Broadway theatre,[nb 1] commonly known as Broadway, refers to the theatrical performances presented in the 41 professional theatres each with 500 or more seats located in the Theater District and Lincoln Center along Broadway, in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. Along with London's West End theatre, Broadway theatre is widely considered to represent the highest level of commercial theatre in the English-speaking world.
The Theater District is a popular tourist attraction in New York City. According to The Broadway League, for the 2017–2018 season (which ended May 27, 2018) total attendance was 13,792,614 and Broadway shows had US$1,697,458,795 in grosses, with attendance up 3.9%, grosses up 17.1%, and playing weeks up 2.8%.
The majority of Broadway shows are musicals. Historian Martin Shefter argues that "'Broadway musicals', culminating in the productions of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, became enormously influential forms of American popular culture" and contributed to making New York City the cultural capital of the Western Hemisphere.
New York did not have a significant theatre presence until about 1750, when actor-managers Walter Murray and Thomas Kean established a resident theatre company at the Theatre on Nassau Street, which held about 280 people. They presented Shakespeare plays and ballad operas such as The Beggar's Opera. In 1752, William Hallam sent a company of twelve actors from Britain to the colonies with his brother Lewis as their manager. They established a theatre in Williamsburg, Virginia and opened with The Merchant of Venice and The Anatomist. The company moved to New York in the summer of 1753, performing ballad operas and ballad-farces like Damon and Phillida. The Revolutionary War suspended theatre in New York, but thereafter theatre resumed in 1798, the year the 2,000-seat Park Theatre was built on Chatham Street (now called Park Row). The Bowery Theatre opened in 1826, followed by others.
By the 1840s, P.T. Barnum was operating an entertainment complex in Lower Manhattan. In 1829, at Broadway and Prince Street, Niblo's Garden opened and soon became one of New York's premiere nightspots. The 3,000-seat theatre presented all sorts of musical and non-musical entertainments. In 1844, Palmo's Opera House opened and presented opera for only four seasons before bankruptcy led to its rebranding as a venue for plays under the name Burton's Theatre. The Astor Opera House opened in 1847. A riot broke out in 1849 when the lower-class patrons of the Bowery objected to what they perceived as snobbery by the upper class audiences at Astor Place: "After the Astor Place Riot of 1849, entertainment in New York City was divided along class lines: opera was chiefly for the upper middle and upper classes, minstrel shows and melodramas for the middle class, variety shows in concert saloons for men of the working class and the slumming middle class."
The plays of William Shakespeare were frequently performed on the Broadway stage during the period, most notably by American actor Edwin Booth who was internationally known for his performance as Hamlet. Booth played the role for a famous 100 consecutive performances at the Winter Garden Theatre in 1865 (with the run ending just a few months before Booth's brother John Wilkes Booth assassinated Abraham Lincoln), and would later revive the role at his own Booth's Theatre (which was managed for a time by his brother Junius Brutus Booth, Jr.). Other renowned Shakespeareans who appeared in New York in this era were Henry Irving, Tommaso Salvini, Fanny Davenport, and Charles Fechter.
Theatre in New York moved from downtown gradually to midtown beginning around 1850, seeking less expensive real estate. In the beginning of the 19th century, the area that now comprises the Theater District was owned by a handful of families and comprised a few farms. In 1836, Mayor Cornelius Lawrence opened 42nd Street and invited Manhattanites to "enjoy the pure clean air." Close to 60 years later, theatrical entrepreneur Oscar Hammerstein I built the iconic Victoria Theater on West 42nd Street.
Broadway's first "long-run" musical was a 50-performance hit called The Elves in 1857. In 1870, the heart of Broadway was in Union Square, and by the end of the century, many theatres were near Madison Square. Theatres did not arrive in the Times Square area until the early 1900s, and the Broadway theatres did not consolidate there until a large number of theatres were built around the square in the 1920s and 1930s. New York runs continued to lag far behind those in London, but Laura Keene's "musical burletta" The Seven Sisters (1860) shattered previous New York records with a run of 253 performances. It was at a performance by Keene's troupe of Our American Cousin in Washington, D.C. that Abraham Lincoln was shot.
The first theatre piece that conforms to the modern conception of a musical, adding dance and original music that helped to tell the story, is considered to be The Black Crook, which premiered in New York on September 12, 1866. The production was five-and-a-half hours long, but despite its length, it ran for a record-breaking 474 performances. The same year, The Black Domino/Between You, Me and the Post was the first show to call itself a "musical comedy".
Tony Pastor opened the first vaudeville theatre one block east of Union Square in 1881, where Lillian Russell performed. Comedians Edward Harrigan and Tony Hart produced and starred in musicals on Broadway between 1878 (The Mulligan Guard Picnic) and 1890, with book and lyrics by Harrigan and music by his father-in-law David Braham. These musical comedies featured characters and situations taken from the everyday life of New York's lower classes and represented a significant step forward from vaudeville and burlesque, towards a more literate form. They starred high quality singers (Lillian Russell, Vivienne Segal, and Fay Templeton), instead of the women of questionable repute who had starred in earlier musical forms.
