Broadway theatre is a collective of 41 professional theatres along Broadway in Manhattan, New York. The term Broadway is said to be an American theatre with a capacity to seat a minimum of 500 people. The Broadway District became a huge tourist spot for Americans and millions of people from around the world, and it represents the art and culture of the city, these performance spaces are open for theatre, opera, musicals, shows, screenings and other stage acts. The American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League are two institutions which present awards and accolades to the people who show great promise and potential as theatre artists. The Tony Awards is the highest Broadway honour and can be considered to be equivalent to the Oscar in Hollywood. Let us look at a few interesting facts about Broadway that are not commonly known.
Broadway theatres are not actually on Broadway.
Anyone who has been to New York and has been to Broadway knows that the most popular attraction in the city only hosts four out of the forty-one theatres which are spread across the city. These four theatres comprise of The Broadway Theatre, The Winter Garden, The Marquis and The Roundabout while the rest of the thirty-four theatres are in the Broadway district between 40th and 54th street and between 6th and 9th avenue. In order to qualify as Broadway, the theatre needs to have a seating capacity of more than 500 people, anything less will be considered as Off-Broadway.
Broadway is full of controversies.
Broadway is painted with a lot of controversial events, and art is highly subjective, it can make you feel moved, or it also has the potential to question your identity and belief system and sometimes the society deems it as unethical. In the late 1960s, a play by the name of Hair triggered massive protests in the city due to its outright counterculture theme, the cast and the makers were blamed for using strong language and portraying nudity. In late 2012 and early 2013 a play by the makers of SouthPark, The Book of Mormon offended many people because of its satirical take on religion. The makers of this play, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, had earlier made a video on a fight between Jesus and Santa Claus. In 1926, a play by the name of Sex written and performed by Mae West, who was an American actress. After a few screenings, the play received heavy criticism from the viewers, and the orthodox population jumped on the pedal to reprimand the makers. During a show, police raided the theatre and arrested Mae West with all other casts.
Broadway is what gave birth to modern films, most of the acclaimed actors are from theatre backgrounds, and this is a fact prevalent all across the world. Broadway is not only a tourist spot but a symbol of America’s performing arts society, and it reveals to us the pleasure of watching acts and shows in their raw form.