Broadway theatre
Overview
Broadway theatre, commonly called simply Broadway, refers to theatrical performances presented in one of the 40 professional theatres
Theater (structure)
A theater or theatre is a structure where theatrical works or plays are performed or other performances such as musical concerts may be produced. While a theater is not required for performance , a theater serves to define the performance and audience spaces...

 with 500 or more seats located in the Theatre District
Theatre District, New York
The Theater District 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 extends from 40th Street to 54th Street, and from west of Sixth Avenue to east of Eighth Avenue,...

 centered along Broadway
Broadway (New York City)
Broadway is a prominent avenue in New York City, United States, which runs through the full length of the borough of Manhattan and continues northward through the Bronx borough before terminating in Westchester County, New York. It is the oldest north–south main thoroughfare in the city, dating to...

, and in Lincoln Center, in Manhattan
Manhattan
Manhattan is the oldest and the most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City. Located primarily on the island of Manhattan at the mouth of the Hudson River, the boundaries of the borough are identical to those of New York County, an original county of the state of New York...

 in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

. Along with London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

's West End theatre
West End theatre
West End theatre is a popular term for mainstream professional theatre staged in the large theatres of London's 'Theatreland', the West End. Along with New York's Broadway theatre, West End theatre is usually considered to represent the highest level of commercial theatre in the English speaking...

, Broadway theatre is widely considered to represent the highest level of commercial theatre in the English-speaking world
English-speaking world
The English-speaking world consists of those countries or regions that use the English language to one degree or another. For more information, please see:Lists:* List of countries by English-speaking population...

.

The Broadway theatre district is a popular tourist attraction in New York.
Encyclopedia
Broadway theatre, commonly called simply Broadway, refers to theatrical performances presented in one of the 40 professional theatres
Theater (structure)
A theater or theatre is a structure where theatrical works or plays are performed or other performances such as musical concerts may be produced. While a theater is not required for performance , a theater serves to define the performance and audience spaces...

 with 500 or more seats located in the Theatre District
Theatre District, New York
The Theater District 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 extends from 40th Street to 54th Street, and from west of Sixth Avenue to east of Eighth Avenue,...

 centered along Broadway
Broadway (New York City)
Broadway is a prominent avenue in New York City, United States, which runs through the full length of the borough of Manhattan and continues northward through the Bronx borough before terminating in Westchester County, New York. It is the oldest north–south main thoroughfare in the city, dating to...

, and in Lincoln Center, in Manhattan
Manhattan
Manhattan is the oldest and the most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City. Located primarily on the island of Manhattan at the mouth of the Hudson River, the boundaries of the borough are identical to those of New York County, an original county of the state of New York...

 in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

. Along with London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

's West End theatre
West End theatre
West End theatre is a popular term for mainstream professional theatre staged in the large theatres of London's 'Theatreland', the West End. Along with New York's Broadway theatre, West End theatre is usually considered to represent the highest level of commercial theatre in the English speaking...

, Broadway theatre is widely considered to represent the highest level of commercial theatre in the English-speaking world
English-speaking world
The English-speaking world consists of those countries or regions that use the English language to one degree or another. For more information, please see:Lists:* List of countries by English-speaking population...

.

The Broadway theatre district is a popular tourist attraction in New York. According to The Broadway League
The Broadway League
The Broadway League, formerly the League of American Theatres and Producers and League of New York Theatres and Producers, is the national trade association for the Broadway theatre industry...

, Broadway shows sold approximately $1.037 billion worth of tickets in calendar year 2010, compared to $1.004 billion for 2009.

18th and 19th centuries

Early theatre in New York

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
Nassau Street (Manhattan)
Nassau Street is a street in the Financial District of the New York City borough of Manhattan, located near Pace University and New York City Hall. It starts at Wall Street and runs north to Frankfort Street at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge, lying one block east of Broadway and east of Park Row...

, which held about 280 people. They presented Shakespeare plays and ballad operas such as The Beggar's Opera
The Beggar's Opera
The Beggar's Opera is a ballad opera in three acts written in 1728 by John Gay with music arranged by Johann Christoph Pepusch. It is one of the watershed plays in Augustan drama and is the only example of the once thriving genre of satirical ballad opera to remain popular today...

. 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
Williamsburg, Virginia
Williamsburg is an independent city located on the Virginia Peninsula in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area of Virginia, USA. As of the 2010 Census, the city had an estimated population of 14,068. It is bordered by James City County and York County, and is an independent city...

 and opened with The Merchant of Venice
The Merchant of Venice
The Merchant of Venice is a tragic comedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1596 and 1598. Though classified as a comedy in the First Folio and sharing certain aspects with Shakespeare's other romantic comedies, the play is perhaps most remembered for its dramatic...

 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
Park Theatre (Manhattan)
The Park Theatre, originally known as the New Theatre, was a playhouse in New York City, located at 21, 23, and 25 Park Row, about east of Ann Street and backing Theatre Alley. The location, at the north end of the city, overlooked the park that would soon house City Hall...

 was built on Chatham Street (now called Park Row
Park Row (Manhattan)
Park Row is a street located in the Financial District of the New York City borough of Manhattan. It was previously called Chatham Street and during the late 19th century it was nicknamed Newspaper Row, as most of New York City's newspapers located on the street to be close to the action at New...

). The Bowery Theatre
Bowery Theatre
The Bowery Theatre was a playhouse in the Bowery neighborhood of New York City. Although it was founded by rich families to compete with the upscale Park Theatre, the Bowery saw its most successful period under the populist, pro-American management of Thomas Hamblin in the 1830s and 1840s...

 opened in 1826, followed by others. Blackface
Blackface
Blackface is a form of theatrical makeup used in minstrel shows, and later vaudeville, in which performers create a stereotyped caricature of a black person. The practice gained popularity during the 19th century and contributed to the proliferation of stereotypes such as the "happy-go-lucky darky...

 minstrel shows, a distinctly American form of entertainment, became popular in the 1830s, and especially so with the arrival of the Virginia Minstrels
Virginia Minstrels
The Virginia Minstrels or Virginia Serenaders was a group of 19th century American entertainers known for helping to invent the entertainment form known as the minstrel show...

 in the 1840s.

By the 1840s, P.T. Barnum was operating an entertainment complex in lower Manhattan
Lower Manhattan
Lower Manhattan is the southernmost part of the island of Manhattan, the main island and center of business and government of the City of New York...

. In 1829, at Broadway and Prince Street, Niblo's Garden
Niblo's Garden
Niblo's Garden was a New York theatre on Broadway, near Prince Street. It was established in 1823 as "Columbia Garden" which in 1828 gained the name of the Sans Souci and was later the property of the coffeehouse proprietor and caterer William Niblo. The large theatre that evolved in several...

 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. The Astor Place Theatre
Astor Place Theatre
The Astor Place Theatre is an off-Broadway house located at 434 Lafayette Street in the NoHo section of Manhattan. The theater is located in the historic Colonnade Row, originally constructed in 1831 as a series of nine connected buildings, of which only four remain...

 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
William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon"...

 were frequently performed on the Broadway stage during the period, most notably by American actor Edwin Booth
Edwin Booth
Edwin Thomas Booth was a famous 19th century American actor who toured throughout America and the major capitals of Europe, performing Shakespearean plays. In 1869 he founded Booth's Theatre in New York, a spectacular theatre that was quite modern for its time...

 who was internationally known for his performance as Hamlet
Prince Hamlet
Prince Hamlet is a fictional character, the protagonist in Shakespeare's tragedy Hamlet. He is the Prince of Denmark, nephew to the usurping Claudius and son of the previous King of Denmark, Old Hamlet. Throughout the play he struggles with whether, and how, to avenge the murder of his father, and...

. Booth played the role for a famous 100 consecutive performances at the Winter Garden Theatre
Winter Garden Theatre
The Winter Garden Theatre is a Broadway theatre located at 1634 Broadway in midtown Manhattan.-History:The structure was built by William Kissam Vanderbilt in 1896 to be the American Horse Exchange....

 in 1865 (with the run ending just a few months before Booth's brother John Wilkes Booth
John Wilkes Booth
John Wilkes Booth was an American stage actor who assassinated President Abraham Lincoln at Ford's Theatre, in Washington, D.C., on April 14, 1865. Booth was a member of the prominent 19th century Booth theatrical family from Maryland and, by the 1860s, was a well-known actor...

 assassinated Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis – the American Civil War – preserving the Union, while ending slavery, and...

), and would later revive the role at his own Booth's Theatre
Booth's Theatre
Booth's Theatre was a theatre in Manhattan built by actor Edwin Booth. Located on the southeast corner of 23rd Street and Sixth Avenue, Booth's Theatre opened on February 3, 1869....

 (which was managed for a time by his brother Junius Brutus Booth, Jr.
Junius Brutus Booth, Jr.
Junius Brutus Booth, Jr. was an American actor and theatre manager.As a member of the illustrious Booth family of actors, Junius Brutus Booth, Jr. was overshadowed not only by his father Junius, Sr...

). Other renowned Shakespeareans who appeared in New York in this era were Henry Irving
Henry Irving
Sir Henry Irving , born John Henry Brodribb, was an English stage actor in the Victorian era, known as an actor-manager because he took complete responsibility for season after season at the Lyceum Theatre, establishing himself and his company as...