As transportation improved, poverty in New York diminished, and street lighting made for safer travel at night, the number of potential patrons for the growing number of theatres increased enormously. Plays could run longer and still draw in the audiences, leading to better profits and improved production values. As in England, during the latter half of the century, the theatre began to be cleaned up, with less prostitution hindering the attendance of the theatre by women. Gilbert and Sullivan's family-friendly comic opera hits, beginning with H.M.S. Pinafore in 1878, were imported to New York (by the authors and also in numerous unlicensed productions). They were imitated in New York by American productions such as Reginald Dekoven's Robin Hood (1891) and John Philip Sousa's El Capitan (1896), along with operas, ballets and other British and European hits.
Charles H. Hoyt's A Trip to Chinatown (1891) became Broadway's long-run champion, holding the stage for 657 performances. This would not be surpassed until Irene in 1919. In 1896, theatre owners Marc Klaw and A. L. Erlanger formed the Theatrical Syndicate, which controlled almost every legitimate theatre in the US. for the next sixteen years. However, smaller vaudeville and variety houses proliferated, and Off-Broadway was well established by the end of the 19th century.
A Trip to Coontown (1898) was the first musical comedy entirely produced and performed by African Americans in a Broadway theatre (largely inspired by the routines of the minstrel shows), followed by the ragtime-tinged Clorindy: The Origin of the Cakewalk (1898), and the highly successful In Dahomey (1902). Hundreds of musical comedies were staged on Broadway in the 1890s and early 1900s made up of songs written in New York's Tin Pan Alley involving composers such as Gus Edwards, John Walter Bratton, and George M. Cohan (Little Johnny Jones (1904), 45 Minutes From Broadway (1906), and George Washington Jr. (1906)). Still, New York runs continued to be relatively short, with a few exceptions, compared with London runs, until World War I. A few very successful British musicals continued to achieve great success in New York, including Florodora in 1900–01.
In the early years of the 20th century, translations of popular late-19th century continental operettas were joined by the "Princess Theatre" shows of the 1910s by writers such as P. G. Wodehouse, Guy Bolton, and Harry B. Smith. Victor Herbert, whose work included some intimate musical plays with modern settings as well as his string of famous operettas (The Fortune Teller (1898), Babes in Toyland (1903), Mlle. Modiste (1905), The Red Mill (1906), and Naughty Marietta (1910)).
Beginning with The Red Mill, Broadway shows installed electric signs outside the theatres. Since colored bulbs burned out too quickly, white lights were used, and Broadway was nicknamed "The Great White Way". In August 1919, the Actors' Equity Association demanded a standard contract for all professional productions. After a strike shut down all the theatres, the producers were forced to agree. By the 1920s, the Shubert Brothers had risen to take over the majority of the theatres from the Erlanger syndicate.
During this time, the play Lightnin', by Winchell Smith and Frank Bacon, became the first Broadway show to reach 700 performances. From then, it would go on to become the first show to reach 1,000 performances. Lightnin' was the longest-running Broadway show until being overtaken in performance totals by Abie's Irish Rose in 1925.
The motion picture mounted a challenge to the stage. At first, films were silent and presented only limited competition. By the end of the 1920s, films like The Jazz Singer were presented with synchronized sound, and critics wondered if the cinema would replace live theatre altogether. While live vaudeville could not compete with these inexpensive films that featured vaudeville stars and major comedians of the day, other theatre survived. The musicals of the Roaring Twenties, borrowing from vaudeville, music hall and other light entertainments, tended to ignore plot in favor of emphasizing star actors and actresses, big dance routines, and popular songs. Florenz Ziegfeld produced annual spectacular song-and-dance revues on Broadway featuring extravagant sets and elaborate costumes, but there was little to tie the various numbers together. Typical of the 1920s were lighthearted productions such as Sally; Lady Be Good; Sunny; No, No, Nanette; Harlem; Oh, Kay!; and Funny Face. Their books may have been forgettable, but they produced enduring standards from George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Jerome Kern, Vincent Youmans, and Rodgers and Hart, among others, and Noël Coward, Sigmund Romberg, and Rudolf Friml continued in the vein of Victor Herbert. Clearly, the live theatre survived the invention of cinema.
Leaving these comparatively frivolous entertainments behind and taking the drama a step forward, Show Boat premiered on December 27, 1927, at the Ziegfeld Theatre. It represented a complete integration of book and score, with dramatic themes, as told through the music, dialogue, setting and movement, woven together more seamlessly than in previous musicals. It ran for 572 performances.
The 1920s also spawned a new age of American playwright with the emergence of Eugene O'Neill, whose plays Beyond the Horizon, Anna Christie, The Hairy Ape, Strange Interlude and Mourning Becomes Electra proved that there was an audience for serious drama on Broadway, and O'Neill's success paved the way for major dramatists like Elmer Rice, Maxwell Anderson, Robert E. Sherwood, Tennessee Williams, and Arthur Miller, as well as writers of comedy like George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart. Classical revivals also proved popular with Broadway theatre-goers, notably John Barrymore in Hamlet and Richard III, John Gielgud in Hamlet, The Importance of Being Earnest and Much Ado About Nothing, Walter Hampden and José Ferrer in Cyrano de Bergerac, Paul Robeson and Ferrer in Othello, Maurice Evans in Richard II and the plays of George Bernard Shaw, and Katharine Cornell in such plays as Romeo and Juliet, Antony and Cleopatra, and Candida.
