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Broadway's Cort Theatre to Be Renamed for James Earl Jones

The venue is currently receiving a full renovation.

James Earl Jones during the curtain call of You Can't Take It With You
(© David Gordon)

Broadway's Cort Theatre will be renamed after trailblazing stage and screen actor James Earl Jones when the building reopens for productions following a series of ongoing renovations.

Jones's Broadway career began in 1957 and he played his first role at the Cort in 1958's Sunrise at Campobello, later reappearing on that stage in the 2005 revival of On Golden Pond. Over the course of his 64-year theater career, he earned Tony Awards for The Great White Hope and Fences, in addition to a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017. He has played 14 shows in Shubert-owned venues like the Cort, including The Gin Game, Driving Miss Daisy, You Can't Take It With You, and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

"For me standing in this very building sixty-four years ago at the start of my Broadway career, it would have been inconceivable that my name would be on the building today," Jones said in a statement. "Let my journey from then to now be an inspiration for all aspiring actors."

The Shubert organization announced a full-scale renovation of the Cort Theatre a year ago today, which includes enhanced seating and additional restrooms and concession spaces for patrons, new dressing rooms, wardrobe facilities, and rehearsal spaces for artists, and enhanced stage functionality to allow for more technically demanding productions. The work is planned for completion this summer.

The Shuberts acquired the Cort in 1927 after it opened in 1912. A formal dedication in Jones's honor will take place in the future.

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