, Tommaso Salvini
Tommaso Salvini
Tommaso Salvini was an Italian actor. His father and mother were both actors, and Tommaso first appeared when he was barely fourteen as Pasquino in Goldoni's Donne curiose. In 1847 he joined the company of Adelaide Ristori, who was then at the beginning of her brilliant career...

, Fanny Davenport
Fanny Davenport
Fanny Lily Gipsy Davenport was an English-American stage actress. The daughter of Edward Loomis Davenport and Fanny Vining, she was born in London, England, but was brought to America when a child and educated in the Boston public schools...

, and Charles Fechter
Charles Fechter
-Biography:Fechter was born, probably in London, of French parents, although his mother was of Piedmontese and his father of German extraction.As a boy he had ambitions to be a sculptor's life but discovered his talent accidentally while appearing in some private theatricals. In 1841 he joined a...

.

Lydia Thompson
Lydia Thompson
Lydia Thompson, born Eliza Hodges Thompson , was an English dancer, actress and theatrical producer....

 came to America in 1868 heading a small theatrical troupe, adapting popular English burlesques for middle-class New York audiences. Thompson's troupe, called the "British Blondes", was the most popular entertainment in New York during the 1868–1869 theatrical season. "The eccentricities of pantomime and burlesque—with their curious combination of comedy, parody, satire, improvisation, song and dance, variety acts, cross-dressing, extravagant stage effects, risqué jokes and saucy costumes—while familiar enough to British audiences, took New York by storm." The six-month tour ran for almost six extremely profitable years.

Birth of the musical and post-Civil War

Theatre in New York moved from downtown gradually to midtown
Midtown Manhattan
Midtown Manhattan, or simply Midtown, is an area of Manhattan, New York City home to world-famous commercial zones such as Rockefeller Center, Broadway, and Times Square...

 beginning around 1850, seeking less expensive real estate prices. In 1870, the heart of Broadway was in Union Square
Union Square (New York City)
Union Square is a public square in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York.It is an important and historic intersection, located where Broadway and the former Bowery Road – now Fourth Avenue – came together in the early 19th century; its name celebrates neither the...

, and by the end of the century, many theatres were near Madison Square
Madison Square
Madison Square is formed by the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Broadway at 23rd Street in the New York City borough of Manhattan. The square was named for James Madison, fourth President of the United States and the principal author of the United States Constitution.The focus of the square is...

. Theatres did not arrive in the Times Square
Times Square
Times Square is a major commercial intersection in the borough of Manhattan in New York City, at the junction of Broadway and Seventh Avenue and stretching from West 42nd to West 47th Streets...

 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. Broadway's first "long-run" musical was a 50-performance hit called The Elves in 1857. New York runs continued to lag far behind those in London, but Laura Keene
Laura Keene
Laura Keene was a British-born American stage actress and manager. In her twenty-year career, she became known as the first powerful female manager in New York.-Early life:...

's "musical burletta" 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
Our American Cousin
Our American Cousin is an 1858 play in three acts by English playwright Tom Taylor. The play is a farce whose plot is based on the introduction of an awkward, boorish but honest American, Asa Trenchard, to his aristocratic English relatives when he goes to England to claim the family estate...

 in Washington, D.C. that Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis – the American Civil War – preserving the Union, while ending slavery, and...

 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
The Black Crook
The Black Crook is considered to be the first piece of musical theatre that conforms to the modern notion of a "book musical". The book is by Charles M. Barras , an American playwright...

, which premiered in New York on September 12, 1866. The production was a staggering 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
Vaudeville
Vaudeville was a theatrical genre of variety entertainment in the United States and Canada from the early 1880s until the early 1930s. Each performance was made up of a series of separate, unrelated acts grouped together on a common bill...

 theatre one block east of Union Square in 1881, where Lillian Russell
Lillian Russell
Lillian Russell was an American actress and singer. She became one of the most famous actresses and singers of the late 19th century and early 20th century, known for her beauty and style, as well as for her voice and stage presence.Russell was born in Iowa but raised in Chicago...

 performed. Comedians Edward Harrigan
Edward Harrigan
Edward Harrigan was an American actor, playwright, theatre manager, and composer. Harrigan and Tony Hart formed the first famous collaboration in American musical theatre.-Life and career:...

 and Tony Hart produced and starred in musicals on Broadway between 1878 (The Mulligan Guard Picnic) and 1885, 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
Lillian Russell
Lillian Russell was an American actress and singer. She became one of the most famous actresses and singers of the late 19th century and early 20th century, known for her beauty and style, as well as for her voice and stage presence.Russell was born in Iowa but raised in Chicago...

, Vivienne Segal
Vivienne Segal
Vivienne Sonia Segal was an American actress and singer.Segal was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She is best remembered for creating the role of Vera Simpson in Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart's Pal Joey and introduced the song "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered"...

, and Fay Templeton
Fay Templeton
Fay Templeton was an American stage actress.Her parents were actors/vaudevillians and she followed in their footsteps, making her Broadway debut in 1900. She continued to appear there until 1934...

), 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
Prostitution
Prostitution is the act or practice of providing sexual services to another person in return for payment. The person who receives payment for sexual services is called a prostitute and the person who receives such services is known by a multitude of terms, including a "john". Prostitution is one of...

 hindering the attendance of the theatre by women. Gilbert and Sullivan
Gilbert and Sullivan
Gilbert and Sullivan refers to the Victorian-era theatrical partnership of the librettist W. S. Gilbert and the composer Arthur Sullivan . The two men collaborated on fourteen comic operas between 1871 and 1896, of which H.M.S...

's family-friendly comic opera
Comic opera
Comic opera denotes a sung dramatic work of a light or comic nature, usually with a happy ending.Forms of comic opera first developed in late 17th-century Italy. By the 1730s, a new operatic genre, opera buffa, emerged as an alternative to opera seria...

 hits, beginning with H.M.S. Pinafore
H.M.S. Pinafore
H.M.S. Pinafore; or, The Lass That Loved a Sailor is a comic opera in two acts, with music by Arthur Sullivan and a libretto by W. S. Gilbert. It opened at the Opera Comique in London, England, on 25 May 1878 and ran for 571 performances, which was the second-longest run of any musical...

 in 1878, were imported to New York (by the authors and also in numerous pirated productions). They were imitated in New York by American productions such as Reginald Dekoven
Reginald de Koven
Henry Louis Reginald De Koven was an American music critic and prolific composer, particularly of comic operas.-Biography:...

's Robin Hood (1891) and John Philip Sousa
John Philip Sousa
John Philip Sousa was an American composer and conductor of the late Romantic era, known particularly for American military and patriotic marches. Because of his mastery of march composition, he is known as "The March King" or the "American March King" due to his British counterpart Kenneth J....

's El Capitan
El Capitan (operetta)
El Capitan is an operetta in three acts by John Philip Sousa and has a libretto by Charles Klein . The piece was Sousa's first successful operetta and his most successful stage work....

 (1896), along with operas, ballets and other British and European hits.

1890s and later

Charles Hoyt
Charles Hale Hoyt
Charles Hale Hoyt was an American dramatist.-Biography:Hoyt was born in Concord, New Hampshire. He had a difficult childhood, as his mother died when he was nine years old. He graduated at the Boston Latin School and, after being engaged in the cattle business in Colorado for a time, took up...

's A Trip to Chinatown
A Trip to Chinatown
A Trip to Chinatown is a musical comedy in three acts by Charles H. Hoyt with music by Percy Gaunt and lyrics by Hoyt, that became a silent film featuring Anna May Wong half a century later. In addition to the Gaunt and Hoyt score, many songs were interpolated into the score at one time or another...

 (1891) became Broadway's long-run champion, holding the stage for 657 performances. This would not be surpassed until Irene
Irene (musical)
Irene is a musical with a book by James Montgomery, lyrics by Joseph McCarthy, and music by Harry Tierney.Based on Montgomery's play Irene O'Dare, it is set in New York City's Upper West Side and focuses on immigrant shop assistant Irene O'Dare, who is introduced to Long Island's high society when...

 in 1919. In 1896, theatre owners Marc Klaw and A. L. Erlanger formed the Theatrical Syndicate
Theatrical Syndicate
-Beginnings:One day, early in the year 1896, six men gathered for lunch at the Holland House in New York City. These men were Charles Frohman, Al Hayman, A.L. Erlanger, Marc Klaw, Samuel F. Nirdlinger, and Frederick Zimmerman...

, which controlled almost every legitimate theatre in the U.S. for the next sixteen years. However, smaller vaudeville and variety houses proliferated, and Off-Broadway
Off-Broadway
Off-Broadway theater is a term for a professional venue in New York City with a seating capacity between 100 and 499, and for a specific production of a play, musical or revue that appears in such a venue, and which adheres to related trade union and other contracts...

 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 American
African American
African Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans within the boundaries of the present United States...

s in a Broadway theatre (largely inspired by the routines of the minstrel show
Minstrel show
The minstrel show, or minstrelsy, was an American entertainment consisting of comic skits, variety acts, dancing, and music, performed by white people in blackface or, especially after the Civil War, black people in blackface....

s), followed by the ragtime
Ragtime
Ragtime is an original musical genre which enjoyed its peak popularity between 1897 and 1918. Its main characteristic trait is its syncopated, or "ragged," rhythm. It began as dance music in the red-light districts of American cities such as St. Louis and New Orleans years before being published...

