Broadway_ by liuqingyan


• Broadway refers to the 40 large professional
  theatres with 500+ seats in the theatre district
  and Lincoln Center in Manhattan, New York.
  – It is also the name of a street in New York
• “The Great White Way”- name given to the
  theatre district because of all of the bright
  lights, this was one of the first electrically
  lighted streets in the US
               History Cont.
• There are only 4
  theatres actually located
  on “Broadway” the rest
  are on side streets
  between 42nd and 53rd
• Those theatres are: the
  Marquis, the Palace, the
  Winter Garden, and of
  course the Broadway
          Even MORE History!
• The term “Off Broadway” refers to any theatre
  that has less that 499 seats, if theatres have
  100 or less seats they are called “Off Off
• Broadway represents the highest level of
  commercial theatre in the English speaking
• Ticket sales were at $1.037 billion in 2010
              History cont.
• Broadway is
  considered one of
  the major tourist
  attractions when
  visiting New York
  Broadway, before the musicals…
• The men who brought theatre to New York in
  1750 were Walter Murray and Thomas Kean.
• They opened a theatre on Nassau St. that sat
  around 280 people that presented mostly
  straight plays (no singing) and some ballad
          The Revolutionary War
• When the Revolutionary War
  broke out, theatre in not only
  New York, but in other Colonies
  were suspended.
• Theatre resumed in 1798
• Also in this year the first large
  theatre, the Park Theatre,
  seating 2,000 people was built
  on Chatham Street (now called
  Park Row).
            Theatre Expands!
• By the 1840’s PT Barnum, of circus fame, was
  operating entertainment venues in NYC
• In 1829, Niblo’s Garden became one of the
  hot spots for New York nightlife presenting
  plays of the musical and non musical variety.
              Riot in the Theatre!

• After the Astor-Palace theatre opened in 1847 people could
  tell that things were being divided by classes.
• In 1849, the lower class patrons of the Bowery theatre were
  outraged by the “snobbery” of the Astor-Palace theatre.
• This caused New York City Entertainment to draw class lines:
   – Opera was for the upper and upper middle classes
   – Minstrel shows and melodramas for the middle class
   – Variety shows for men of the working class and the
      slumming middle class (shown in saloons)
 American History, in the Theatre?
• Shakespeare was a common thing people
  would see when going to the theatre.
• One of the more popular actors at the time,
  known most for his role as Hamlet, was Edwin
• He performed the role for over 100
• The final performance ended just months
  before his brother, John Wilkes Booth, shot
  Abraham Lincoln
             The British Blondes
• In 1868, Lydia Thompson came to America from
  Britain with her entertainment troupe of “British
• For one year they were the most popular form of
  entertainment in New York
• The show which was only slotted for 6 months ran
  for a total of 6 years!
• Their show was a combination of comedy, parody,
  satire, improvisation, song and dance, variety acts,
  extravagant stage effects, jokes, and costumes
                Making the Move
• Broadway theatres started
  downtown, they gradually
  moved more to the midtown
  area and the Madison/Union
  square areas around 1870.
• Theatre locations weren't in
  the Time Square (where we
  know them today) area until
  the early 1900's and it wasn't
  until the 1920's or 1930's that
  all theatres consolidated to
  that location
The Birth of the Broadway Musical

• The first "long run" musical to grace the
  Broadway stage was Elves in 1857. It, at the
  time, ran for a record 56 performances.
• The record was shattered when in 1860 the
  musical Seven Sisters which ran for 253
            Musicals get a Facelift
• In September of 1866 the show The Black Crook made its
  Broadway debut.
• The Black Crook is considered, by many critics and historians,
  to be the first modern conception of a musical.
• It is the first to incorporate dancing and original music to help
  tell the story.
• Despite its length, 5 and a half hours long, it ran for a record
  474 performances
• In the same year the show Black Domino/ Between You, Me
  and the Post became the first to call their show a "musical
              Broadway Reform
• Between the years of 1878
  and 1885 Edward Harrigan
  and Tony Hart were
  producing and staring in
  musicals on Broadway.
• Their musicals not only
  featured stories of real life
  lower class New Yorkers, but
  it also started to involve a
  cast of higher quality singers.
  The END of the Civil War=A New
• During the Civil War it was unsafe to travel the
  streets at night due to poor street lighting
• After the Civil War transportation improved,
  poverty diminished, and due to the new and
  improved street lighting there was higher
  attendance in Broadway theatres!
