Broadway (theater)

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Under the Broadway [ bɹɑːdweɪ ] in New York City means the theater district in Midtown Manhattan at Times Square between the 41st and 53rd Street and between the Sixth and Ninth Avenue . There are 41 large theaters in this area . A “large” theater can accommodate 500 or more spectators, most Broadway theaters have well over a thousand seats. Theaters in the “Theater District” of Manhattan and the rest of the city with fewer than 500 seats are now referred to as Off-Broadway or Off-Off-Broadway theaters . Broadway theaters typically do not have a repertoire system, but only show one musical or one play , and this several times a day. The playing time of these pieces is usually not fixed (exception: so-called "strictly limited runs"), but depends on the assessment by critics and the audience. Broadway is also known as "The Great White Way" because of the lavish lighting in the street and square.


Empire theater

The first theater to move from the previous theater district in Herald Square to Times Square was the Empire Theater. The impresario Charles Frohman , who died in the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915 , had the building built in 1893 with around 1000 seats. It was directly opposite the Metropolitan Opera House, which opened in 1883 , at its old location between 39th and 40th Streets.

Theatrical Syndicate

With Frohman a new era began in many ways. Not only did he own six in New York in 1915, five in London, and over 200 theaters across the United States, but he also changed the nature of the theater business. Together with other businessmen, he founded the Theatrical Syndicate in 1896 . While actors previously designed their tours through the USA according to their own ideas, theater managers, producers and actors have now been able to plan their dates safely in advance. This allowed Frohman and the other theater owners to cast a play with actors according to their own ideas. The result was a system that was later referred to in film as the star system .

Theaters founded

Lyceum, the oldest operating theater on Broadway

Broadway saw a large number of new theaters between 1910 and 1930. The oldest continuously operating theater from this period is the Lyceum , which opened on November 2, 1903 . It was initially called the New Lyceum Theater as the original Lyceum Theater from 1885 on 45th Street and Broadway was demolished for the new building. It was also the first Broadway theater to have electric lighting throughout, installed by Thomas Alva Edison .

Crisis and New Deal

The Great Depression in the 1930s and the rise of talkies brought Broadway into a serious crisis and required a reorientation of the theater. As part of the so-called New Deal , between 1935 and 1939 there was financial aid of over 46 million dollars to finance more than a thousand productions.

The creation of the Tony Awards in 1947 reflected the desire of Broadway theaters to improve the quality of their plays. In the 1940s, new off-Broadway theaters in Greenwich Village began to appear to appeal to new audiences.

Off-Broadway, Off-Off-Broadway

In addition to Broadway theaters, there are around 1,500 off-Broadway and off-off-Broadway performances each year . Originally, the division of Broadway into Off- and Off-Off-Broadway was to be taken literally: Broadway theaters were located directly on the "Great White Way", off-Broadway stages were a little apart, and completely outside the "theater district" it's off-off Broadway theater. The further the distance from Broadway, the cheaper the theaters were to rent. Off-Broadway productions, for example, often served as a test run for new pieces that were transferred to Broadway if they were successful (such as Hair or A Chorus Line ) . This division of the venues has changed since then: A New York theater is today - even if it is a little away from Broadway - a Broadway theater if it has more than 500 seats; with a capacity of between 100 and 500 spectators, one speaks of an off-Broadway theater, including an off-off-Broadway theater.

Theatrical death, departure

Broadway theater died out in the 1980s, but urban development, austerity, and the signing of big names overcame the crisis. In 1988 the New York Landmarks Preservation Commission decided to give most of the historic theaters the status of "Historic Sites".

Broadway's stage industry, traditionally the country's most important and top-selling industry, has always been a primary resource and test track for film material for the Hollywood film industry. Countless Hollywood scripts are adaptations of successful Broadway stage plays.

The personal ties between Broadway and Hollywood are also considerable. Despite the wide differences in the profile of these two professions, many film actors began their careers as stage actors on Broadway, including Groucho Marx , Charlton Heston , Robert Redford , Orson Welles , Katharine Hepburn , Burt Lancaster , James Dean , Marlon Brando , Gene Hackman and Grace Kelly . Others first became known in Hollywood and then occasionally tried their hand at Broadway, such as Elizabeth Taylor and Angela Lansbury .

Successful musicals on Broadway

Great Broadway successes (selection):

Theater building and current productions

Note: If a theater is currently not showing a play, the next scheduled play is indicated and the date is marked with an asterisk (*) If the next planned piece has not yet been officially announced, the relevant fields will be left blank. The number of available seats refers to the corresponding information in the Internet Broadway Database .

