Born in the early 1900’s, Broadway was considered the cultural hub of New York City. During this time, the best seats in the house wouldn’t cost more than $2.00.
The First Tony Awards, more formally known as the Antoinette Perry Awards was held in 1947 in New York City at the Waldorf -Astoria Hotel. There was no statue handed out during the awards, so their prizes were cigarette lighters for men and compacts for women.
Actress Audra McDonald has won the most Tony awards (6) as a performer. Director and producer Harold Prince has won the most awards (21) overall.
The musical that holds the record for the most Tony Awards is The Producers. In 2001, it won 12 awards out of 15 nominations.
Broadway began as an Algonquin trade route called the Wiechquaekeck Trail. It was one of two main roads linking NY Harbor with Upstate NY.
Broadway was nicknamed “The Great White Way” because of the lights along Broadway. The lights on the theatre marquees and billboards still light up the night sky along Broadway.
Out of the 40 Broadway theatres in Manhattan only 4 theatres are actually located on Broadway. The other 36 theatres are located in the theatre district between 41st and 53rd streets from 6th Avenue to 9th Avenue.
Three beloved Broadway theatres were demolished to make room for the Marriot Marquis Hotel. Inside the hotel is the Marquis Theatre on the third floor that has 1,611 seats.
The seating capacity is what differentiates Broadway theatres from Off-Broadway theatres. A Broadway theatre has a minimum of 499 seats, whereas Off-Broadway has a seating capacity between 100-499 seats.
Many of the theatres do not have a row with the letter “I” to prevent ticket holders into thinking they have seats in the first row.
Show Boat is often referred to as the first true American “musical play” which premiered at the Ziegfeld Theatre on December 27, 1927.
The Sound of Music, which debuted in 1959, was the last Broadway musical Rodgers and Hammerstein created which starred Mary Martin.
Opened on January 1988, Phantom of the Opera written by Andrew Lloyd Webber is (at the moment) the longest running Broadway show in history. As of March 2015, it has had over 12,200 performances.
The Walt Disney Company made its first Broadway debut in 1994 with an adaptation of the animated film Beauty and the Breast.