When you say “Broadway” most people automatically associate that with the plays and musicals put on in theaters on Broadway in New York City. The name is immediately recognizable because of its roots in musical theater history. The past, present and future of Broadway is about performance and tradition.
In 1750, Thomas Kean and Walter Murray opened their own theater company on Nassau Street, large enough to hold 280 people. They put on many Shakespearean plays and ballad operas. After the Revolutionary war, in 1798, the Park Theater was opened which was much larger and started the success of New York City Theater. The Bowery theater was built about thirty years later. The New York City theater scene was full of operas, melodramas and minstrel shows and more theaters and nightspots opened for performances. Theater grew and evolved as musical theater came to the scene and in the middle of the nineteenth century, real estate prices drew theaters to Broadway
At the start of the twentieth century, the electric signs that adorn most theaters today became popular, giving Broadway it’s theatrical look. Today, around 36 plays or musicals are running on Broadway, and many more tour the country to bring theater to other cities and towns. Thousands of people see shows on Broadway and the most sought-after shows are more and more difficult to buy tickets for. NYC play reviews only account for some of the shows you can see in the city.
Every year new plays and musicals are debuted that push the envelope, deal with deep challenges and change the way that people think about theater. While more and more people are interested in seeing shows it becomes more expensive to get tickets for a Broadway show. Many successful shows even take to the screen and become movies or live-musicals aired on TV for all to see. The future of Broadway is bright.