• What did this mean? It meant that plays
  could run longer, draw more audiences, bring
  in higher profits and improve production
A Change in the Movies= A Change
          in Broadway?
• In 1891, the play A Trip to Chinatown became Broadway's longest
  running show on stage for 657 performances, which would hold
  until 1919 with the play Irene
• In the 1920's something happened in the movie industry that would
  threaten the face of Broadway
• Movies, until this point, were all silent films. Now, with new
  technology, they were able to put music and sound with movies.
• With this, Broadway musical writers changed the style of how they
  wrote plays. They would write in favor of famous actors and
  actresses, big dance numbers, and popular music instead of
  creating a plot
• Although the play books themselves were easily forgettable, this
  movement produced many memorable songs from composers like
  George Gershwin
      Reform…again and Revivals
• In 1927, writers realized that they needed to bring
  the plot back into the show and that started with the
  musical Show Boat which ran for 527 performances.
• Not only did the twenties shape the face of
  Broadway today, it also brought rise to the revival.
• A revival is when someone takes a play that has
  already premiered and closed on Broadway and
  brings it back into the spotlight. This happened with
  many of the popular Shakespearean plays and some
  older musicals.
The Great Depression Sheds a New
• Once the Great Depression
  passed, Broadway entered its
  "Golden Age" beginning with
  the play Oklahoma! which ran
  for 2, 212 performances since
  it opened in 1943.
• After this, Broadway kept
  producing hit after hit after hit
  attaining the highest level of
  international prestige in
       Broadway Today: Schedule
• Shows with open-ended runs
  usually have evening performances
  Tuesday through Saturday and
  matinee performances on
  Wednesday Saturday and Sunday
• Monday’s are known as “dark days’’
  in the theatre. No performances
  are to be held, the only light is a
  single lamp at center stage
• Some shows, like the Disney
  produced shows, change the times
  of their shows to accommodate the
  season to appeal to different
How Broadway Works Today:
            • Shows on Broadway
              today are very
              dependent on the
              actors and actresses
              that are cast in leading
            • The goal in doing this is
              to bring in new
              audiences and keep
              Broadway alive
                  Personnel Cont.
• Patrick Healy of the New York Times said this:
   – "Broadway once had many homegrown stars who committed to
     working on a show for a year, as Nathan Lane has for The
     Addams Family. This year, 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."
• With the trend of having bigger name stars in the leading
  roles, the length of runs and commitments has gone down. In
  the beginning the minimum commitment was 6 months to a
  year on a show, now around 13 weeks is the norm for an actor
  before being replaced
      How Broadway Works: Runs
• Most Broadway productions are intended to be commercial
  productions or to make a profit for the theatre and the
• Some shows are given the title of having an “open-ended
  run”. This means that there is not a date that the show is set
  to close. The close date will be determined by word of
  mouth, effectiveness of advertisement, and ticket sales.
• Some shows do not immediately make a profit, but theatres
  continue to run the shows to either make operating expenses
  or run long enough where they will make back their initial
  expenses and then begin turning a profit
       How Broadway Works: Runs
• Some shows hold the title of a “limited engagement run”. This title
  is given for a number of reasons including prior engagements of the
  performer or temporary availability of a theatre between the end of
  one production and the beginning of another
• Some shows with the “limited engagement run” title can be
  converted to having an “open-ended run” title. This happens when
  a show gains critical acclaim from critics or extreme box office
• On January 9, 2006, The Phantom of the Opera at the Majestic
  Theatre became the longest running Broadway Musical with 7,486
  performances overtaking Cats (Both musicals are written by the
  same person, Andrew Lloyd Weber)
     Off Broadway and US Tours
• Off-Broadway is considered
  to be a show that is being
  performed in a theatre with
  less than 500 seats
• Some of the more popular
  shows have started in an Off-
  Broadway theatre and
  moved onto a Broadway
  stage like Hair, Rent, and
  Avenue Q
 Off Broadway and US Tours CONT.
• Depending on the popularity of a show, after or
  during a shows run the shows producer might decide
  to create a touring group with a new cast and crew.
   – Wicked, Phantom of the Opera, and Shrek! The
     Musical are among the popular Broadway Tours
• These shows feature a smaller scale production and
  set than the Broadway productions
• The more popular the show, the longer they will stay
  in a city to perform
   – When Wicked comes to the Fox in September it
     will run for one month
                The Tony Awards!