As World War II approached, a dozen Broadway dramas addressed the rise of Nazism in Europe and the issue of American non-intervention. The most successful was Lillian Hellman's Watch on the Rhine, which opened in April 1941.
After the lean years of the Great Depression, Broadway theatre had entered a golden age with the blockbuster hit Oklahoma!, in 1943, which ran for 2,212 performances. According to John Kenrick writing of Broadway musicals, "Every season saw new stage musicals send songs to the top of the charts. Public demand, a booming economy and abundant creative talent kept Broadway hopping. To this day, the shows of the 1950s form the core of the musical theatre repertory." Kenrick notes that "the late 1960s marked a time of cultural upheaval. The changes would prove painful for many—including those behind the scenes, as well as those in the audience." Of the 1970s, Kenrick writes: "Just when it seemed that traditional book musicals were back in style, the decade ended with critics and audiences giving mixed signals."
Ken Bloom observed that "The 1960s and 1970s saw a worsening of the area [Times Square] and a drop in the number of legitimate shows produced on Broadway." By way of comparison, in the 1950 to 1951 season (May to May) 94 productions opened on Broadway; in the 1969 to 1970 season (June to May) there were 59 productions (fifteen were revivals). In the twenties, there were 70–80 theaters but by 1969 there were 36 left.
In the spring of 1982, Joe Papp, the theatrical producer and director who established The Public Theater, led the "Save the Theatres" campaign. It was a not-for-profit group supported by the Actors Equity union, to save the theater buildings in the neighborhood from demolition by monied Manhattan development interests. Papp provided resources, recruited a publicist and celebrated actors, and provided audio, lighting, and technical crews for the effort.
At Papp's behest, in July 1982, a bill was introduced in the 97th Congress, entitled "H.R.6885, A bill to designate the Broadway/Times Square Theatre District in the City of New York as a national historic site". The legislation would have provided certain US government resources and assistance to help the city preserve the district. Faced with strong opposition and lobbying by Mayor Ed Koch's Administration and corporate Manhattan development interests, the bill was not passed. The Save the Theatres campaign then turned their efforts to supporting establishment of the Theater District as a registered historic district. In December 1983, Save the Theatres prepared "The Broadway Theater District, a Preservation Development and Management Plan", and demanded that each theater in the district receive landmark designation. Mayor Ed Koch ultimately reacted by creating a Theater Advisory Council, which included Papp.
Although there are some exceptions, generally shows with open-ended runs have evening performances Tuesday through Saturday with a 7:00 p.m. or 8:00 p.m. "curtain". The afternoon "matinée" performances are at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays and at 3:00 p.m. on Sundays. This makes for an eight-performance week. On this schedule, most shows do not play on Monday and the shows and theatres are said to be "dark" on that day. The actors and the crew in these shows tend to regard Sunday evening through Monday evening as their weekend. The Tony award presentation ceremony is usually held on a Sunday evening in June to fit this schedule.
In recent years, some shows have moved their Tuesday show time an hour earlier to 7:00 pm. The rationale for this move was that since fewer tourists take in shows midweek, Tuesday attendance depends more on local patrons. The earlier curtain makes it possible for suburban patrons to get home by a reasonable hour after the show. Some shows, especially those produced by Disney, change their performance schedules fairly frequently depending on the season. This is done in order to maximize access to their target audience.
Most Broadway producers and theatre owners are members of The Broadway League (formerly "The League of American Theatres and Producers"), a trade organization that promotes Broadway theatre as a whole, negotiates contracts with the various theatrical unions and agreements with the guilds, and co-administers the Tony Awards with the American Theatre Wing, a service organization. While the League and the theatrical unions are sometimes at loggerheads during those periods when new contracts are being negotiated, they also cooperate on many projects and events designed to promote professional theatre in New York.
Of the four non-profit theatre companies with Broadway theatres, three (Lincoln Center Theater, Manhattan Theatre Club, and Roundabout Theatre Company) belong to the League of Resident Theatres and have contracts with the theatrical unions which are negotiated separately from the other Broadway theatre and producers. (Disney also negotiates apart from the League, as did Livent before it closed down its operations.) Second Stage Theatre is the non-profit owner of the Helen Hayes Theatre but is not a member of the League of Resident Theatres. However, generally, shows that play in any of the Broadway houses are eligible for Tony Awards (see below).
The majority of Broadway theatres are owned or managed by three organizations: the Shubert Organization, a for-profit arm of the non-profit Shubert Foundation, which owns seventeen theatres; the Nederlander Organization, which controls nine theatres; and Jujamcyn, which owns five Broadway houses.
Both musicals and stage plays on Broadway often rely on casting well-known performers in leading roles to draw larger audiences or bring in new audience members to the theatre. Actors from movies and television are frequently cast for the revivals of Broadway shows or are used to replace actors leaving a cast. There are still, however, performers who are primarily stage actors, spending most of their time "on the boards", and appearing in television and in screen roles only secondarily. As Patrick Healy of The New York Times noted:
Broadway once had many homegrown stars who committed to working on a show for a year, as Nathan Lane has for The Addams Family. In 2010, some theater heavyweights like Mr. Lane were not even nominated; instead, several Tony Awards were given for productions that were always intended to be short-timers on Broadway, given that many of their film-star performers had to move on to other commitments.
