Why is the Glenn Korff Estate Bringing Broadway Shows to Nebraska?

Whenever we read about small towns enjoying the perks of big city living, we can't help but feel that residents of the big city are being duped.

Take going to a Broadway show, for example. The poor sap who makes the trek into New York is now paying, on average, $100 a ticket. Throw in parking, tolls, and meals, and suddenly your little night on the town has blown a giant hole in your checking account.

Now take the recent news out of Lincoln, Nebraska about the Lied Center for Performing Arts. The theater received a $4 million gift from the estate of Glenn Korff to help bring top Broadway shows to Nebraska. That's right, Nebraskans get to enjoy top-flight Broadway entertainment without having to cram into the J train in 100-degree August heat or 20-degree February cold (take your pick).

The gift establishes the Glenn Korff Broadway Endowment at the University of Nebraska Foundation to enhance the Lied Center's Broadway programming, visiting artists program, commissioned theater projects and more.

Korff passed away on Aug. 27, 2013, but his estate has been on a kind of hot streak as of late. A year ago, it announced an $8 million gift to the university for the Glenn Korff School of Music at the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts. The gift created a permanently endowed fund at the Nebraska University Foundation to provide annual support for students, faculty, and programs.

Who, exactly, was Glenn Korff? In short, he was a Hebron, Nebraska native who attended the University of Nebraska and, upon graduation, joined the United States Army Reserve and graduated from the Wharton School of Finance. As his biography notes, his passion for performing arts began on campus as a member of Kosmet Klub, a male musical and comedy ensemble, for which he served as a set designer.

He made his money in the financial sector, working for Salomon Brothers, Goldman Sachs, and Korff Holdings. He spent a good deal of his professional life in New York City, so we're guessing that's where his idea of importing Broadway shows to the Midwest first took root.

No word yet regarding whether his estate will import an authentic Lower East Side bagel shop to downtown Omaha.

Meanwhile, for related Midwest theater news, click here for our take on the Kansas City Repertory Theatre's recent fundraising success.