street in Times Square in May 2009. Henry Miller’s Theatre is the first new Broadway theatre built in over a decade. The Theatre sits behind the preserved and restored neo-Georgian façade of the original 1918 theatre.