According to Mark Shenton, "One of the biggest changes to the commercial theatrical landscape—on both sides of the Atlantic—over the past decade or so is that sightings of big star names turning out to do plays has gone up; but the runs they are prepared to commit to has gone down. Time was that a producer would require a minimum commitment from his star of six months, and perhaps a year; now, the 14-week run is the norm."
The minimum size of the Broadway orchestra is governed by an agreement with the musicians union (Local 802, American Federation of Musicians) and The Broadway League. For example, the agreement specifies the minimum size of the orchestra at the Minskoff Theatre to be 18, at the Music Box Theatre to be 9.
Most Broadway shows are commercial productions intended to make a profit for the producers and investors ("backers" or "angels"), and therefore have open-ended runs (duration that the production plays), meaning that the length of their presentation is not set beforehand, but depends on critical response, word of mouth, and the effectiveness of the show's advertising, all of which determine ticket sales. Investing in a commercial production carries a varied degree of financial risk. Shows do not necessarily have to make a profit immediately. If they are making their "nut" (weekly operating expenses), or are losing money at a rate which the producers consider acceptable, they may continue to run in the expectation that, eventually, they will pay back their initial costs and become profitable. In some borderline situations, producers may ask that royalties be temporarily reduced or waived, or even that performers—with the permission of their unions—take reduced salaries, in order to prevent a show from closing. Theatre owners, who are not generally profit participants in most productions, may waive or reduce rents, or even lend a show money in order to keep it running.
Some Broadway shows are produced by non-commercial organizations as part of a regular subscription season—Lincoln Center Theatre, Roundabout Theatre Company, Manhattan Theatre Club, and Second Stage Theater are the four non-profit theatre companies that currently have permanent Broadway venues. Some other productions are produced on Broadway with "limited engagement runs" for a number of reasons, including financial issues, prior engagements of the performers or temporary availability of a theatre between the end of one production and the beginning of another. However, some shows with planned limited engagement runs may, after critical acclaim or box office success, extend their engagements or convert to open-ended runs. This was the case with 2007's August: Osage County, 2009's God of Carnage, and 2012's Newsies.
Historically, musicals on Broadway tend to have longer runs than "straight" (i.e. non-musical) plays. On January 9, 2006, The Phantom of the Opera at the Majestic Theatre became the longest running Broadway musical, with 7,486 performances, overtaking Cats.
Attending a Broadway show is a common tourist activity in New York. The TKTS booths sell same-day tickets (and in certain cases next-day matinee tickets) for many Broadway and Off-Broadway shows at a discount of 20 to 50%. The TKTS booths are located in Times Square, in Lower Manhattan, and at Lincoln Center. This service is run by Theatre Development Fund. Many Broadway theatres also offer special student rates, same-day "rush" or "lottery" tickets, or standing-room tickets to help ensure that their theatres are as full, and their grosses as high as possible. According to The Broadway League, total Broadway attendance was 13.79 million in 2017–2018 compared to 13.27 million in 2016–2017. The Broadway League also reports that approximately 66% of all Broadway tickets were purchased by tourists in the 2012–2013 season, an increase of three percent from the 2011–2012 season. By way of comparison, London's West End theatre reported total attendance of 14.3 million for major commercial and grant-aided theatres in central London for 2009.
The classification of theatres is governed by language in Actors' Equity Association contracts. To be eligible for a Tony, a production must be in a house with 500 seats or more and in the Theater District, which criteria define Broadway theatre. Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway shows often provide a more experimental, challenging and intimate performance than is possible in the larger Broadway theatres. Some Broadway shows, however, such as the musicals Hair, Little Shop of Horrors, Spring Awakening, Next to Normal, Rent, Avenue Q, In the Heights, Fun Home, Dear Evan Hansen, and Hamilton, began their runs Off-Broadway and later transferred to Broadway, seeking to replicate their intimate experience in a larger theatre.
After, or even during, successful runs in Broadway theatres, producers often remount their productions with new casts and crew for the Broadway national tour, which travels to theatres in major cities across the country. Sometimes when a show closes on Broadway, the entire production, with most if not all of the original cast intact, is relaunched as a touring company, hence the name "Broadway national tour". Some shows may even have several touring companies out at a time, whether the show is still running in New York or not, with many companies "sitting down" in other major cities for their own extended runs. Smaller cities may attract national touring companies, but for shorter periods of time. Or they may even be serviced by "bus and truck" tours. These are scaled-down versions of the larger, national touring productions, historically acquiring their name because the casts generally traveled by bus instead of by air, while the sets and equipment traveled by truck. Tours of this type, which frequently feature a reduced physical production to accommodate smaller venues and tighter schedules, often run for weeks rather than months. Some will even play "split weeks", which are half a week in one town and the second half in another. On occasion, they will also play "one-nighters". The production values, while generally still good, are usually less lavish than the typical Broadway national tour or national touring production and the actors, while still members of the actor's union, are compensated under a different, less lucrative, union contract. The Touring Broadway Awards, presented by The Broadway League, honored excellence in touring Broadway.
