A little bit of Broadway History

September 29th, 2011

Broadway is a group of 40 professional theatres in the Theatre District and in Lincoln Center, in Manhattan, New York City. It is not just for theatre that Broadway is famous for, its legacy attracts millions of people whether they are theatre enthusiasts or not.

Here is a little bit of Broadway history.

It was only in the year 1750 that New York got its own Theaters. It happened when Walter Murray and Thomas Kean came up with a resident theatre company at the Theatre on Nassau Street. It was just the beginning.  It was a company from Britain that next entered the scene. The theatre was established by Lewis Hallam in Williamsburg, Virginia in 1752. By the summer of 1753 they moved to New York. Though the Revolutionary War put a pause on the theatre scene for a while, but it was back with a bang in 1798.

The Park Theater that could seat 2000 people was built on Chatham Street which became the Park Row.  It was followed by the Bowery Theatre in 1826. Many more theatres came up as the 1830’s was the age of the Blackface minstrel shows.  In 1829, Niblo’s Garden at Broadway and Prince Street- a 3,000-seat theatre- which presented musical and non musical entertainments became the New York’s most happening night place. By the 1940’s an entertainment complex under P.T. Barnum came up in lower Manhattan.

The Broadway history took a new turn with the opening of the Astor Place Theatre in 1847. In 1849 the Astor Place Riot took place regarding the upper class audience at Astor Place.  There after entertainment in New York was divided. The upper and upper middle classes began going for operas, the minstrel shows, melodrama entertained the middle class and the men of the working class, and the lower middle class had to content themselves with variety shows in concert saloons. The plays of William Shakespeare were popular in Broadway at the time and the actor Edwin Booth gave some scintillating performances on stage at the Winter Garden Theatre in 1865. He later started Booth’s Theatre also.

The Broadway was rejuvenated in the year 1868 with Lyndia Thomson and her theatrical troupe bringing English burlesques to the American soil. Theatre began to move to midtown New York in the 1870’s. Union Square and Madison square became the new areas. In the early 1900’s Broadway theatres reached Times Square also.

The arrival of the Musical

It was in 1857 that The Elves came to Broadway. It was the first “long- run” musical, which went up to 50 performances. Then Laura Keene’s “musical burletta” Seven Sisters (1860) also established the popular entertainment as musicals.

The modern version of the musical with dance and original music began with The Black Crook, which premiered in New York on September 12, 1866. Though it lasted five and a half hours it ran for a record 474 performances.

Then it was time for the musical comedies, The Black Domino/Between You, Me and the Post, being the first. Tony Pastor opened the first vaudeville theatre in Union Square in 1881. Broadway became the scene for comedians like Edward Harrigan and Tony Hart between 1878 and 1885.

Better times

As New York grew, so did its entertainment. Theatres received more patrons and they also became women friendly.  Many famous comic operas reached Broadway. Gilbert and Sullivan’s H.M.S. Pinafore(1878), Reginald Dekoven’s Robin Hood (1891) and John Philip Sousa’s El Capitan (1896) Charles Hoyt’s A Trip to Chinatown (1891)  and Irene in 1919 were some of the greatest Broadway shows. .

Hundreds of musical comedies were staged on Broadway in the 1890s and early 1900s In the early years of the 20th century, translations of popular late-19th century continental operettas  were joined by the “Princess Theatre” shows of the 1910s by writers such as P. G. Wodehouse, Guy Bolton and Harry B. Smith. Victor Herbert.

The popularity of Broadway is what led to the establishment of Tony Awards in 1947.

If you are a Broadway musical fan, buy tickets to famous Broadway musicals such as Shrek, Come Fly Away, Riverdance, Wicked, Spamalot, Rock of Ages, Mamma Mia, Billy Elliot, Addams Family, Million Dollar Quartet, LA CAGE AUX FOLLES, and Memphis today!



Pantages seating chart

September 22nd, 2011

So here is the Pantages seating chart. Figure out where you want to sit next.

 

 

 

 

Shrek, Come Fly Away , Riverdance, Wicked, Spamalot, Rock of Ages, Mamma Mia, Billy Elliot, Addams Family, Million Dollar Quartet, LA CAGE AUX FOLLES, and Memphis, tickets are available now. Buy yours today!