theatre address Places Owner / operator Current piece Type opening graduation
Al Hirschfeld Theater W. 45th St. (No. 302) 1424 Jujamcyn Theater Moulin Rouge musical July 25, 2019 open
Ambassador Theater W. 49th St. (No. 219) 1125 Shubert Organization Chicago musical 1996-11-14November 14, 1996 open
American Airlines Theater W. 42nd St. (No. 227) 740 Roundabout Theater Company The Rose Tattoo play October 15, 2019 * December 8, 2019
August Wilson Theater W. 52nd St. (No. 245) 1228 Jujamcyn Theater Mean girls musical 2018-04-08April 8, 2018 open
Belasco Theater W. 44th St. (No. 111) 1018 Shubert Organization Girl From the North Country musical March 5, 2020 * open
Bernard B. Jacobs Theater W. 45th St. (No. 242) 1078 Shubert Organization Betrayal Play September 5, 2019 * December 8, 2019
Booth Theater W. 45th St. (No. 222) 766 Shubert Organization Freestyle Love Supreme musical October 2, 2019 * 5th January 2020
Broadhurst Theater W. 44th St. (No. 235) 1186 Shubert Organization Jagged Little Pill musical December 5, 2019 * open
Broadway Theater W. 53rd St & Broadway (No. 1681) 1761 Shubert Organization King Kong musical November 8, 2018 18th August 2019
Brooks Atkinson Theater W. 47th St. (No. 256) 1094 Nederlander Organization Waitress musical 2016-04-24April 24, 2016 5th January 2020
Circle in the Square Theater W. 50th St. (No. 235) 840 independently Oklahoma! musical April 7, 2019 19th January 2020
Cort Theater W. 48th St. (No. 138) 1084 Shubert Organization Derren Brown: Secret Play September 15, 2019 * 4th January 2020
Ethel Barrymore Theater W. 47th St. (No. 243) 1096 Shubert Organization The inheritance Play November 17, 2019 * open
Eugene O'Neill Theater W. 49th St. (No. 230) 1066 Jujamcyn Theater The Book of Mormon musical 2011-03-24March 24, 2011 open
Gerald Schoenfeld Theater W. 45th St. (No. 236) 1079 Shubert Organization Come from away musical 2017-03-12March 12, 2017 open
Gershwin Theater W. 51st St. (No. 222) 1933 Nederlander Organization Wicked musical 2003-10-30October 30, 2003 open
Helen Hayes Theater W. 44th St. (No. 240) 597 Second stage theater What the Constitution Means To Me Play March 31, 2019 August 24, 2019
Hudson Theater W. 44th St. (No. 141) 975 Ambassador Theater Group Sea Wall / A Life Play August 8, 2019 * 29th September 2019
Imperial Theater W. 45th St. (No. 249) 1443 Shubert Organization Ain't too proud musical March 21, 2019 open
John Golden Theater W. 45th St. (No. 252) 805 Shubert Organization Slave play Play October 6, 2019 * 5th January 2020
Longacre Theater W. 48th St. (No. 220) 1091 Shubert Organization The Prom musical 15th November 2018 11th August 2019
Lunt-Fontanne Theater W. 46th St. (No. 205) 1519 Nederlander Organization Manilow Broadway concert 26th July 2019 17th August 2019
Lyceum Theater W. 45th St. (No. 149) 922 Shubert Organization Be more chill musical March 10, 2019 11th August 2019
Lyric Theater W. 43rd St. (No. 214) 1622 Ambassador Theater Group Harry Potter and the Cursed Child play 2018-04-22April 22, 2018 * open
Majestic Theater W. 44th St. (No. 245) 1645 Shubert Organization The Phantom of the Opera musical 1988-01-26January 26, 1988 open
Marquis Theater W. 46th St. (No. 210) 1612 Nederlander Organization Tootsie musical April 23, 2019 open
Minskoff Theater W. 45th St. (No. 200) 1710 Nederlander Organization The Lion King musical 1997-11-13November 13, 1997 open
Music Box Theater W. 45th St. (No. 239) 1009 Shubert Organization Dear Evan Hansen musical 2016-12-044th December 2016 open
Nederlander Theater W. 41st St. (No. 208) 1235 Nederlander Organization Pretty Woman : The Musical musical 2018-08-16August 16, 2018 * 18th August 2019
Neil Simon Theater W. 52nd St. (No. 250) 1467 Nederlander Organization The Cher Show musical 3rd December 2018 18th August 2019
New Amsterdam Theater W. 42nd St. (No. 214) 1747 Disney Theatrical Group Aladdin musical 2014-03-20March 20, 2014 open
Palace Theater W. 47th St. & Broadway (No. 1564) 1743 Nederlander Organization
Richard Rodgers Theater W. 46th St. (No. 226) 1400 Nederlander Organization Hamilton musical 2015-08-06August 6, 2015 open
St. James Theater W. 44th St. (No. 246) 1709 Jujamcyn Theater Frozen musical 2018-03-22March 22, 2018 open
Samuel J. Friedman Theater W. 47th St. (No. 261) 650 Manhattan Theater Club The Height of the Storm play September 24, 2019 * open
Shubert Theater W. 44th St. (No. 225) 1460 Shubert Organization To kill a mockingbird play December 13, 2018 open
Stephen Sondheim Theater W. 43rd St. (No. 124) 1055 Roundabout Theater Company Beautiful: The Carole King Musical musical 2014-01-12January 12, 2014 October 27, 2019
Studio 54 W. 54th St. (No. 254) 1006 Roundabout Theater Company The sound inside play October 17, 2019 * open
Vivian Beaumont Theater W. 65th St. (No. 150) 1080 Lincoln Center Theater The Great Society play September 6, 2019 * November 30, 2019
Walter Kerr Theater W. 48th St. (No. 219) 945 Jujamcyn Theater Hadestown musical 17th April 2019 open
Winter Garden Theater W. 50th St. & Broadway (No. 1634) 1526 Shubert Organization Beetlejuice musical April 25, 2019 open

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Long Runs on Broadway, accessed December 21, 2012
  2. Lyceum Theater at IBDB (Internet Broadway Database) archive
  3. Venues at the IBDb In:, accessed August 26, 2011.
  4. Clement, Olivia. " Mean Girls Sets Broadway Dates and Theater", September 6, 2017
  5. Clement, Olivia. " Pretty Woman Musical Finds Its Broadway Home, Sets Summer 2018 Opening", November 21, 2017
  6. McPhee, Ryan. " Frozen Musical Sets Date for Official Broadway Opening", August 23, 2017

Coordinates: 40 ° 45 ′ 21 ″  N , 73 ° 59 ′ 11 ″  W.