Broadway productions and artists are honored by the annual Antoinette Perry Awards (commonly called the "Tony Awards", or "Tony") which are given by the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League, and which were first presented in 1947. The Tony is Broadway's most prestigious award, comparable to the Academy Awards for Hollywood film productions. Their importance has increased since 1967 when the awards presentation show began to be broadcast on national television. In a strategy to improve the television ratings, celebrities are often chosen to host the show, some with scant connection to the theatre. The most recent Tony Awards ceremony was held on June 10, 2018. Other awards given to Broadway productions include the Drama Desk Award, presented since 1955, the New York Drama Critics' Circle Awards, first given in 1936, and the Outer Critics Circle Award, initially presented in 1950.
|Al Hirschfeld Theatre||W. 45th St. (No. 302)||1424||Jujamcyn Theaters||Kinky Boots||Musical||April 4, 2013||April 7, 2019*|
|Ambassador Theatre||W. 49th St. (No. 219)||1125||Shubert Organization||Chicago||Musical||November 14, 1996||Open-ended|
|American Airlines Theatre||W. 42nd St. (No. 227)||740||Roundabout Theatre Company||True West||Play||January 24, 2019||March 17, 2019*|
|August Wilson Theatre||W. 52nd St. (No. 245)||1228||Jujamcyn Theaters||Mean Girls||Musical||April 8, 2018||Open-ended|
|Belasco Theatre||W. 44th St. (No. 111)||1018||Shubert Organization||Network||Play||December 6, 2018||April 28, 2019|
|Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre||W. 45th St. (No. 242)||1078||Shubert Organization||The Ferryman||Play||October 21, 2018||July 7, 2019|
|Booth Theatre||W. 45th St. (No. 222)||766||Shubert Organization||Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus||Play||April 11, 2019*||August 4, 2019|
|Broadhurst Theatre||W. 44th St. (No. 235)||1186||Shubert Organization||Anastasia||Musical||April 24, 2017||March 31, 2019|
|Broadway Theatre||W. 53rd St & Broadway (No. 1681)||1761||Shubert Organization||King Kong||Musical||November 8, 2018||Open-ended|
|Brooks Atkinson Theatre||W. 47th St. (No. 256)||1094||Nederlander Organization||Waitress||Musical||April 24, 2016||Open-ended|
|Circle in the Square Theatre||W. 50th St. (No. 235)||840||Independent||Oklahoma!||Musical||April 7, 2019*||September 1, 2019|
|Cort Theatre||W. 48th St. (No. 138)||1084||Shubert Organization||King Lear||Play||April 4, 2019*||July 7, 2019|
|Ethel Barrymore Theatre||W. 47th St. (No. 243)||1096||Shubert Organization||The Band's Visit||Musical||November 9, 2017||April 7, 2019|
|Eugene O'Neill Theatre||W. 49th St. (No. 230)||1066||Jujamcyn Theaters||The Book of Mormon||Musical||March 24, 2011||Open-ended|
|Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre||W. 45th St. (No. 236)||1079||Shubert Organization||Come from Away||Musical||March 12, 2017||Open-ended|
|Gershwin Theatre||W. 51st St. (No. 222)||1933||Nederlander Organization||Wicked||Musical||October 30, 2003||Open-ended|
|Hayes Theater||W. 44th St. (No. 240)||597||Second Stage Theater||What the Constitution Means to Me||Play||March 31, 2019*||June 9, 2019|
|Hudson Theatre||W. 44th St. (No. 141)||975||Ambassador Theatre Group||Burn This||Play||April 16, 2019*||July 7, 2019|
|Imperial Theatre||W. 45th St. (No. 249)||1443||Shubert Organization||Ain't Too Proud||Musical||March 21, 2019*||Open-ended|
|John Golden Theatre||W. 45th St. (No. 252)||805||Shubert Organization||Hillary and Clinton||Play||April 18, 2019*||July 21, 2019|
|Longacre Theatre||W. 48th St. (No. 220)||1091||Shubert Organization||The Prom||Musical||November 15, 2018||Open-ended|
|Lunt-Fontanne Theatre||W. 46th St. (No. 205)||1519||Nederlander Organization|
|Lyceum Theatre||W. 45th St. (No. 149)||922||Shubert Organization||Be More Chill||Musical||March 10, 2019*||Open-ended|