-tinged Clorindy the Origin of the Cakewalk (1898), and the highly successful In Dahomey
In Dahomey
In Dahomey was a landmark American musical comedy, in that it was "the first full-length musical written and played by blacks to be performed at a major Broadway house." It featured music by Will Marion Cook, book by Jesse A. Shipp, and lyrics by Paul Laurence Dunbar...

 (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
Tin Pan Alley
Tin Pan Alley is the name given to the collection of New York City music publishers and songwriters who dominated the popular music of the United States in the late 19th century and early 20th century...

 involving composers such as Gus Edwards
Gus Edwards (songwriter)
Gus Edwards was an American songwriter and vaudevillian. He also organised his own theatre companies and was a music publisher.-Early life:...

, John Walter Bratton
John Walter Bratton
John Walter Bratton was an American Tin Pan Alley composer and theatrical producer who became popular during the era known as the Gay Nineties-Early life:...

, and George M. Cohan
George M. Cohan
George Michael Cohan , known professionally as George M. Cohan, was a major American entertainer, playwright, composer, lyricist, actor, singer, dancer, and producer....

 (Little Johnny Jones
Little Johnny Jones
For the blues pianist, see Little Johnny Jones Little Johnny Jones is a musical by George M. Cohan. The show introduced Cohan's tunes "Give My Regards to Broadway" and "The Yankee Doodle Boy." The "Yankee Doodle" character was inspired by real-life Hall of Fame jockey Tod Sloan.-Background:The...

 (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
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

.
A few very successful British musicals continued to achieve great success in New York, including Florodora
Florodora
Florodora is an Edwardian musical comedy and became one of the first successful Broadway musicals of the 20th century. The book was written by Jimmy Davis under the pseudonym Owen Hall, the music was by Leslie Stuart with additional songs by Paul Rubens, and the lyrics were by Edward Boyd-Jones...

 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
P. G. Wodehouse
Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse, KBE was an English humorist, whose body of work includes novels, short stories, plays, poems, song lyrics, and numerous pieces of journalism. He enjoyed enormous popular success during a career that lasted more than seventy years and his many writings continue to be...

, Guy Bolton
Guy Bolton
Guy Reginald Bolton was a British-American playwright and writer of musical comedies. Born in England and educated in France and the U.S., he trained as an architect but turned to writing. Bolton preferred working in collaboration with others, principally the English writers P. G...

 and Harry B. Smith
Harry B. Smith
Harry Bache Smith was a writer, lyricist and composer. The most prolific of all American stage writers, he is said to have written over 300 librettos and more than 6000 lyrics. Some of his best-known works were librettos for the composer Victor Herbert...

. Victor Herbert
Victor Herbert
Victor August Herbert was an Irish-born, German-raised American composer, cellist and conductor. Although Herbert enjoyed important careers as a cello soloist and conductor, he is best known for composing many successful operettas that premiered on Broadway from the 1890s to World War I...

, whose work included some intimate musical plays with modern settings as well as his string of famous operettas (The Fortune Teller
The Fortune Teller (operetta)
The Fortune Teller is an operetta in three acts written by Victor Herbert, with a libretto by Harry B. Smith. After a brief tryout in Toronto, it premiered on Broadway on September 26, 1898 at Wallack's Theatre and ran for 40 performances...

 (1898), Babes in Toyland
Babes in Toyland (operetta)
Babes in Toyland is an operetta composed by Victor Herbert with a libretto by Glen MacDonough , which wove together various characters from Mother Goose nursery rhymes into a Christmas-themed musical extravaganza. The creators wanted to cash in on the extraordinary success of The Wizard of Oz,...

 (1903), Mlle. Modiste
Mlle. Modiste
Mlle. Modiste is an operetta in two acts written by Victor Herbert, libretto by Henry Blossom. It concerns hat shop girl Fifi, who longs to be an opera singer, but who is such a good hat seller that her employer, Mme. Cecil discourages her in her ambitions and exploits her commercial talents...

 (1905), The Red Mill
The Red Mill
The Red Mill is an operetta written by Victor Herbert, with a libretto by Henry Blossom. It premiered on Broadway on September 24, 1906 at the Knickerbocker Theatre and ran for 274 performances, starring comedians Fred Stone and David Montgomery. It was revived on October 16, 1945, opening at the...

 (1906), and Naughty Marietta
Naughty Marietta (operetta)
Naughty Marietta is an operetta in two acts, with libretto by Rida Johnson Young and music by Victor Herbert. Set in New Orleans in 1780, it tells how Captain Richard Warrington is commissioned to unmask and capture a notorious French pirate calling himself "Bras Priqué" – and how he is helped and...

 (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.

The motion picture mounted a challenge to the stage. At first, films were silent and presented only limited competition. Nevertheless, by the end of the 1920s, films like The Jazz Singer
The Jazz Singer (1927 film)
The Jazz Singer is a 1927 American musical film. The first feature-length motion picture with synchronized dialogue sequences, its release heralded the commercial ascendance of the "talkies" and the decline of the silent film era. Produced by Warner Bros. with its Vitaphone sound-on-disc system,...

 could be presented with synchronized sound, and critics wondered if the cinema would replace live theatre altogether. The musicals of the Roaring Twenties
Roaring Twenties
The Roaring Twenties is a phrase used to describe the 1920s, principally in North America, but also in London, Berlin and Paris for a period of sustained economic prosperity. The phrase was meant to emphasize the period's social, artistic, and cultural dynamism...

, borrowing from vaudeville, music hall
Music hall
Music Hall is a type of British theatrical entertainment which was popular between 1850 and 1960. The term can refer to:# A particular form of variety entertainment involving a mixture of popular song, comedy and speciality acts...

 and other light entertainments, tended to ignore plot in favor of emphasizing star actors and actresses, big dance routines, and popular songs. Florenz Ziegfeld
Florenz Ziegfeld
Florenz Ziegfeld, Jr. , , was an American Broadway impresario, notable for his series of theatrical revues, the Ziegfeld Follies , inspired by the Folies Bergère of Paris. He also produced the musical Show Boat...

 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 like Sally
Sally (musical)
Sally is a musical comedy with music by Jerome Kern, lyrics by Clifford Grey and book by Guy Bolton , with additional lyrics by Buddy De Sylva, Anne Caldwell and P. G. Wodehouse. It was originally produced by Florenz Ziegfeld, opening on December 21, 1920 at the New Amsterdam Theatre on Broadway...

; Lady Be Good
Lady Be Good (musical)
Lady, Be Good is a musical written by Guy Bolton and Fred Thompson with music by George and lyrics by Ira Gershwin. It was first presented on Broadway in 1924; the West End production followed in 1926...

; Sunny
Sunny (musical)
Sunny is a musical with music by Jerome Kern and a libretto by Oscar Hammerstein II and Otto Harbach. The plot involves Sunny, the star of a circus act, who falls for a rich playboy, but comes in conflict with his snooty family...

; No, No, Nanette
No, No, Nanette
No, No, Nanette is a musical comedy with lyrics by Irving Caesar and Otto Harbach, music by Vincent Youmans, and a book by Otto Harbach and Frank Mandel, based on Mandel's 1919 Broadway play My Lady Friends...

; Oh, Kay!
Oh, Kay!
Oh, Kay! is a musical with music by George Gershwin, lyrics by Ira Gershwin, and a book by Guy Bolton and P. G. Wodehouse. It is based on the play La Presidente by Maurice Hanniquin and Pierre Veber. The plot revolves around the adventures of the Duke of Durham and his sister, Lady Kay, English...

; and Funny Face
Funny Face (musical)
Funny Face is a 1927 musical composed by George Gershwin, with lyrics by Ira Gershwin, and book by Fred Thompson and Paul Gerard Smith.Originally called Smarty, it starred Fred Astaire and his sister Adele Astaire. It opened in Philadelphia to poor reviews, and amidst major re-writes,...

. Their books may have been forgettable, but they produced enduring standards from George Gershwin
George Gershwin
George Gershwin was an American composer and pianist. Gershwin's compositions spanned both popular and classical genres, and his most popular melodies are widely known...

, Cole Porter
Cole Porter
Cole Albert Porter was an American composer and songwriter. Born to a wealthy family in Indiana, he defied the wishes of his domineering grandfather and took up music as a profession. Classically trained, he was drawn towards musical theatre...

, Jerome Kern
Jerome Kern
Jerome David Kern was an American composer of musical theatre and popular music. One of the most important American theatre composers of the early 20th century, he wrote more than 700 songs, used in over 100 stage works, including such classics as "Ol' Man River", "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man", "A...

, Vincent Youmans
Vincent Youmans
Vincent Youmans was an American popular composer and Broadway producer.- Life :Vincent Millie Youmans was born in New York City on September 27, 1898 and grew-up on Central Park West on the site where the Mayflower Hotel once stood. His father, a prosperous hat manufacturer, moved the family to...

, and Rodgers and Hart
Rodgers and Hart
Rodgers and Hart were an American songwriting partnership of composer Richard Rodgers and the lyricist Lorenz Hart...

, among others, and Noel Coward
Noël Coward
Sir Noël Peirce Coward was an English playwright, composer, director, actor and singer, known for his wit, flamboyance, and what Time magazine called "a sense of personal style, a combination of cheek and chic, pose and poise".Born in Teddington, a suburb of London, Coward attended a dance academy...

