Two-time Tony winner and TV veteran (notably as avuncular barkeep Holling on CBS’ Northern Exposure) John Cullum will soon have an off-Broadway house in the Theater District named in his honor. Producers The Araca Group and James Jennings, a.d. of the American Theatre for Actors on W. 54th Street, said that on October 16, the Chernuchin Theatre, one of the theaters housed in the ATA complex, will be re-named for Cullum. The theater was the original home of the satiracal hit Urinetown: The Musical, a co-production of The Araca Group and the Dodgers, in which Cullum was featured as the dastardly Caldwell B. Cladwell and for which he received a Tony Award nomination for Best Actor in a Musical.
The renaming ceremony will follow a performance of Urinetown produced by Fracture Theatre Company, a participant in The Araca Project. Fracture was founded by four recent Syracuse University graduates; the Urinetown revival is their first production.
The Araca Group (Matthew Rego, Michael Rego and Hank Unger) issued a statement saying “When we told John that we wanted to name the theater for him, he asked us if we were sure, and to please think about it over the weekend. On Monday, we were still sure. There is no one more deserving of this unique honor than the brilliantly talented and inexplicably modest John Cullum.”
Cullum’s remarkable Broadway career spans more than five decades, from Camelot to Casa Valentina. An inductee into the Broadway Hall of Fame, he received Tony and Drama Desk Awards for On The Twentieth Century and Shenandoah, and nominations for Sin, 110 In The Shade, Urinetown and On A Clear Day You Can See Forever. He also had major roles in The Scottsboro Boys, Cymbeline, August: Osage County and Boys In Autumn.
Cullum’s films include Betty Page and All The Way Home. TV includes Mad Men, Law & Order: SVU and ER along with the long-running ’90s series Northern Exposure.