Founded by David T. Nederlander, the Nederlander Organization began in 1912 with the purchase of a 99-year lease on the old Detroit Opera House. Now into their third generation of theatre development, ownership, management and production, the Nederlander Organization is one of the largest, most experienced operators of live theatre.
Generally credited with creating the outdoor amphitheatre concept as it is known today, the Nederlanders developed a unique ability to maintain a variety booking approach that responded to varied community interests.
Under the guidance of its Chairman, James M. Nederlander and its President, James L. Nederlander, these policies have included a significant effort to produce and present cultural attractions such as the Bolshoi Ballet, The Moiseyev Ballet, The D’oyly-Carte Opera, The Georgian State Dance Company, Ballet Folklorico, The Peking Opera and local symphonies.
The popular music attractions presented by Nederlander have included virtually every star from Frank Sinatra and Barbra Streisand and to pop stars such as Billy Joel, Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt, Paul Simon, Celine Dion, Neil Diamond, Barry Manilow, U2 and many more. Amongst the many outdoor amphitheatres and arenas currently operated by Nederlander, are the 5,900-seat Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, the Santa Barbara Bowl, the City National Grove of Anaheim, the RIMAC Arena in San Diego, and the San Jose Civic Auditorium.
The legitimate theatres owned and/or operated by Nederlander presenting dramatic plays, comedies, musicals and dance include in New York on Broadway: the Brooks Atkinson, Lunt- Fontanne, Gershwin, Marquis, Minskoff, Nederlander, Palace, Richard Rodgers and Neil Simon Theatres; Detroit: the Fisher and Masonic Temple Theatres; Los Angeles: the Pantages and Wilshire Theatres; in Chicago: the Shubert, Ford Center/Oriental, Auditorium and Cadillac Palace-LaSalle Bank Theatres; San Diego: The Broadway Series at the Civic Theatre; Tucson: TCC Music Hall; Charleston, SC: North Charleston PAC; Anaheim: The Grove; and in London, England: the Aldwych, Adelphi and Dominion Theatres.
In addition to producing and/or booking major musicals such as The Times They are A-Changin’, Movin’ Out, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, The Woman in White, Harvey Fierstein in Fiddler on the Roof, Hairspray, Wicked, Rent, Copenhagen, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Riverdance, Chicago, Will Rogers Follies, Sunset Boulevard, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King and Aida in the legitimate theatres, the Nederlanders have also produced, co-produced or participated in a very substantial number of shows over the years which include the Broadway productions with the Houston Grand Opera Company of Porgy and Bess and Hello Dolly; the Royal Shakespeare Company productions of Les Liaisons Dangereuses, The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, Sherlock Holmes, Cyrano de Bergerac and Much Ado About Nothing; as well as Me and My Girl, Annie, La Cage aux Folles, Death and the Maiden, Shadowlands, Benefactors, Noises Off, Applause, Seesaw, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Treemonisha, Habeas Corpus, Otherwise Engaged, Betrayal, Woman of the Year, Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music; The Dresser, Nine, Merlin, Night and Day, My Fat Friend, Stepping Out, Legs Diamond and Breaking the Code.
They have also been involved as investors and/or co-producers in the following productions, revivals and touring companies: The Color Purple, Sweet Charity, Sugar Babies, Grand Hotel, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar, Stop the World, I Want to Get Off, Oklahoma, Strange Interlude, The Red Shoes, Aren’t We All?, Singin’ in the Rain, Orpheus Descending, Peter Pan, The Music Man (including the 2000 production), Hello Dolly starring Carol Channing, The King and I starring Yul Brenner/Lou Diamond Phillips, Annie Get Your Gun, My Fair Lady starring Rex Harrison, I Do! I Do!, The Sound of Music, South Pacific starring Jane Powell and Howard Keel, Barnum starring Jim Dale, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Sophisticated Ladies, Dancin’, Showboat, Camelot starring Richard Burton/Richard Harris, Fiddler on the Roof, Man of La Mancha starring Richard Kiley, On A Clear Day, Whose Life is it Anyway?, Sweeney Todd, West Side Story, Flamenco Puro, Starlight Express and Can Can!
The Nederlander Organisation is celebrating its 100th Anniversary this year.