, Sigmund Romberg
Sigmund Romberg
Sigmund Romberg was a Hungarian-born American composer, best known for his operettas.-Biography:Romberg was born as Siegmund Rosenberg to a Jewish family in Gross-Kanizsa during the Austro-Hungarian kaiserlich und königlich monarchy period...

 and Rudolf Friml
Rudolf Friml
Rudolf Friml was a composer of operettas, musicals, songs and piano pieces, as well as a pianist. After musical training and a brief performing career in his native Prague, Friml moved to the United States, where he became a composer...

 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 giant step forward, Show Boat
Show Boat
Show Boat is a musical in two acts with music by Jerome Kern and book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II. It was originally produced in New York in 1927 and in London in 1928, and was based on the 1926 novel of the same name by Edna Ferber. The plot chronicles the lives of those living and working...

, premiered on December 27, 1927 at the Ziegfeld Theatre
Ziegfeld Theatre
The Ziegfeld Theatre was a Broadway theater located at the intersection of Sixth Avenue and 54th Street in Manhattan, New York City. It was built in 1927 and, despite public protests, was razed in 1966....

, representing 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. After the lean years of the Great Depression
Great Depression
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s...

, Broadway theatre entered a golden age with the blockbuster hit Oklahoma!
Oklahoma!
Oklahoma! is the first musical written by composer Richard Rodgers and librettist Oscar Hammerstein II. The musical is based on Lynn Riggs' 1931 play, Green Grow the Lilacs. Set in Oklahoma Territory outside the town of Claremore in 1906, it tells the story of cowboy Curly McLain and his romance...

, in 1943, which ran for 2,212 performances. Hit after hit followed on Broadway, and the Broadway theatre attained the highest level of international prestige in theatre.

The 1920s also spawned a new age of American playwright with the emergence of Eugene O'Neill
Eugene O'Neill
Eugene Gladstone O'Neill was an American playwright and Nobel laureate in Literature. His poetically titled plays were among the first to introduce into American drama techniques of realism earlier associated with Russian playwright Anton Chekhov, Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen, and Swedish...

, whose plays Beyond the Horizon
Beyond the Horizon (play)
Beyond the Horizon is a 1920 play written by American playwright Eugene O'Neill. It was O'Neill's first full-length work, and the winner of the 1920 Pulitzer Prize for Drama....

, Anna Christie
Anna Christie
Anna Christie is a play in four acts by Eugene O'Neill. It made its Broadway debut at the Vanderbilt Theatre on November 2, 1921. O'Neill received the 1922 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his work.-Plot summary:...

, The Hairy Ape
The Hairy Ape
-Plot :The play tells the story of a brutish, unthinking laborer known as Yank, as he searches for a sense of belonging in a world controlled by the rich...

, Strange Interlude
Strange Interlude
Strange Interlude is an experimental play by American playwright Eugene O'Neill. O'Neill finished the play in 1923, but it was not produced on Broadway until 1928, when it won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Lynn Fontanne originated the central role of Nina Leeds on Broadway...

 and Mourning Becomes Electra
Mourning Becomes Electra
Mourning Becomes Electra is a play cycle written by American playwright Eugene O'Neill. The play premiered on Broadway at the Guild Theatre on 26 October 1931 where it ran for 150 performances before closing in March 1932...

 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
Elmer Rice
Elmer Rice was an American playwright. He received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his 1929 play, Street Scene.-Early years:...

, Maxwell Anderson
Maxwell Anderson
James Maxwell Anderson was an American playwright, author, poet, journalist and lyricist.-Early years:Anderson was born in Atlantic, Pennsylvania, the second of eight children to William Lincoln "Link" Anderson, a Baptist minister, and Charlotte Perrimela Stephenson, both of Scots and Irish descent...

, Robert E. Sherwood
Robert E. Sherwood
Robert Emmet Sherwood was an American playwright, editor, and screenwriter.-Biography:Born in New Rochelle, New York, he was a son of Arthur Murray Sherwood, a rich stockbroker, and his wife, the former Rosina Emmet, a well-known illustrator and portrait painter known as Rosina E. Sherwood...

, Tennessee Williams
Tennessee Williams
Thomas Lanier "Tennessee" Williams III was an American writer who worked principally as a playwright in the American theater. He also wrote short stories, novels, poetry, essays, screenplays and a volume of memoirs...

, and Arthur Miller
Arthur Miller
Arthur Asher Miller was an American playwright and essayist. He was a prominent figure in American theatre, writing dramas that include plays such as All My Sons , Death of a Salesman , The Crucible , and A View from the Bridge .Miller was often in the public eye,...

, as well as writers of comedy like George S. Kaufman
George S. Kaufman
George Simon Kaufman was an American playwright, theatre director and producer, humorist, and drama critic. In addition to comedies and political satire, he wrote several musicals, notably for the Marx Brothers...

 and Moss Hart
Moss Hart
Moss Hart was an American playwright and theatre director, best known for his interpretations of musical theater on Broadway.-Early years:...

. Classical revivals also proved popular with Broadway theatre-goers, notably John Barrymore
John Barrymore
John Sidney Blyth , better known as John Barrymore, was an acclaimed American actor. He first gained fame as a handsome stage actor in light comedy, then high drama and culminating in groundbreaking portrayals in Shakespearean plays Hamlet and Richard III...

 in Hamlet
Hamlet
The Tragical History of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, or more simply Hamlet, is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1599 and 1601...

 and Richard III
Richard III (play)
Richard III is a history play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in approximately 1591. It depicts the Machiavellian rise to power and subsequent short reign of Richard III of England. The play is grouped among the histories in the First Folio and is most often classified...

, John Gielgud
John Gielgud
Sir Arthur John Gielgud, OM, CH was an English actor, director, and producer. A descendant of the renowned Terry acting family, he achieved early international acclaim for his youthful, emotionally expressive Hamlet which broke box office records on Broadway in 1937...

 in Hamlet
Hamlet
The Tragical History of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, or more simply Hamlet, is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1599 and 1601...

, The Importance of Being Earnest
The Importance of Being Earnest
The Importance of Being Earnest, A Trivial Comedy for Serious People is a play by Oscar Wilde. First performed on 14 February 1895 at St. James's Theatre in London, it is a farcical comedy in which the protagonists maintain fictitious personae in order to escape burdensome social obligations...

 and Much Ado About Nothing
Much Ado About Nothing
Much Ado About Nothing is a comedy written by William Shakespeare about two pairs of lovers, Benedick and Beatrice, and Claudio and Hero....

, Walter Hampden
Walter Hampden
Walter Hampden is the artist name of Walter Hampden Dougherty was a U.S. actor and theatre manager. He was the younger brother of the American painter Paul Dougherty ....

 and Jose Ferrer
José Ferrer
José Vicente Ferrer de Otero y Cintrón , best known as José Ferrer, was a Puerto Rican actor, as well as a theater and film director...

 in Cyrano de Bergerac
Cyrano de Bergerac (play)
Cyrano de Bergerac is a play written in 1897 by Edmond Rostand. Although there was a real Cyrano de Bergerac, the play bears very scant resemblance to his life....

, Paul Robeson
Paul Robeson
Paul Leroy Robeson was an American concert singer , recording artist, actor, athlete, scholar who was an advocate for the Civil Rights Movement in the first half of the twentieth century...

 and Ferrer
José Ferrer
José Vicente Ferrer de Otero y Cintrón , best known as José Ferrer, was a Puerto Rican actor, as well as a theater and film director...

 in Othello
Othello
The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in approximately 1603, and based on the Italian short story "Un Capitano Moro" by Cinthio, a disciple of Boccaccio, first published in 1565...

, Maurice Evans
Maurice Evans (actor)
Maurice Herbert Evans was an English actor noted for his interpretations of Shakespearean characters. In terms of his screen roles, he is probably best known as Dr...

 in Richard II
Richard II (play)
King Richard the Second is a history play by William Shakespeare believed to be written in approximately 1595. It is based on the life of King Richard II of England and is the first part of a tetralogy, referred to by some scholars as the Henriad, followed by three plays concerning Richard's...

 and the plays of George Bernard Shaw
George Bernard Shaw
George Bernard Shaw was an Irish playwright and a co-founder of the London School of Economics. Although his first profitable writing was music and literary criticism, in which capacity he wrote many highly articulate pieces of journalism, his main talent was for drama, and he wrote more than 60...

, and Katharine Cornell
Katharine Cornell
Katharine Cornell was an American stage actress, writer, theater owner and producer. She was born to American parents and raised in Buffalo, New York.Cornell is known as the greatest American stage actress of the 20th century...

 in such plays as Romeo and Juliet
Romeo and Juliet
Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy written early in the career of playwright William Shakespeare about two young star-crossed lovers whose deaths ultimately unite their feuding families. It was among Shakespeare's most popular archetypal stories of young, teenage lovers.Romeo and Juliet belongs to a...

, Antony and Cleopatra
Antony and Cleopatra
Antony and Cleopatra is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written sometime between 1603 and 1607. It was first printed in the First Folio of 1623. The plot is based on Thomas North's translation of Plutarch's Lives and follows the relationship between Cleopatra and Mark Antony...

, and Candida
Candida (play)
Candida, a comedy by playwright George Bernard Shaw, was first published in 1898, as part of his Plays Pleasant. The central characters are clergyman James Morell, his wife Candida and a youthful poet, Eugene Marchbanks, who tries to win Candida's affections. The play questions Victorian notions...



The Tony Awards were established in 1947 to recognize achievement in live American theatre, especially Broadway theatre.