|Lyric Theatre||W. 43rd St. (No. 214)||1622||Ambassador Theatre Group||Harry Potter and the Cursed Child||Play||April 22, 2018||Open-ended|
|Majestic Theatre||W. 44th St. (No. 245)||1645||Shubert Organization||The Phantom of the Opera||Musical||January 26, 1988||Open-ended|
|Marquis Theatre||W. 46th St. (No. 210)||1612||Nederlander Organization||Tootsie||Musical||April 23, 2019*||Open-ended|
|Minskoff Theatre||W. 45th St. (No. 200)||1710||Nederlander Organization||The Lion King||Musical||November 13, 1997||Open-ended|
|Music Box Theatre||W. 45th St. (No. 239)||1009||Shubert Organization||Dear Evan Hansen||Musical||December 4, 2016||Open-ended|
|Nederlander Theatre||W. 41st St. (No. 208)||1235||Nederlander Organization||Pretty Woman: The Musical||Musical||August 16, 2018||Open-ended|
|Neil Simon Theatre||W. 52nd St. (No. 250)||1467||Nederlander Organization||The Cher Show||Musical||December 3, 2018||Open-ended|
|New Amsterdam Theatre||W. 42nd St. (No. 214)||1747||Disney Theatrical Group||Aladdin||Musical||March 20, 2014||Open-ended|
|Palace Theatre||W. 47th St. & Broadway (No. 1564)||1743||Nederlander Organization|
|Richard Rodgers Theatre||W. 46th St. (No. 226)||1400||Nederlander Organization||Hamilton||Musical||August 6, 2015||Open-ended|
|St. James Theatre||W. 44th St. (No. 246)||1709||Jujamcyn Theaters||Frozen||Musical||March 22, 2018||Open-ended|
|Samuel J. Friedman Theatre||W. 47th St. (No. 261)||650||Manhattan Theatre Club||Choir Boy||Play||January 8, 2019||March 10, 2019*|
|Shubert Theatre||W. 44th St. (No. 225)||1460||Shubert Organization||To Kill a Mockingbird||Play||December 13, 2018||Open-ended|
|Stephen Sondheim Theatre||W. 43rd St. (No. 124)||1055||Roundabout Theatre Company||Beautiful: The Carole King Musical||Musical||January 12, 2014||Open-ended|
|Studio 54||W. 54th St. (No. 254)||1006||Roundabout Theatre Company||Kiss Me, Kate||Musical||March 14, 2019*||June 2, 2019|
|Vivian Beaumont Theater||W. 65th St. (No. 150)||1080||Lincoln Center Theatre||My Fair Lady||Musical||April 19, 2018||Open-ended|
|Walter Kerr Theatre||W. 48th St. (No. 219)||945||Jujamcyn Theaters||Hadestown||Musical||April 17, 2019*||Open-ended|
|Winter Garden Theatre||W. 50th St. & Broadway (No. 1634)||1526||Shubert Organization||Beetlejuice||Musical||April 25, 2019*||Open-ended|
The following have been announced as future Broadway productions. The theatre in which they will run may not yet be known, or, if known, may be currently occupied by another show.
The Broadway Theatre (formerly known as the Lewisham Theatre) is a theatre on Rushey Green, Catford, in the London Borough of Lewisham. A grade II listed building, the theatre was built in 1932 and is an example of Art Deco design. The architects were Bradshaw Gass & Hope; the slightly Gothic features were intended to relate to the adjacent Gothic Revival Town Hall which has since been demolished.It has two auditoriums, an 800-seat main theatre and a small 80-seat studio theatre. Its programme consists of a diverse mix of theatre and music, including stand up comedy, nostalgia shows, pantomime, drama and children's theatre. The Broadway Theatre is particularly noted for presenting a wide range of black theatre. Since a refurbishment in 2001, it has also presented a regular programme of films and it is home to the Lewisham Youth Theatre. The Broadway theatre is owned by the London Borough of Lewisham, and is run by its Theatre Manager Carmel O'Connor.Broadway Theatre (41st Street)
The Broadway Theatre near 41st Street was a Manhattan theatre in operation from 1888 to 1929. It was located at 1445 Broadway.Broadway Theatre (53rd Street)
The Broadway Theatre (formerly Universal's Colony Theatre, B.S. Moss' Broadway Theatre, Earl Carroll's Broadway Theatre, and Ciné Roma) is a Broadway theatre located in midtown Manhattan. It has a large seating capacity of 1,761, and unlike most Broadway theaters, it is actually located on Broadway, at number 1681.