• The Annual Antoinette Perry Awards, or the
  Tony Awards, are the Broadway version of the
   – Unlike the Oscars, the Tony’s have live
      performances of the nominated best
      musicals, instead of video clips
• The winners are chosen by the American
  Theatre Wing and The Broadway League, two
  of the major governing agencies of Broadway
• The Awards first took place in 1947
• The awards show gained more importance
  when in 1997 CBS aired the Tony’s on
             The Tony Awards!
• The major award categories include Best Musical,
  Best Original Score, Best Performance by a Leading
  Actor and Actress in a Musical, Best Performance by
  a Featured Actor and Actress in a Musical, and Best
  Direction of a Musical
• The most Tony’s ever received were by the musical
  The Producers, bringing home a total of 12 awards
• Catherine Zeta Jones, of movie fame, recently won
  the Tony for Best Performance by a Leading Actress
  in a Musical for her role in A Little Night Music
              Pit Orchestras!
• The Pit orchestra refers
  to the location where the
  music is performed in a
  Broadway Musical
• Sometimes the pit
  orchestra can be on
  stage, like in Chicago and
  Spring Awakening, but
  others are underneath
  the stage
               Pit Orchestras!
• Pit orchestras are very reduced. Usually there are
  20-30 musicians in a pit
• No more than 10 string players, the music or the
  “book” as it is referred to, can sometimes have
  musicians playing more than one instrument (usually
  for woodwind players) throughout the course of a
  show (those people are referred to as the “doubler”)
• The conductor can sometimes even be part of the
  orchestra, playing either a drum set or a keyboard
  and conduct at the same time
• Based on the comic strip “Little
  Orphan Annie” the musical was
  written by Thomas Meehan,
  music by Charles Strouse and
  lyrics by Martin Charnin.
• It opened in 1977 and ran for
  nearly 7 years at the now Neil
  Simon Theatre
• It inspired numerous other
  productions and national tours
• It was nominated for 11 Tony awards and won
  7 including Best Musical
• It began it’s first tour in 1978
• The pit orchestra usually features anywhere
  from 10-15 musicians
• Popular songs from Annie include “It’s and
  Hard Knock Life” and “Tomorrow”
                    Annie- PLOT
• Set in 1933, the story follows 11-
  year-old orphan Annie. In the
  orphanage where she lives, with
  strict supervisor Miss Hannigan,
  the girls living there aren’t treated
• When Grace Farrell, assistant to
  Oliver Warbucks, comes to the
  orphanage to request a child to
  spend the Christmas holiday at his
  house, Annie just happens to be
  there and becomes the lucky child
Annie- PLOT
 • Back at the orphanage family
   members of Miss Hannigan find
   out about Annie living with a
   billionaire and decide they are
   going to make themselves rich
 • Annie and “Daddy” Warbucks
   begin to get along and spend
   lots of time together, after his
   initial dismay, and he and his
   staff promise that some way
   they will find Annie’s parents
Annie- Finale!
   • Later Miss Hannigan’s
     relatives pose as Annie’s
     parents and try to take her
     away, when F.D.R. comes out
     with the real story that
     Annie’s parents died when
     she was a baby her “parents”
     and Miss Hannigan are
     arrested by Secret Service
     and Annie is adopted by
     “Daddy” Warbucks
            Phantom of the Opera
• The musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber,
  lyrics by Charles Hart and the original
  score by Andrew Lloyd Webber, was
  based on the book Le Fantôme de
  l'Opéra by Gaston Leroux
• It was first premiered at Her Majesty’s
  Theatre in London in 1986
• It opened on Broadway in 1988 at the
  Majestic theatre and has continued its
  open ended run ever since
• The instrumentation is set for a 27
  piece orchestra, which is larger than
  most modern musicals
           Phantom of the Opera
• At the 1988 Tony Awards, it took home 10 trophies
  including Best Musical, Best Original Score and the
  original “Phantom” Michael Crawford took home the
  Tony for Best Performance by an Actor in a Musical
• The show has been seen in 149 cities in 25 countries, and
  has played to over 100 million people
• As of 2008 The Phantom of the Opera was named the
  highest-grossing entertainment event of all time, totaling
  at $5.1 billion
• It’s most popular songs include “Think of Me”, “Angel of
  Music” “Phantom of the Opera” and “All I Ask of You”
            Phantom of the Opera
• There are 10 main characters in the show
   – Erik (The Phantom of the Opera)*, Christine Daaé*,Raoul,