Schedule

Although there are now more exceptions than previously, generally shows with open-ended runs have evening performances Tuesday through Saturday with a 7pm or 8pm "curtain" and afternoon "matinée
Matinée
Matinee or Matinée may refer to:* A showing of a movie or theatrical performance in the afternoon. More generally, a musical, social or other public event held at a time other than in the evening and occasionally stretched to include the early A.M. hours, e.g., "midnight matinee"...

" performances on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, at 2pm on Wednesdays and Saturdays and 3pm on Sundays, making an eight performance week. On this schedule, shows do not play on Monday, and the shows and theatres are said to be "dark" on that day. Actors and the crew in these shows tend to regard Sunday evening through Tuesday evening as their "weekend". The Tony award presentation ceremony is usually held on a Sunday evening in June to fit into this schedule.

In recent years, some shows have moved their Tuesday show time an hour earlier to 7 pm. The rationale for the move was that fewer tourists took in shows midweek, so the Tuesday attendance in particular depends on local audience members. The earlier curtain therefore allows suburban patrons time after a show to get home by a reasonable hour. Some shows, especially those produced by Disney, change their performance schedules fairly frequently, depending on the season, in order to maximize access to their targeted audience.

Personnel

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
Nathan Lane
Nathan Lane is an American actor of stage and screen. He is best known for his roles as Mendy in The Lisbon Traviata, Albert in The Birdcage, Max Bialystock in the musical The Producers, Ernie Smuntz in MouseHunt, Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls, Pseudolus in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to...

 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 an article by 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 13-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 League of American Theatres and Producers. 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.

Producers and theatre owners

Most Broadway producers and theatre owners are members of The Broadway League
The Broadway League
The Broadway League, formerly the League of American Theatres and Producers and League of New York Theatres and Producers, is the national trade association for the Broadway theatre industry...

 (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
American Theatre Wing
The American Theatre Wing is a New York City-based organization "dedicated to supporting excellence and education in theatre," according to its mission statement...

, 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.

The three non-profit theatre companies with Broadway theatres ("houses") 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
Livent
The Live Entertainment Corporation of Canada, Inc., also known as Livent, was a theatre production company in Toronto, Ontario, begun as a division of the motion picture exhibitor Cineplex Odeon...

 before it closed down its operations.) 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 (it recently retained full ownership of the Music Box from the Irving Berlin Estate); The Nederlander Organization
Nederlander Organization
The Nederlander Organization, founded in 1912 by David T. Nederlander and based in Detroit, Michigan, is one of the largest operators of legitimate theatres and music venuesin the United States. Its first acquisition was a lease on the Detroit Opera House in 1912. The building was demolished in...

, which controls nine theatres; and Jujamcyn, which owns five Broadway houses.

Runs

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
Roundabout Theatre Company
The Roundabout Theatre Company is a leading non-profit theatre company based in New York City.-History:The company was founded in 1965 by Gene Feist and Elizabeth Owens and now operates five theatres, all in Manhattan: the American Airlines Theatre ; Studio 54 ; the Stephen Sondheim Theatre The...

, and Manhattan Theatre Club
Manhattan Theatre Club
Manhattan Theatre Club is a theater company located in New York City. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Lynne Meadow and Executive Producer Barry Grove, Manhattan Theatre Club has grown since its founding in 1970 from an Off-Off Broadway showcase into one of the country’s most acclaimed...

 are the three 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
August: Osage County
August: Osage County is a darkly comedic play by Tracy Letts. It was the recipient of the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The play premiered at the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago on 28 June 2007, and closed on 26 August 2007. Its Broadway debut was at the Imperial Theater on 4 December 2007 and...

 and 2009's God of Carnage
God of Carnage
God of Carnage is a play by Yasmina Reza. It is about two pairs of parents, one of whose child has hurt the other at a public park, who meet to discuss the matter in a civilized manner. However, as the evening goes on, the parents become increasingly childish, resulting in the evening devolving...

.

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
The Phantom of the Opera (1986 musical)
The Phantom of the Opera is a musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber, based on the French novel Le Fantôme de l'Opéra by Gaston Leroux.The music was composed by Lloyd Webber, and most lyrics were written by Charles Hart, with additional lyrics by Richard Stilgoe. Alan Jay Lerner was an early collaborator,...

 at the Majestic Theatre became the longest running Broadway musical, with 7,486 performances, overtaking Cats
Cats (musical)
Cats is a musical composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, based on Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T. S. Eliot...

.

Audience

Attending a Broadway show is a common tourist
Tourism
Tourism is travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes. The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people "traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes".Tourism has become a...

 activity in New York. The TKTS
TKTS
The TKTS ticket booths in New York and London sell Broadway and Off-Broadway shows, music and dance events and West End theatre tickets, respectively, at discounts of 25–50% off the face value.-New York:...

 booths sell same-day tickets (and in certain cases next-day matinee tickets) for many Broadway and Off-Broadway
Off-Broadway
Off-Broadway theater is a term for a professional venue in New York City with a seating capacity between 100 and 499, and for a specific production of a play, musical or revue that appears in such a venue, and which adheres to related trade union and other contracts...

 shows at a discount of 25%, 35%, or 50%. The TKTS booths are located in Duffy Square
Duffy Square
Duffy Square is the northern triangle of Times Square in Manhattan, New York City. It is located between 45th and 47th Streets, Broadway and Seventh Avenue and is well known for the TKTS reduced-price theater tickets booth located there....

, in Times Square
Times Square
Times Square is a major commercial intersection in the borough of Manhattan in New York City, at the junction of Broadway and Seventh Avenue and stretching from West 42nd to West 47th Streets...

, in Lower Manhattan, and in Brooklyn
Brooklyn
Brooklyn is the most populous of New York City's five boroughs, with nearly 2.6 million residents, and the second-largest in area. Since 1896, Brooklyn has had the same boundaries as Kings County, which is now the most populous county in New York State and the second-most densely populated...

. This service run by Theatre Development Fund
Theatre Development Fund
The Theater Development Fund is a non-profit corporation dedicated to assisting the theatre industry in New York City. Created in 1968 to help an ailing New York theatre industry, TDF has grown into the nation's largest performing arts nonprofit, providing support to more than 900 plays and...

 makes seeing a show in New York more affordable. 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.

Total Broadway attendance was 12.11 million in calendar year 2010 compared to 11.88 million in 2009. By way of comparison, London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

's West End theatre
West End theatre
West End theatre is a popular term for mainstream professional theatre staged in the large theatres of London's 'Theatreland', the West End. Along with New York's Broadway theatre, West End theatre is usually considered to represent the highest level of commercial theatre in the English speaking...

 reported total attendance of 14.3 million for major commercial and grant-aided theatres in central London
Central London
Central London is the innermost part of London, England. There is no official or commonly accepted definition of its area, but its characteristics are understood to include a high density built environment, high land values, an elevated daytime population and a concentration of regionally,...

 for 2009.

Off-Broadway and US tours

The classification of theatres is governed by language in Actors' Equity Association
Actors' Equity Association
The Actors' Equity Association , commonly referred to as Actors' Equity or simply Equity, is an American labor union representing the world of live theatrical performance, as opposed to film and television performance. However, performers appearing on live stage productions without a book or...

 contracts. To be eligible for a Tony, a production must be in a house with 500 seats or more and in the Theatre District, which criteria define Broadway theatre. Off Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway
Off-Off-Broadway
Off-Off-Broadway theatrical productions in New York City are those in theatres that are smaller than Broadway and Off-Broadway theatres. Off-Off-Broadway theaters are often defined as theaters that have fewer than 100 seats, though the term can be used for any show in the New York City area that...

 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
Hair (musical)
Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical is a rock musical with a book and lyrics by James Rado and Gerome Ragni and music by Galt MacDermot. A product of the hippie counter-culture and sexual revolution of the 1960s, several of its songs became anthems of the anti-Vietnam War peace movement...

, Little Shop of Horrors
Little Shop of Horrors (musical)
Little Shop of Horrors is a rock musical, by composer Alan Menken and writer Howard Ashman, about a hapless florist shop worker who raises a plant that feeds on human blood. The musical is based on the low-budget 1960 black comedy film The Little Shop of Horrors, directed by Roger Corman...

, Spring Awakening, Next to Normal, Rent
Rent (musical)
Rent is a rock musical with music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson based on Giacomo Puccini's opera La bohème...

, Avenue Q
Avenue Q
Avenue Q is a musical in two acts, conceived by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, who wrote the music and lyrics. The book was written by Jeff Whitty and the show was directed by Jason Moore and produced by Kevin McCollum, Robyn Goodman, and Jeffrey Seller...

, and In the Heights, began their runs Off Broadway and later transferred onto 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 a new cast and crew for the Broadway national tour, which travels to theatre in major cities across the country—the bigger and more successful shows may have several of these touring companies out at a time, some of them "sitting down" in other cities for their own long runs. Smaller cities are eventually serviced by "bus and truck" tours, so-called because the cast generally travels by bus (instead of by air) and the sets and equipment by truck. Tours of this type, which frequently feature a reduced physical production to accommodate smaller venues and tighter schedules, often play "split weeks" (half a week in one town and the second half in another) or "one-nighters", whereas the larger tours will generally play for one or two days per city at a minimum. The Touring Broadway Awards
Touring Broadway Awards
The Touring Broadway Awards recognize outstanding achievement in Broadway plays and musicals that tour North America.Founded in 2000 by the League of American Theatres and Producers, the TBAs celebrate excellence in touring Broadway by honoring artists and productions...