Designed by architect Eugene De Rosa for Benjamin S. Moss, it opened as B.S. Moss's Colony Theatre on Christmas Day 1924 as a venue for vaudeville shows and motion pictures. The theater has operated under many names and owners. It was renamed Universal's Colony Theatre, B.S. Moss' Broadway Theatre, and Earl Carroll's Broadway Theatre before becoming a legitimate theater house simply called Broadway Theatre on December 8, 1930. In 1937, known as Ciné Roma, it showed Italian films. For a short time during the 1950s it showed Cinerama films.On November 18, 1928 the first Mickey Mouse cartoon released to the public, Steamboat Willie, debuted at the Colony. Producer Walt Disney returned on November 13, 1940 to debut the feature film Fantasia in Fantasound, an early stereo system.The legitimate theater opened in 1930 with The New Yorkers by Cole Porter. Stars such as Milton Berle, Alfred Drake, José Ferrer, Eartha Kitt, Vivien Leigh, Zero Mostel, and Mae West have appeared on stage.The Shubert Organization bought the theater in 1939 and renovated it extensively in 1956 and 1986. It has long been a popular theatre for producers of musicals because of large seating capacity, and the large stage, which is nearly sixty feet deep. Often plays that have become successful in smaller theaters have transferred to the Broadway Theatre.Central Theatre (New York City)
Central Theatre was a Broadway theatre in New York City built in 1918. It was located at 1567 Broadway at 47th St., southwest corner, and seated approximately 1,100 patrons. The architect was Herbert J. Krapp. The theatre was built by the Shubert family on a site previously occupied by the Mathushek & Son piano factory.The first production at the theatre was the play Forever After, by Owen Davis, which opened in 1918. This moved to Playhouse Theatre for a long run. A musical, Somebody's Sweetheart (music by Antonio Bafunno; book and lyrics by Alonzo Price), was a success at the theatre in 1919–20. Oscar Hammerstein II made his debut as librettist in January 1920 with Always You, which was followed by a successful revue by Arthur Wimperis, As You Were. In July 1920, Poor Little Ritz Girl opened, with some songs by Rodgers and Hart and others by Sigmund Romberg and Alex Gerber. Afgar was another successful musical in 1920–21. The Gingham Girl was a hit musical in 1923 with music by Albert Von Tilzer.The theatre introduced movies in 1921 and alternated the new medium with live theatre and American burlesque until 1957, although legitimate theatre was absent from 1934 to 1951. It changed its name to the Columbia Theatre in 1934, Gotham Theatre in 1944 and the Holiday Theatre in 1951. A successful revue, Bagels and Yox played in 1951. A revival of Abie's Irish Rose played in 1954. Legitimate theatre ended at the house in 1956. Under the names Odeon, then the Forum, and finally Movieland, the theatre played movies until 1988, when the Shuberts sold it. The building was converted into other uses. Its lobby became the Roxy Deli, and the auditorium became first a disco, Club USA, and, in 2005, a W Hotel.Choreography on Broadway
Chroniclers of the musical theater have been around for years, collecting pictorial surveys, librettos and scores, and recording the careers of various theatrical celebrities. Nothing in the American musical theater has been more inaccessible, however, than the record of its dance traditions, and there are many to recount.
For the most part, dance movement itself was either the last to be mentioned by critics or ignored altogether, resulting in dance numbers in musicals going unrecorded. The only way to preserve dance movements from generation to generation was by demonstration, imitation, practice, and personal supervision.
Not until 1960, with the musical Bye Bye Birdie, did the permanent notation of a show's complete choreography exist.Gershwin Theatre
The Gershwin Theatre is a Broadway theatre located at 222 West 51st Street in midtown-Manhattan in the Paramount Plaza building. The theatre is named after brothers George Gershwin, a composer, and Ira Gershwin, a lyricist. It has the largest seating capacity of any Broadway theatre with 1,933 seats, host to large musical productions. The Gershwin has been home to the blockbuster musical Wicked since 2003.Internet Broadway Database
The Internet Broadway Database (IBDB) is an online database of Broadway theatre productions and their personnel. It was conceived and created by Karen Hauser in 1996 and is operated by the Research Department of The Broadway League, a trade association for the North American commercial theatre community. The website also has a corresponding app for both the IOS and Android.This comprehensive history of Broadway provides records of productions from the beginnings of New York theatre in the 18th century up to today. Details include cast and creative lists for opening night and current day, song lists, awards and other interesting facts about every Broadway production. Other features of IBDB include an extensive archive of photos from past and present Broadway productions, headshots, links to cast recordings on iTunes or Amazon, gross and attendance information.
Its mission was to be an interactive, user-friendly, searchable database for League members, journalists, researchers, and Broadway fans.
The League recently added Broadway Touring shows to the database for ease of tracking shows that play in theatres across the country.
It is managed by Karen Hauser, Michael Abourizk, and Mark Smith of the Broadway League.Lee Remick
Lee Ann Remick (December 14, 1935 – July 2, 1991) was an American actress. She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for the 1962 film Days of Wine and Roses, and for the 1966 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for her Broadway theatre performance in Wait Until Dark.
Remick made her film debut in 1957 in A Face in the Crowd. Her other notable film roles include Anatomy of a Murder (1959), Wild River (1960), The Detective (1968), The Omen (1976), and The Europeans (1979). She won Golden Globe Awards for the 1973 TV film The Blue Knight, and for playing the title role in the 1974 miniseries Jennie: Lady Randolph Churchill. For the latter role, she also won the BAFTA TV Award for Best Actress. In April 1991, she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.Lucille Lortel Awards
The Lucille Lortel Awards recognize excellence in New York Off-Broadway theatre. The Awards are named for Lucille Lortel, an actress and theater producer, and have been awarded since 1986. They are produced by the League of Off-Broadway Theatres and Producers by special arrangement with the Lucille Lortel Foundation, with additional support from the Theatre Development Fund.Other awards for off-Broadway theatre include the Obie Award, the Drama Desk Awards, the Drama League Award, the Outer Critics Circle Awards and the Henry Hewes Design Awards presented by the American Theatre Wing.Off-Broadway
An Off-Broadway theatre is any professional venue in Manhattan in New York City with a seating capacity between 100 and 499, inclusive. These theatres are smaller than Broadway theatres, but larger than Off-Off-Broadway theatres, which seat fewer than 100.