     Vicomte de Chagny*, Carlotta , Madame Giry, Meg Giry,
     Monsieur Richard Firmin, Monsieur Gilles André, Ubaldo
     Piangi, Joseph Buquet
• The role of Christine Daaé was written for Sarah Brightman,
  who starred in the original show in London and also the
  original Broadway cast alongside the original Phantom
  Michael Crawford
   – The role of Christine is typically double cast (the second
     actress performing on Tuesday and Thursday nights)
        Phantom of the Opera- Plot
• Set in 1880 in a Paris Opera House,
  the story follows the politics
  involved in being a part of an opera
  house. Carlotta, the prima donna
  (soprano) of the opera house is the
  typical “diva” and when a backdrop
  falls on her (believed by the
  Phantom) she quits to the new
  owners dismay. Meg suggests that
  Christine, an orphaned chorus girl,
  sing the aria in Carlotta’s place and
  that she has been taught by a great
      Phantom of the Opera- Plot
• After her debut she meets
  her “Angel of Music” aka the
  Phantom and he takes her
  deep beneath the opera
  house as Raoul comes in
  immediately after. While in
  the cave Christine beholds
  the horror of the Phantoms
  deformed face, after this she
  is returned to her dressing
  room. After this Christine
  and Raoul profess their love
  for each other, enraging the
   Phantom of the Opera- The END
• Later in Act II, after many plots and
  violence between Raoul and the
  Phantom, Christine is taken by the
  Phantom back to the depths of the
  Opera house. The Phantom, with
  blind obsession for Christine (and
  after Raoul has discovered them)
  makes her choose between the
  two. She, to save Raoul chooses
  the Phantom who after
  experiencing real kindness sets the
  two of them free. A mob storms
  the lair where Meg lifts the
  Phantoms cape to find him
  vanished and his mask the only
  thing that remains.
      Legally Blonde: The Musical!
• Opened, after many pre-
  Broadway auditions in California,
  at the Palace theatre in April 2007
• Music and lyrics by Laurence
  O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin and
  book by Heather Hach
• The story is based on the novel
  Legally Blonde by Amanda Brown
  and the 2001 movie of the same
  name starring Reese
    Legally Blonde: The Musical!
• Once it opened it was producing profits of
  nearly $1million every week
• Despite the initial popularity and the reality
  show on MTV, Legally Blonde closed its doors
  in October of 2008
• It was nominated for 7 Tony Awards, but did
  not win any
• Although it didn’t last on Broadway it has
  brought out many touring companies around
  the world
    Legally Blonde: The Musical!
• The main characters are
  Elle Woods, Warner
  Huntington III, Emmett
  Forrest, and Paulette
• Important songs include
  Serious, So Much Better,
  and Bend and Snap!
• The show requires an 18
  member orchestra
       Legally Blonde: The Plot
• The musical follows the story of Elle Woods
  and her desire to get married to her “perfect”
  boyfriend Warner. When things don’t go quite
  as she plans, and he dumps her, she is
  devastated. He wants someone more
  “serious” than Elle.
• Elle then hatches a plan to go to Harvard,
  where Warner is going to law school, and
  become the serious girl he says he wants.
          Legally Blonde: The Plot
• After realized her love for law, Elle
  finds herself as an intern, with
  Warner and his new fiancé, on a
  murder trial. She then meets
  Emmett who will eventually become
  the man for her.
• In the midst of being discriminated
  by her professors for being blonde
  and other things Elle realizes that she
  can still be a lawyer and be serious,
  without losing her true identity.
             Shrek! The Musical
• Opened on Broadway in
  December of 2008 and closed
  its doors in January of 2010 at
  the Broadway Theatre
• The first US tour began in July
  of 2010 and it is currently being
  shown at the Fox Theatre
• The music was written by
  Jeanine Tesori and the book
  and lyrics was written by
  famous playwright David
           Shrek The Musical
• Based on the 1990 book by David Steig and
  the DreamWorks film starring Mike Myers
• Nominated for 8 Tony Awards but only
  received one for Best Costume Design of a
• Work for the show began in 2002 but it did
  not officially open until 2008
           Shrek The Musical
• The main characters are Shrek, Donkey,
  Princess Fiona, Lord Farquaad, and Dragon
• Major musical numbers include This is How
  Dreams Come True, The Travel Song, and I’m A
• The orchestra is made up of 27 musicians, just
  as big as the Phantom of the Opera orchestra
• Random Fact: In the music, there are many
  references to other musicals!