, presented by The Broadway League, honor excellence in touring Broadway.

Awards

Broadway productions and artists are honored by the annual Antoinette Perry Awards (commonly called the "Tony Award
Tony Award
The Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Theatre, more commonly known as a Tony Award, recognizes achievement in live Broadway theatre. The awards are presented by the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League at an annual ceremony in New York City. The awards are given for Broadway...

s, or "Tony") which are awarded by the American Theatre Wing
American Theatre Wing
The American Theatre Wing is a New York City-based organization "dedicated to supporting excellence and education in theatre," according to its mission statement...

 and The Broadway League, beginning in 1947. The Tony is Broadway's most prestigious award, even compared to the Academy Awards
Academy Awards
An Academy Award, also known as an Oscar, is an accolade bestowed by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize excellence of professionals in the film industry, including directors, actors, and writers...

 for Hollywood productions. Their importance has increased since the annual broadcast on television began. In a strategy to improve the television ratings, celebrities are often chosen to host the show, like Rosie O'Donnell
Rosie O'Donnell
Roseann "Rosie" O'Donnell is an American stand-up comedian, actress, author and television personality. She has also been a magazine editor and continues to be a celebrity blogger, LGBT rights activist, television producer and collaborative partner in the LGBT family vacation company R Family...

, some with little or no connection to the theatre. The latest Tony Awards ceremony was held on June 12, 2011. Other awards given to Broadway productions include the Drama Desk Award
Drama Desk Award
The Drama Desk Awards, which are given annually in a number of categories, are the only major New York theater honors for which productions on Broadway, Off-Broadway, Off-Off-Broadway compete against each other in the same category...

, presented since 1955, and the New York Drama Critics' Circle
New York Drama Critics' Circle
The New York Drama Critics' Circle is made up of 24 drama critics from daily newspapers, magazines and wire services based in the New York City metropolitan area. The organization was founded in 1935 at the Algonquin Hotel by a group that included Brooks Atkinson, Walter Winchell, and Robert Benchley...

 awards, first given in 1936.

List of Broadway theatres

  • If no show is currently running, the play listed is the next show planned (dates marked with an *).
  • If the next show planned is not announced, the applicable columns are left blank.
  • Capacity is based on the capacity given for the respective theatre at the Internet Broadway Database
    Internet Broadway Database
    The Internet Broadway Database is an online database of Broadway theatre productions and their personnel. It is operated by the Research Department of The Broadway League, a trade association for the North American commercial theatre community....

    .

Theatre Current show Address Capacity Opening
date
Closing
date
Ambassador Theatre
Ambassador Theatre (New York)
The Ambassador Theatre is a legitimate Broadway theatre located at 219 West 49th Street between Broadway and 8th Avenue in Midtown Manhattan.Designed by architect Herbert J. Krapp for the Shuberts, the structure is unusual in that it is situated diagonally on its site to fit the maximum number of...

 
Chicago
Chicago (musical)
Chicago is a musical set in Prohibition-era Chicago. The music is by John Kander with lyrics by Fred Ebb and a book by Ebb and Bob Fosse. The story is a satire on corruption in the administration of criminal justice and the concept of the "celebrity criminal"...

 
West 49th Street (#219) 1120 1996-11-14November 14, 1996 Open-ended
American Airlines Theatre
American Airlines Theatre
The American Airlines Theatre is a Broadway theatre, located at 227 West 42nd Street, New York City.-Design:Originally named the Selwyn Theatre, it was constructed by the Selwyn brothers, Edgar and Archie, in 1918. It was one of three theatres they built and controlled on 42nd Street, along with...

 
The Road to Mecca
The Road to Mecca
The Road to Mecca is a play by South Africa's Athol Fugard.It was inspired by the story of Helen Martins who lived in Nieu-Bethesda, Eastern Cape, South Africa and created The Owl House, now a national monument....

 
West 42nd Street (#229) 740 2012-01-17January 17, 2012* 2012-03-04March 4, 2012
Brooks Atkinson Theatre
Brooks Atkinson Theatre
The Brooks Atkinson Theatre is a Broadway theater located at 256 West 47th Street in Manhattan.Designed by architect Herbert J. Krapp, it was constructed as the Mansfield Theatre by the Chanin brothers in 1926. After 1933, the theatre fell into relative disuse until 1945, when Michael Myerberg...

 
Relatively Speaking West 47th Street (#256) 1109 2011-10-20October 20, 2011 Open-ended
Ethel Barrymore Theatre
Ethel Barrymore Theatre
The Ethel Barrymore Theatre is a legitimate Broadway theatre located at 243 West 47th Street in midtown-Manhattan, named for actress Ethel Barrymore....

 
An Evening with Patti LuPone
Patti LuPone
Patti Ann LuPone is an American singer and actress, known for her Tony Award-winning performances as Eva Perón in the 1979 stage musical Evita and as Madame Rose in the 2008 Broadway revival of Gypsy, and for her Olivier Award-winning performance as Fantine in the original London cast of Les...

 and Mandy Patinkin
Mandy Patinkin
Mandel Bruce "Mandy" Patinkin is an award-winning American actor of stage and screen and a tenor vocalist. He is a noted interpreter of the musical works of Stephen Sondheim, and is best-known for his work in musical theatre, originating iconic roles such as Georges Seurat in Sunday in the Park...

 
West 47th Street (#243) 1096 2011-11-21November 21, 2011 2012-01-13January 13, 2012
Vivian Beaumont Theatre
Vivian Beaumont Theatre
The Vivian Beaumont Theater is a theatre located in the Lincoln Center complex at 150 West 65th Street on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. The structure was designed by Finnish American architect Eero Saarinen, and Jo Mielziner was responsible for the design of the stage and interior.The Vivian...

 (at Lincoln Center)
War Horse
War Horse (play)
War Horse is a play based on the book of the same name by acclaimed children's writer Michael Morpurgo, adapted for stage by Nick Stafford. Originally Morpurgo thought "they must be mad" to try to make a play from his best-selling 1982 novel. He was proved wrong by the play's instant success...

 
West 65th Street (#150) 1105 2011-04-14April 14, 2011 Open-ended
Belasco Theatre
Belasco Theatre
The Belasco Theatre is a legitimate Broadway theatre located at 111 West 44th Street in midtown-Manhattan.-History:Designed by architect George Keister for impresario David Belasco, the interior featured Tiffany lighting and ceiling panels, rich woodwork and expansive murals by American artist...

 
End of the Rainbow
End of the rainbow
End of the Rainbow is a musical drama by Peter Quilter, centred upon the intriguing personality of Judy Garland in the months leading up to her death...

 
West 44th Street (#111) 1040 2012-04-02April 2, 2012* Open-ended
Booth Theatre
Booth Theatre
The Booth Theatre is a Broadway theatre located at 222 West 45th Street in midtown-Manhattan, New York City.Architect Henry B. Herts designed the Booth and its companion Shubert Theatre as a back-to-back pair sharing a Venetian Renaissance-style façade...

 
Other Desert Cities West 45th Street (#222) 806 2011-11-03 November 3, 2011 Open-ended
Broadhurst Theatre
Broadhurst Theatre
The Broadhurst Theatre is a legitimate Broadway theatre located at 235 West 44th Street in midtown Manhattan.It was designed by architect Herbert J. Krapp, a well-known theatre designer who had been working directly with the Shubert brothers; the Broadhurst opened 27 September 1917...

 
Hugh Jackman
Hugh Jackman
Hugh Michael Jackman is an Australian actor and producer who is involved in film, musical theatre, and television.Jackman has won international recognition for his roles in major films, notably as action/superhero, period and romance characters...

, Back on Broadway
West 44th Street (#235) 1218 2011-11-10 November 10, 2011 2012-01-01January 1, 2012
The Broadway Theatre
The Broadway Theatre
The Broadway Theatre is a Broadway theatre located at 1681 Broadway in midtown-Manhattan....

 
Sister Act: The Musical  Broadway (#1681-@52nd) 1761 2011-04-20 April 20, 2011 Open-ended
Circle in the Square Theatre
Circle in the Square Theatre
The Circle in the Square Theatre is a legitimate Broadway theatre in midtown Manhattan on 50th Street in the Paramount Plaza building.The original Circle in the Square was founded by Paul Libin, Theodore Mann and Jose Quintero in 1951 and was located at 5 Sheridan Square in Greenwich Village...

 
Godspell
Godspell
Godspell is a musical by Stephen Schwartz and John-Michael Tebelak. It opened off Broadway on May 17, 1971, and has played in various touring companies and revivals many times since, including a 2011 revival now playing on Broadway...

 
West 50th Street (#235) 776 2011-11-07* November 7, 2011 Open-ended
Cort Theatre
Cort Theatre
The Cort Theatre is a legitimate Broadway theatre located at 138 West 48th Street in the Theatre District of midtown Manhattan in New York City...

 
Stick Fly West 48th Street (#138) 1102 2011-12-08December 8, 2011* Open-ended
Foxwoods Theatre  Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark
Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark
Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark is a rock musical with music and lyrics by U2's Bono and The Edge and a book by Julie Taymor, Glen Berger, and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. The musical is based on the Spider-Man comics created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, published by Marvel Comics, as well as the 2002...

