Friday, April 19, 2024

Broadway: James Earl Jones Becomes Only Living Performer to Have Theater Named For Him


Luke Skywalker, I am your theater!

The great actor James Earl Jones is getting an amazing honor. The Shubert Organization is renaming  the Cort Theater on West 48th St. the James Earl Jones Theater.

The Tony winning actor will be the only living performer with his name on a Broadway house. He will also be the second Black person to have one, after late playwright August Wilson’s theater on West 52nd St.

Jones, who turned 91 in January. has appeared in fourteen Broadway productions at Shubert theatres, including two at the Cort Theatre. Most recently Mr. Jones portrayed Weller Martin across from Cicely Tyson’s Fonsia Dorsey in the 2015 Broadway revival of Donald L. Coburn’s The Gin Game at Shubert’s John Golden Theatre.

The actor has two Tony Awards, an Emmy award, and a Lifetime Achievement Academy Award. He has received a Kennedy Center honor. JEJ deserves all the accolades he can receive, and this one may be the sweetest of all.

Bravo to the Shubert Organization. Plus, the Cort is a little gem on West 48th St., home to a long history of great productions.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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