The Oct. 17 renaming will be a bittersweet milestone: It will be the first time a Broadway theatre is named for an African-American, but Wilson's future in that theatre is limited. The 60-year-old writer announced recently that he is battling unstoppable liver cancer that has left him with a diagnosis of months to live. Wilson is the Pulitzer Prize winning playwright of such plays as Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Two Trains Running, Fences and The Piano Lesson.
The Virginia, on West 52nd Street, was renamed in 1981 for Virgina Binger, the wife of former Jujamcyn president James Binger. It was built in 1925.
The musical Jersey Boys is the fall tenant there and will be running when the fresh marquee is installed. The Times reported the marquee will offer Wilson's signature in neon.
Landesman also disclosed to the paper that he will produce Wilson's latest play, Radio Golf, on Broadway in 2006-07. It is the final installment in Wilson's ambitious cycle chronicling the African-American experience in the 20th century.