 
West 42nd Street (#213) 1829 2011-06-14 June 14, 2011 Open-ended
Samuel J. Friedman Theatre  Venus in Fur
Venus in Fur
Venus in Fur is a two-person play set in the modern day by David Ives, which had its première at the Classic Stage Company Off Broadway in New York City in 2010, and on Broadway in 2011.-Productions:...

 
West 47th Street (#261) 650 2011-11-08November 8, 2011 2011-12-18December 18, 2011
Gershwin Theatre  Wicked
Wicked (musical)
Wicked is a musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and a book by Winnie Holzman. It is based on the Gregory Maguire novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West , a parallel novel of the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz and L. Frank Baum's classic story The Wonderful Wizard...

 
West 51st Street (#222) 1933 2003-10-30October 30, 2003 Open-ended
John Golden Theatre
John Golden Theatre
The John Golden Theatre is a Broadway theatre located at 252 West 45th Street in midtown-Manhattan. Designed in a Moorish style along with the adjacent Royale Theatre by architect Herbert J. Krapp for Irwin Chanin, it opened as the Theatre Masque on February 24 1927 with the play Puppets of Passion...

 
Seminar West 45th Street (#252) 805 2011-11-20November 20, 2011 2012-03-04March 4, 2012
Helen Hayes Theatre
Helen Hayes Theatre
Helen Hayes Theatre with 597 seats is the smallest Broadway theatre and is located at 240 West 44th Street in midtown-Manhattan....

 
Rock of Ages
Rock of Ages (musical)
Rock of Ages is a rock/jukebox musical, with a book by Chris D'Arienzo, built around classic rock hits from the 1980s, especially from the famous glam metal bands of the decade. The musical features songs from Styx, Journey, Bon Jovi, Pat Benatar, Twisted Sister, Steve Perry, Poison and Asia, among...

 
West 44th Street (#240) 597 2009-04-07April 7, 2009 Open-ended
Al Hirschfeld Theatre
Al Hirschfeld Theatre
The Al Hirschfeld Theatre is a legitimate Broadway theatre located at 302 West 45th Street in midtown-Manhattan.Designed by architect G. Albert Lansburgh for vaudeville promoter Martin Beck, the theatre opened as the Martin Beck Theatre with a production of Madame Pompadour on November 11, 1924. It...

 
How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying
How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying is a musical with music and lyrics by Frank Loesser and book by Abe Burrows, Jack Weinstock, and Willie Gilbert, based on Shepherd Mead's 1952 book of the same name....

 
West 45th Street (#302) 1437 2011-03-27 March 27, 2011 Open-ended
Imperial Theatre  Billy Elliot the Musical
Billy Elliot the Musical
Billy Elliot the Musical is a musical based on the 2000 film Billy Elliot. The music is by Sir Elton John, and book and lyrics are by Lee Hall, who wrote the film's screenplay. The plot revolves around motherless Billy, who trades boxing gloves for ballet shoes...

 
West 45th Street (#249) 1435 2008-11-13November 13, 2008 2012-01-08January 8, 2012
Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre
Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre
The Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre is a legitimate Broadway theatre located at 242 West 45th Street in midtown-Manhattan.Designed by architect Herbert J. Krapp, it opened as the Royale Theatre on January 11, 1927 with a musical entitled Piggy...

 
The Mountaintop
The Mountaintop
The Mountaintop is a play by American playwright Katori Hall. It is a fictional depiction of the Reverend Martin Luther King's last night on earth set entirely in Room 306 of the Lorraine Motel on the eve of his assassination on April 4, 1968.-Productions:...

West 45th Street (#242) 1101 2011-10-13October 13, 2011 2012-01-15 January 22, 2012
Walter Kerr Theatre
Walter Kerr Theatre
The Walter Kerr Theatre is a legitimate Broadway theatre. Located at 219 West 48th Street, it is owned and operated by Jujamcyn Theaters. One of the smaller auditoriums in the theatre district, it seats 975....

 
Lysistrata Jones West 48th Street (#219) 947 2011-12-14December 14, 2011* Open-ended
Longacre Theatre
Longacre Theatre
The Longacre Theatre is a Broadway theatre located at 220 West 48th Street in midtown Manhattan.-Theatre History:Designed by architect Henry Beaumont Herts in 1912, it was named for Longacre Square, the original name for Times Square...

 
Chinglish West 48th Street (#220) 1095 2011-10-27October 27, 2011 Open-ended
Lunt-Fontanne Theatre
Lunt-Fontanne Theatre
The Lunt-Fontanne Theatre is a legitimate Broadway theatre located at 205 West 46th Street in midtown-Manhattan.Designed by the architectural firm of Carrere and Hastings, it was built by producer Charles Dillingham and opened as the Globe Theatre, in honor of London's Shakespearean playhouse, on...

 
The Addams Family
The Addams Family (musical)
The Addams Family is a musical comedy with music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa and a book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice. The show is based upon The Addams Family characters created by Charles Addams in his single-panel gag cartoons, which depict a ghoulish American family with an affinity for...

 
West 46th Street (#205) 1509 2010-04-08April 8, 2010 2011-12-31 December 31, 2011
Lyceum Theatre
Lyceum Theatre (New York)
The Lyceum Theatre is a Broadway theatre located at 149 West 45th Street in midtown-Manhattan.It has the distinction of being the oldest surviving Broadway venue , the oldest continuously operating legitimate theatre in New York City, and the first Broadway theatre ever to be granted landmark status...

West 45th Street (#149) 943
Majestic Theatre  The Phantom of the Opera
The Phantom of the Opera (1986 musical)
The Phantom of the Opera is a musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber, based on the French novel Le Fantôme de l'Opéra by Gaston Leroux.The music was composed by Lloyd Webber, and most lyrics were written by Charles Hart, with additional lyrics by Richard Stilgoe. Alan Jay Lerner was an early collaborator,...

 
West 44th Street (#247) 1609 1988-01-26January 26, 1988 Open-ended
Marquis Theatre
Marquis Theatre
The Marquis Theatre is a legitimate Broadway theatre located at 1535 Broadway in midtown-Manhattan.Situated on the third floor of the Marriott Marquis Hotel, the 1611-seat venue was designed by developer/architect John C. Portman, Jr...

 
Follies
Follies
Follies is a musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and a book by James Goldman. The story concerns a reunion in a crumbling Broadway theatre, scheduled for demolition, of the past performers of the "Weismann's Follies," a musical revue , that played in that theatre between the World Wars...

 
Broadway (#1535-@45th) 1615 2011-08-07September 12, 2011 2012-01-22January 22, 2012
Minskoff Theatre
Minskoff Theatre
The Minskoff Theatre is a legitimate Broadway theatre, located at 1515 Broadway in midtown-Manhattan. It is now showing the musical The Lion King, based on the Disney animated film of the same name....

 
The Lion King
The Lion King (musical)
The Lion King is a musical based on the 1994 Disney animated film of the same name with music by Elton John and lyrics by Tim Rice along with the musical score created by Hans Zimmer with choral arrangements by Lebo M. Directed by Julie Taymor, the musical features actors in animal costumes as well...

 
West 45th Street (#200) 1710 1997-11-13November 13, 1997 Open-ended
Music Box Theatre
Music Box Theatre
The Music Box Theater is a Broadway theatre located at 239 West 45th Street in midtown-Manhattan.The once most aptly named theater on Broadway, the intimate Music Box was designed by architect C. Howard Crane and constructed by composer Irving Berlin and producer Sam H. Harris specifically to...

 
Private Lives
Private Lives
Private Lives is a 1930 comedy of manners in three acts by Noël Coward. It focuses on a divorced couple who discover that they are honeymooning with their new spouses in neighbouring rooms at the same hotel. Despite a perpetually stormy relationship, they realise that they still have feelings for...

 
West 45th Street (#239) 1025 2011-11-17November 17, 2011 2012-02-05February 5, 2012
Nederlander Theatre
Nederlander Theatre
David T. Nederlander Theatre is a 1,232-seat Broadway theatre located at 208 West 41st Street, in New York City . One of the Nederlander Organization's nine Broadway theatres, the legacy of the theatre began with David Tobias Nederlander, for whom the theatre is named.Built by Walter C...

 
Newsies! The Musical  West 41st Street (#208) 1232 2012-03-15March 29, 2012* 2012-06-10June 10, 2012
New Amsterdam Theatre
New Amsterdam Theatre
The New Amsterdam Theatre is a Broadway theater located at 214 West 42nd Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues in the Theatre District of Manhattan, New York City, off of Times Square...

 
Mary Poppins
Mary Poppins (musical)
Mary Poppins is a Walt Disney Theatrical musical based on the similarly titled series of children's books by P. L. Travers and the Disney 1964 film. The West End production opened in December 2004 and received two Olivier Awards, one for Best Actress in a Musical and the other for Best Theatre...

 
West 42nd Street (#214) 1801 2006-11-16November 16, 2006 Open-ended
Eugene O'Neill Theatre
Eugene O'Neill Theatre
The Eugene O'Neill Theatre is a Broadway theatre located at 230 West 49th Street in midtown-Manhattan.Designed by architect Herbert J. Krapp, it was built for the Shuberts as part of a theatre-hotel complex named for 19th century tragedian Edwin Forrest...

 
Book of Mormon
Book of Mormon (musical)
The Book of Mormon is a religious satire musical with a book, lyrics, and music by Trey Parker, Robert Lopez, and Matt Stone. Best known for creating the animated comedy South Park, Parker and Stone co-created the music with Lopez, who co-wrote and co-composed Avenue Q...

