Geffen renames main stage

Venue founder Gil Cates receives honor at fundraiser

The Geffen Playhouse has honored one of its own.

Westwood venue has renamed its main stage the Gil Cates Theater at the Geffen Playhouse. Announcement was made Monday night at the Backstage at the Geffen annual fund-raiser.

Cates founded the Geffen in 1994 and is the producing director. He has helmed several productions there and is set to stage the world premiere production “Nightmare Alley,” which will open at the Geffen April 21.

“It is largely due to Gil that this theater has become one of the most respected regional theaters in the country and the board wanted to recognize that,” said Chairman of the Board Frank Mancuso. “Too often our friends and leaders are recognized on the heels of their retirement, but we wanted to make the decision to honor Gil now when he would be able to walk through the lobby and enjoy this for years to come.”

Cates has produced 14 Oscar kudocasts and is a former president of the Directors Guild of America.

Monday’s Backstage at the Geffen event paid tribute to Warner Bros. chairman-CEO Barry Meyer and Tony Award-winning actress Kristin Chenoweth.