Audra McDonald reacts to Broadway theater renamed for Lena Horne


Some of Audra McDonald’s hopes and desires to diversify the Terrific White Way are coming correct.

The 6-time Tony Award winner, a co-founder of the Black Theatre United, is celebrating the announcement of the latest Broadway theater to be named immediately after a Black artist.

Late final week, the Nederlander Organization uncovered plans that the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, on W. 47th St., will be renamed to honor the late amusement pioneer Lena Horne.

Now named just after the late Pulitzer Prize-winning theater critic and home to the strike musical “Six,” it’s the initial time a Black female will have a Broadway theater named in her honor.

“I am overjoyed that the Nederlander Corporation is honoring Lena Horne’s effective legacy by renaming a theater in her honor,” McDonald explained in a assertion. “Representation is every little thing. A Black woman being identified and memorialized in this way is highly effective.”

The “Lady Working day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill” star also said that the location “will affirm that Black ladies and women are viewed we are listened to, we belong and when we stand in her theater we will stand even taller on her mighty shoulders and her enduring legacy.”

After its development on the heels of the George Floyd murder, the Black Theatre United, a New York City-primarily based nonprofit advocacy business, outlined a historic “New Deal For Broadway” – a thorough marketplace-wide arrangement with the theater community’s predominately white management relating to fairness, diversity, inclusion, accessibility and belonging criteria.

One of the resolutions and reforms that came out of a five-month lengthy summit with labor unions chiefs, theater owners, directors, casting brokers and producers were for every single of the 3 important theater homeowners — Shubert, Nederlander and Jujamcyn — to rename a person of the 41 New York City theaters they have just after a Black Broadway luminary.

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Jujamcyn formerly named the previous Virginia Theatre to the August Wilson Theatre on W. 52nd St. right after the late playwright.

In March, the Shubert Corporation declared that the 110-calendar year-old Cort Theatre on W. 48th St. will be renamed after performing titan James Earl Jones.

James L. Nederlander of The Nederlander Business stated that Horne “became a part of our family members around the years” and that it was his “privilege, honor, and obligation to memorialize [her] for generations to appear.”

Recognized for films these types of as “Stormy Weather,” “Cabin in the Sky” and “The Wiz,” Horne, who died in 2010 at age 92, was a trailblazing singer, dancer, actor and civil legal rights activist. For her 1981 Broadway revue, “Lena Horne: The Woman and Her New music,” the Brooklyn indigenous was the recipient of a Unique Tony Award and two Grammy Awards.

Nederlander’s father was one of the direct producers of the critically acclaimed display, which played at the Nederlander Theatre for a year-extended run.

“Lena Horne was a woman of fierce talent, unbelievable power, and profound conviction,” McDonald added. “With the utmost grace, she broke down boundaries. Beyond her indelible perform on stage and display screen, she was a civil rights activist who proceeds to inspire numerous of us now.”

The Nederlander Group said it will host an party this drop for the renaming ceremony. An official day is forthcoming.


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