            Shrek The Musical: Plot
• The story follows a green ogre named
  Shrek who is grumpy and lives in a
  swamp. When Lord Farquaad of Dulac
  forces all of the fairy tale creatures out,
  and they find shelter in Shrek’s swamp,
  he is outraged. He goes to Dulac to
  request the creatures out of his swamp,
  along with his annoying and unwanted
  companion, Donkey
• Lord Farquaad, who is trying to find a
  wife so he can be King of Dulac, sends
  Shrek (and Donkey) on a quest to find
  Princess Fiona in order to privatize his
           Shrek The Musical: Plot
• After rescuing Princess Fiona from
  the tower and the Dragon, Shrek
  and Donkey take her back to Lord
  Farquaad. While on the journey
  Shrek and Fiona fall in love. Shrek
  does not know that Fiona is under
  a spell that at night turns her into
  an ogre.
• In the end, Shrek Donkey and the
  Dragon storm the castle during
  Lord Farquaad and Fiona’s wedding
  and Shrek breaks the spell turning
  Fiona into loves true form, an ogre
• Premiered on Broadway in
  October 2003 at the Gershwin
  Theatre where it is still performing
• Based on the book by Gregory
  McGuire Wicked: The Life and
  Times of the Wicked Witch of the
  West, Wicked is the story of Oz
  before and after Dorothy dropped
• The book was written by Winnie
  Holzman and music and lyrics by
  Steven Schwartz
• Since it’s opening in 2003, Wicked has performed
  3,127 performances, making it the 17th longest
  running musical of all time and it is STILL running on
• Wicked not only has a touring company, but it also
  had permanent performances in Chicago, Los
  Angeles, London, San Francisco, and some
  international locations.
• At the 2004 Tony awards Wicked was nominated for
  10 awards and took home 3 including Best Actress in
  a Musical for Idina Menzel
• The main characters of Wicked are
  Elphaba (Idina Menzel), Glinda
  (Kristen Chenoweth), Fiyero, and
  The Wizard.
• Some important musical numbers
  of Wicked are What is this Feeling,
  Popular, Defying Gravity, As Long
  as Your Mine, and For Good
• The orchestra consists of 20
                   Wicked: The Plot
• The story follows Elphaba, who has
  green skin, and her struggle with
  discovering who she is.
• When she and her sister Nessarose
  arrive at Shiz University, meeting Glinda,
  there is a rooming problem and Elphaba
  and Glinda must room together (What is
  this Feeling).
• As the semester drags on Elphaba
  discovers that some of the professors,
  who are animals, are losing their abilities
  to talk, something else she discovers is
  that she has magical powers!
                 Wicked: The Plot
• The head of the school sends Elphaba
  and Glinda to Oz, they are now friends,
  to talk to the Wizard about what is going
  on with the animals.
• When they discover he is a part of the
  plot, and blames it on Elphaba, she
  becomes a fugitive and all of the Ozians
  want her dead
• As the story continues Elphaba becomes
  ok with being green, after falling in love
  with Fiyero (who becomes the
            Wicked: The Plot
• After Dorothy drops in and the Wizard gives
  her the task of killing Elphaba (The Wicked
  Witch of the West…but not wicked), the
  scarecrow (Fiyero), the Tin Man, and the Lion
  hatch a plan to fake her death.
• In the end Elphaba is alive and she and Fiyero
  go off together, Glinda stays in Oz as Glinda
  the Good Witch, and the animals of Oz are
     Broadway to the Big Screen
• Started in 1927 with the release of The Jazz
  Singer, it was the first movie to incorporate
• They gained popularity and Hollywood
  released over 100 musicals in 1930
• In 1933, the first Broadway musical made it to
  the big screen. That musical was 42nd Street
     Broadway to the Big Screen
• In 1961 Broadway musical
  West Side Story, a modern day
  Romeo and Juliet, made it to
  the big screen setting the
  standard that stage musicals
  are still popular.
     Broadway to the Big Screen
• Today, it is a very popular thing to turn a
  Broadway production into a movie
• Although they are adapted for time and some
  musical numbers are cut, they can sometimes
  have a more theatrical feel as a movie
• Some recent Broadway adaptations include
  The Phantom of the Opera (a remake), Rent,
  Mamma Mia!, Hairspray, and Sweeney Todd.
               Disney Musicals
• The Disney musical is another
  popular attraction on Broadway.
• Although you wouldn’t expect it,
  Disney musicals were first seen in
  the movie theatre NOT on
• Some popular Disney Broadway
  productions include The Lion King
  (which won multiple Tony
  awards), Mary Poppins, and
  Beauty and the Beast.

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