In the past, this classification was to be taken literally and therefore easy to understand: The Broadway theaters were located in the theater district of the same name in New York City. The off-Broadway stages were a bit out of the way, and just outside the theater district there were the off-off Broadway theaters. Off-Broadway theaters were cheaper to rent because of their distance from Broadway, and plays that had proven their worth here were often relocated to a Broadway stage after a short period of time. Famous examples of this approach are the musicals Hair (Off-Broadway premiere on October 17, 1967, Broadway premiere on April 29, 1968) and A Chorus Line (Off-Broadway on April 16, Broadway on July 25, 1975) .
In the meantime, both the arrangement of the venues and the attitude towards the plays shown there have changed a little: A theater today - even if it is a bit away from Broadway - is considered a Broadway theater if it has more than 500 seats, with a capacity between With an audience of 100 and 500, one speaks of an off-Broadway theater, including an off-off-Broadway theater.
In the last few decades there has been an increasing trend towards conceiving plays for smaller theaters from the outset. Off-Broadway musicals today are generally no longer large productions that end up in small theaters because of the uncertain chances of success, but small, lively pieces that represent a clear contrast to the lavish Broadway shows. For example, in 1982, when the pathetic, well-composed works in the style of Les Misérables were on the rise on Broadway, the off-Broadway musical Little Shop of Horrors , which has now become a cult piece, came out.
In the German-speaking world, the American terminology has suggested the terms off-theater and off-off-theater .
Off Broadway musicals
- The Fantasticks , dt. The Roman Ticker (1960)
- Hair (1967, Broadway 1968)
- Godspell (1971, Broadway 1976)
- A Chorus Line (1975, Broadway that same year)
- Little Shop of Horrors , dt. Little Shop of Horrors (1982)
- Lucky Stiff (1988)
- Avenue X (1994)
- I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change (1996)
- Hedwig and the Angry Inch (1998)
- Urinetown , German pee town (2001, Broadway in the same year)
- Avenue Q (2003, Broadway that same year)
- The Last Five Years " The Last Five Years " (2002)
- Next to Normal (2008, Broadway 2009)
- Hamilton (2015, Broadway that same year)