An "Off-Broadway production" is a production of a play, musical, or revue that appears in such a venue and adheres to related trade union and other contracts. Shows that premiere Off-Broadway are sometimes subsequently produced on Broadway.Off-Off-Broadway
Off-Off-Broadway refers to theatrical productions in New York City that began as part of an anti-commercial and experimental or avant-garde movement of drama and theatre. Off-Off-Broadway theatres are smaller than Broadway and Off-Broadway theatres, and usually have fewer than 100 seats, though the term is sometimes applied to any show in the New York City area that employs union actors but is not under an Off-Broadway, Broadway, or League of Resident Theatres contract. It is also often used in connection with shows that employ non-union actors.Ron Cephas Jones
Ron Cephas Jones (born January 8, 1957) is an American actor. He is best known for his role in the drama series This Is Us (2016–2018), which earned him two consecutive Primetime Emmy Award nominations, winning one for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series in 2018. Jones has also appeared in a number of films and television series including Half Nelson (2006), Glass Chin (2014), seasons 1–2 of Mr. Robot (2015–2016), and Luke Cage (2016–2018).Shubert Alley
Shubert Alley is a narrow 300-foot (91 m) long pedestrian alley at the heart of the Broadway theater district of New York City. It splits a block, as it runs parallel to and between Eighth Avenue and Broadway, linking West 44th Street to West 45th Street. It contains approximately 6,400 square feet (590 m2) of public space.The alley has been considered the geographical center of Broadway theatre. Richard Hornby wrote in 1991 that: "In New York, the desirability of a theatre is inversely proportional to its distance from Shubert Alley."Studio recording
The term studio recording means any recording made in a studio, as opposed to a live recording, which is usually made in a concert venue or a theatre, with an audience attending the performance.The Broadway (theatre)
The Broadway is a performance venue in Barking town centre. Previously known as The Broadway Theatre, the building was previously a 'municipal hall' known as Barking Assembly Hall, forming part of Barking Town Hall.
It is now an arts centre and auditorium with a capacity of 341, designed by Tim Foster Architects. The venue is managed by an independent trust, with registered charitable status, and is aiming to improve access to arts facilities in the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham and the surrounding areas of east London.
In 1971, the renowned Canadian singer songwriter Neil Young recorded two tracks from Harvest, his best selling and most famous album, at the Broadway when it was known as Barking Assembly Hall (but is credited as Barking Town Hall on the album notes.) Young recorded these two tracks "A Man Needs a Maid" and "There's a World" for his Harvest album in Barking with Jack Nitzsche and the London Symphony Orchestra. in March 1971. The album was released on 1 February 1972.The Theatre Museum
The Theatre Museum (TTM) is located at 30 Worth Street in Manhattan, New York City. Its mission is to preserve, protect and perpetuate the legacy of theatre, including Broadway theatre. The Theatre Museum continues the legacy of The Broadway Theatre Institute begun in 1995 by presenting Awards for Excellence in Theatre History Preservation and Theatre Arts Education. It currently functioning as a museum-at-large and is not open to the public.Theater District, Manhattan
New York City's Theater District (sometimes spelled Theatre District, and officially zoned as the "Theater Subdistrict") is an area in Midtown Manhattan where most Broadway theaters are located, as well as many other theaters, movie theaters, restaurants, hotels, and other places of entertainment. It is bounded by West 40th Street on the south, West 54th Street on the north, Sixth Avenue on the east and Eighth Avenue on the west, and includes Times Square. The Great White Way is the name given to the section of Broadway which runs through the Theater District.
It also contains recording studios, record label offices, theatrical agencies, television studios, restaurants, Duffy Square, Shubert Alley, the Brill Building, a Ripley's Believe It or Not! Odditorium, and Madame Tussauds New York.Tony Award
The Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Broadway Theatre, more commonly known as the Tony Award, recognizes excellence in live Broadway theatre. The awards are presented by the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League at an annual ceremony in Manhattan. The awards are given for Broadway productions and performances, and an award is given for regional theatre. Several discretionary non-competitive awards are also given, including a Special Tony Award, the Tony Honors for Excellence in Theatre, and the Isabelle Stevenson Award. The awards are named after Antoinette "Tony" Perry, co-founder of the American Theatre Wing.
The rules for the Tony Awards are set forth in the official document "Rules and Regulations of The American Theatre Wing's Tony Awards", which applies for that season only. The Tony Awards are considered the highest U.S. theatre honor, the New York theatre industry's equivalent to the Academy Awards (Oscars) for film, the Emmy Awards for television, and the Grammy Awards for music. It also forms the fourth spoke in the EGOT, that is, someone who has won all four awards. The Tony Awards are also considered the equivalent of the Laurence Olivier Awards in the United Kingdom and the Molière Awards in France.
From 1997 to 2010, the Tony Awards ceremony was held at Radio City Music Hall in New York City in June and broadcast live on CBS television, except in 1999, when it was held at the Gershwin Theatre. In 2011 and 2012, the ceremony was held at the Beacon Theatre. From 2013 to 2015, the 67th, 68th, and 69th ceremonies returned to Radio City Music Hall. The 70th Tony Awards was held on June 12, 2016 at the Beacon Theatre. The 71st Tony Awards and 72nd Tony Awards were held at Radio City Music Hall in 2017 and 2018, respectively.