Theater News

Lena Horne Theatre Unveiling Set for November 1

The home of ”Six” will become the first Broadway venue named for a Black woman.

Lena Horne
Lena Horne
(courtesy of the Nederlander Organization)

The Nederlander Organization will officially rename the Brooks Atkinson Theatre as the Lena Horne Theatre on Tuesday, November 1. A formal celebration, with performances, remarks, the unveiling of the new marquee, and a block party, will take place that day at 256 West 47th Street.

The Lena Horne Theatre (home to the Tony-nominated musical Six) is the first Broadway venue named for a Black woman. Built in 1926 and originally named the Mansfield Theatre, it was renamed for critic Atkinson in 1960.

Horne, who passed away at the age of 92 in 2010, had a groundbreaking career that spanned film, television, and stage. She earned a 1958 Tony nomination for her performance in Jamaica, and received a Special Tony Award (as well as two Grammy Awards) in 1981 for her musical revue Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music, which was produced by the Nederlander family. Horne was also extremely involved in the Civil Rights Movement, refusing to perform for segregated audiences during her time with the USO, and working in association with the NAACP, S.N.C.C., and the National Council of Negro Women. She additionally worked with Eleanor Roosevelt in an effort to pass anti-lynching laws.