The Book of Mormon. Kinky Boots. Jersey Boys. These Broadway shows share more than just blockbuster status. They also share the same visionary theater owner — Jordan Roth. As president of Jujamcyn Theaters, Roth overseas five Broadway theaters, among them the esteemed Eugene O’Neill Theatre, the Al Hirschfeld Theatre and the August Wilson Theatre, which are currently featuring these mega-hits. Roth also produced the Tony Award-winning Clybourne Park, and his first show was the successful The Donkey Show, uniquely staged in New York City nightclubs.
The Broadway world is fiercely competitive, but Jordan has set himself apart by championing innovation and developing shows that push the boundaries of Broadway. When it was announced in that Roth would be leading Jujamcyn, The New York Times heralded him as “A New Force on Broadway.” Roth is also the youngest force on Broadway. Born in 1975, Roth is breathing new life into a New York theater scene that has long been dominated by an older generation.
A key sign of this is Roth’s recent leap into social media. In September, Roth launched Culturalist, which bills itself as “the social network where the culture conversation is happening.” Users are invited to share their Top 10 lists but, with Roth at the helm, these are far from generic, with creative themes like Best TV Women I Want to Be Friends With, Best Board Games of All Time and Best Gay Covers of The New Yorker.
Roth also regularly hits the media circuit — you can see him on MSNBC’s Morning Joe as the Broadway Correspondent and at the 92nd Street Y, where he hosts Broadway Talks, which has included such huge-name guests as Bono and the Edge, Daniel Radcliffe and Nathan Lane. Roth also created Givenik.com, a service that allows theatergoers to buy discounted tickets and give 5 percent of the price to the charity of their choice. What city would grace Jordan Roth’s Top 10 list? New York City, of course. As Roth says, in New York City, “there is magic everywhere — you just have to look for it.” Roth takes to the streets to show us how — and also reveals his favorite place to sit in the theater. Watch the video — the answer may surprise you.
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