 
West 49th Street (#230) 1108 2011-03-24 March 24, 2011 Open-ended
Palace Theatre  Priscilla Queen of the Desert  Broadway (#1564-@46th) 1743 2011-03-20 March 20, 2011 Open-ended
Richard Rodgers Theatre
Richard Rodgers Theatre
The Richard Rodgers Theatre, is a Broadway theater in New York City, built by Irwin Chanin in 1925. When it was first opened, it was called Chanin's 46th Street Theatre. Chanin almost immediately leased it to the Shuberts, who bought the building outright in 1931 and renamed it the 46th Street...

 
Porgy and Bess
Porgy and Bess
Porgy and Bess is an opera, first performed in 1935, with music by George Gershwin, libretto by DuBose Heyward, and lyrics by Ira Gershwin and DuBose Heyward. It was based on DuBose Heyward's novel Porgy and subsequent play of the same title, which he co-wrote with his wife Dorothy Heyward...

 
West 46th Street (#226) 1380 2012-01-12January 12, 2012* Open-ended
Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre
Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre
The Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre is a Broadway theatre located at 236 West 45th Street in midtown-Manhattan named for Gerald Schoenfeld....

 
Bonnie & Clyde  West 45th Street (#236) 1093 2011-12-01December 1, 2011 Open-ended
Shubert Theatre
Shubert Theatre (Broadway)
The Shubert Theatre is a Broadway theatre located at 225 West 44th Street in midtown-Manhattan, New York, United States.Designed by architect Henry Beaumont Herts, it was named after Sam S. Shubert, the second oldest of the three brothers of the theatrical producing family...

 
Memphis
Memphis (Musical)
Memphis is a musical by David Bryan and Joe DiPietro . It is loosely based on Memphis disc jockey Dewey Phillips, one of the first white DJs to play black music in the 1950s...

 
West 44th Street (#225) 1468 2009-10-19October 19, 2009 Open-ended
Neil Simon Theatre
Neil Simon Theatre
The Neil Simon Theatre, formerly the Alvin Theatre, is a Broadway venue built in 1927 and located at 250 West 52nd Street in midtown-Manhattan....

 
Jesus Christ Superstar
Jesus Christ Superstar
Jesus Christ Superstar is a rock opera by Andrew Lloyd Webber, with lyrics by Tim Rice. The musical started off as a rock opera concept recording before its first staging on Broadway in 1971...

 
West 52nd Street (#250) 1428 2012-03-22March 22, 2012* Open-ended
Stephen Sondheim Theatre  Anything Goes
Anything Goes
Anything Goes is a musical with music and lyrics by Cole Porter. The original book was a collaborative effort by Guy Bolton and P.G. Wodehouse, heavily revised by the team of Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse. The story concerns madcap antics aboard an ocean liner bound from New York to London...

 
West 43rd Street (#124) 1055 2011-04-07 April 7, 2011 Open-ended
St. James Theatre
St. James Theatre
The St. James Theatre is located at 246 W. 44th St. Broadway, New York City, New York. It was built by Abraham L. Erlanger, theatrical producer and a founding member of the Theatrical Syndicate, on the site of the original Sardi's restaurant. It opened in 1927 as The Erlanger...

 
On a Clear Day You Can See Forever
On a Clear Day You Can See Forever
On a Clear Day You Can See Forever is a musical with music by Burton Lane and a book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner based loosely on Berkeley Square, written in 1929 by John L. Balderston. It concerns a woman who has ESP and has been reincarnated...

 
West 44th Street (#246) 1710 2011-12-11December 11, 2011* Open-ended
Studio 54
Studio 54
Studio 54 was a highly popular discotheque from 1977 until 1991, located at 254 West 54th Street in Manhattan, New York, USA. It was originally the Gallo Opera House, opening in 1927, after which it changed names several times, eventually becoming a CBS radio and television studio. In 1977 it...

 
Harvey
Harvey (play)
Harvey is a 1944 play by American playwright Mary Chase. Produced by Brock Pemberton and directed by Antoinette Perry, the play premiered on 1 November 1944 at the 48th Street Theatre on Broadway where it was staged for 1,775 performances before closing on January 15, 1949. The original production...

 
West 54th Street (#254) 1006 2012-06-14June 14, 2012* Open-ended
August Wilson Theatre
August Wilson Theatre
The August Wilson Theatre, located at 245 West 52nd Street in New York City, is a Broadway theatre.Designed by architects C. Howard Crane and Kenneth Franzheim and constructed by the Theatre Guild, it opened as the Guild Theatre in 1925 with a revival of George Bernard Shaw's Caesar and...

 
Jersey Boys
Jersey Boys
Jersey Boys is a jukebox musical with music by Bob Gaudio, lyrics by Bob Crewe and book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice. It is a documentary-style musical, based on one of the most successful 1960s rock 'n roll groups, the Four Seasons...

 
West 52nd Street (#245) 1222 2005-11-06November 6, 2005 Open-ended
Winter Garden Theatre
Winter Garden Theatre
The Winter Garden Theatre is a Broadway theatre located at 1634 Broadway in midtown Manhattan.-History:The structure was built by William Kissam Vanderbilt in 1896 to be the American Horse Exchange....

 
Mamma Mia!
Mamma Mia!
Mamma Mia! is a stage musical written by British playwright Catherine Johnson, based on the songs of ABBA, composed by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, former members of the band. Although the title of the musical is taken from the group's 1975 chart-topper "Mamma Mia", the plot is fictional, not...

 
Broadway (#1634-@50th) 1498 2001-10-18October 18, 2001 Open-ended

Upcoming productions

The following have been announced as future Broadway productions. The theatre in which they will run is either not yet known or currently occupied by another show.
Musicals
  • Evita: April 2012 (Marquis Theatre)
  • Ghost the Musical
    GHOST The Musical
    Ghost The Musical is a musical with book and lyrics by Bruce Joel Rubin and music and lyrics by Dave Stewart and Glen Ballard.Based on the hit 1990 romantic drama film of the same name, the musical had its world premiere at the Manchester Opera House in Manchester...

    : April 23, 2012 (Lunt-Fontanne Theatre)
  • Nice Work If You Can Get It
    Nice Work If You Can Get It (musical)
    Nice Work If You Can Get It is an upcoming musical written by Joe DiPietro. It features a score by George and Ira Gershwin. After several workshops and delays, Nice Work will premiere on Broadway in Spring 2012.-Background:...

    : April 24, 2012 (Imperial Theatre)
  • Rebecca
    Rebecca (musical)
    Rebecca is a German-language musical based on the novel of the same name by Daphne du Maurier. It was written by Michael Kunze and Sylvester Levay , the authors of the musicals Elisabeth, Mozart! and Marie Antoinette. The plot, which adheres closely to the original novel, revolves around Maxim...

    : April 22, 2012 (Broadhurst Theatre)

Plays
  • The Best Man
    The Best Man (play)
    The Best Man is a 1960 play by American playwright Gore Vidal. The play premiered on Broadway at the Morosco Theatre on March 31, 1960, and ran for 520 performances before closing on July 8, 1961.Vidal adapted it into a film with the same title in 1964....

    : April 1, 2012 (an undecided Shubert theatre)
  • Death of a Salesman
    Death of a Salesman
    Death of a Salesman is a 1949 play written by American playwright Arthur Miller. It was the recipient of the 1949 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Tony Award for Best Play. Premiered at the Morosco Theatre in February 1949, the original production ran for a total of 742 performances.-Plot :Willy Loman...

    : March 15, 2012 (Ethel Barrymore Theatre)
  • Don't Dress For Dinner: April 26, 2012 (American Airlines Theatre)
  • One Man, Two Guvnors
    One Man, Two Guvnors
    One Man, Two Guvnors is a play by Richard Bean. It opened at the National Theatre in June 2011. The play, directed by Nicholas Hytner, starred James Corden and is an English adaptation of Servant of Two Masters , a 1743 Commedia del Arte comedy by the Venetian playwright Carlo Goldoni...

    : April 18, 2012 (Music Box Theatre)
  • Wit
    Wit (play)
    Wit is a play written by American playwright Margaret Edson. Edson used her work experience in a hospital as part of the inspiration for her play. Wit received its world premiere at South Coast Repertory, Costa Mesa, California, in 1995...

    : January 26, 2012 (Samuel J. Friedman Theatre)

Musicals
  • Annie
    Annie (musical)
    Annie is a Broadway musical based upon the popular Harold Gray comic strip Little Orphan Annie, with music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Martin Charnin, and the book by Thomas Meehan. The original Broadway production opened in 1977 and ran for nearly six years with a blonde Annie as the poster...

    : (A Nederlander theatre to be announced)
  • The Wizard of Oz
    The Wizard of Oz (2011 musical)
    The Wizard of Oz is a musical based on the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz and L. Frank Baum's 1900 novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The adaptation is by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Jeremy Sams. The musical uses all of the Harold Arlen and E. Y...

    : (theatre unknown)

Plays
  • A Streetcar Named Desire
    A Streetcar Named Desire (play)
    A Streetcar Named Desire is a 1947 play written by American playwright Tennessee Williams for which he received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1948. The play opened on Broadway on December 3, 1947, and closed on December 17, 1949, in the Ethel Barrymore Theatre. The Broadway production was...

    : (theatre unknown)

External links

General

Reviews:

Awards and service organizations
Producers and Unions

News, information and ticket sources
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