 

 



2011 Tony Awards Winners

September 15th, 2011

It is a bit late in the day, but what good is a musical blog without talking about the Tony award winners? So here are the Tony award winners for the year 2011. Book of Mormon won big, pity it is not playing at the Pantages Theater at least as of now.

Best Play
War Horse

Best Musical
The Book of Mormon

Best Book of a Musical
The Book of Mormon

Best Original Score
The Book of Mormon

Best Revival of a Play
The Normal Heart

Best Revival of a Musical
Anything Goes

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play
Mark Rylance,  Jerusalem

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play
Frances McDormand, Good People

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical
Norbert Leo Butz, Catch Me If You Can

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical
Sutton Foster, Anything Goes

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play
John Benjamin Hickey, The Normal Heart

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play
Ellen Barkin, The Normal Heart

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical
John Larroquette, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical
Nikki M. James, The Book of Mormon

Best Direction of a Play
Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris, War Horse

Best Direction of a Musical
Casey Nicholaw and Trey Parker, The Book of Mormon

Best Choreography
Kathleen Marshall, Anything Goes

Best Orchestrations
Larry Hochman & Stephen Oremus, The Book of Mormon

Best Scenic Design of a Play
Rae Smith, War Horse

Best Scenic Design of a Musical
Scott Pask, The Book of Mormon

Best Costume Design of a Play
Desmond Heeley, The Importance of Being Earnest

Best Costume Design of a Musical
Tim Chappel & Lizzy Gardiner, Priscilla Queen of the Desert

Shrek, Come Fly Away , Riverdance, Wicked, Spamalot, Rock of Ages, Mamma Mia, Billy Elliot, Addams Family, Million Dollar Quartet, LA CAGE AUX FOLLES, and Memphis, tickets are available now.

 



7 Questions and Answers About Broadway Shows

September 8th, 2011

1. What is a Broadway show really?

The term Broadway encompasses all the plays, musicals as well as the special attractions that are presented in the Manhattan Theatre District, at any of the 40 designated playhouses. Broadway shows are also usually on tour, they visit about 240 cities every year.

2. What is the number of Broadway theatres in New York?

There are 40 designated Broadway theatres in the New York City.

3. Are the Broadway theatres located on Broadway?

Yes, quite a few of them are actually located  on Broadway. But the majority of theatres are on the side streets.

4. I want to get to the Theatre District. How do I do that?

These are the subway lines that serve the Theatre District – the 6th Avenue B, D, F, and V trains (42nd Street and 47 through 50th Streets); the 7th Avenue 1, 2, 3, and 9 trains (Times Square and 50th Street); 8th Avenue A, C, and E lines (42nd Street or 50th Street); the Broadway N, Q, R, and W lines (Times Square and 49th Street); and the Grand Central shuttle (Times Square). You may also take any of the following buses – M6, M7, M10, M11, M20, M27/50, M42, and M104.

5. What is the location of Theatre District?

Theatre District stretches across the midtown blocks between Avenues 6 and 8, from West 41st Street to West 54th Street. The Vivian Beaumont Theatre, is situated just outside the Theatre district, at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, West 65th Street.

6. How does Broadway differ from other theatrical performances?

For more than 100 years, Broadway has been the home of the most talented and accomplished performers, entertainers and artists. Broadway has always been considered the pinnacle of entertainment in live theatre.

10. How do I get Broadway tickets?

You my purchase tickets to all Broadway shows over the Internet or via telephone. Shows to many Broadway plays are available now. Buy tickets to famous Broadway musicals such as Shrek, Come Fly Away, Riverdance, Wicked, Spamalot, Rock of Ages, Mamma Mia, Billy Elliot, Addams Family, Million Dollar Quartet, LA CAGE AUX FOLLES, and Memphis today!



Addams Family Photos

September 1st, 2011

That lovable but creepy family is alive and well. Their spooky mansion at Central Park is the stage for many a strange happenings. The elegant undead Morticia and Gomez, her devoted husband, are both at their wits end as Wednesday, their daughter, has turned 18 and falls in love. Love? That’s an odd word in the Addams household.

To see how they deal with this strange and menacing problem, watch Addams Family musical. Enjoy some stills of the musical and get your Addams family tickets today.