The Art

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Broadway has been with us for a very long time; it has seen two great wars and has lived to tell about it. The term “Broadway” refers to a location in the theater district of Manhattan. New York City. It is important to understand that before a performance earns the title “Broadway play” it must be held in one or more of the forty theaters in the district that has more than 500 seats.

The history of Broadway started 267 years ago, it all started with the vision of two brothers namely Thomas Kean and Walter Murray and Shakespeare.  Off course by then, Shakespeare was long dead, so what they did has they put on plays written by Shakespeare to an audience of more than 200.

The first major hit on Broadway was a play by john gay, titled “the beggar’s opera” this play attracted huge crowds. When the revolutionary war broke out in 1775 Broadway had to go underground because people were too busy killing each other, thankfully after the war was over Broadway recovered soon after and rose through the years into what it is today.

As theater got popular the first major theater was constructed, the Park Theater had the capacity to hold more than 2000 audience members. This theater was followed up by a second theater named “Bowery Theater”

In 1826 the broadways success led to the construction of even more theaters.

One of the most notable was Niblo’s Garden; this theater produced musical and nonmusical acts and was the most popular night spot in New York City at the beginning of the 19th century. Back then things were very different; your social class determined the shows you could attend and where you could sit.

In 1849 when a new theater opened named the Astor, the lower-class patrons started a riot that was triggered by what some say is the snobbery of the upper class. The problem was the middle class only had access to minstrel shows and melodramas, and the working class only had access to variety shows.

Back then the most popular plays were by Shakespeare, but that all changed when musicals came into the picture. The most popular musical was “The Elves” this play has been on Broadway for a very long time, in fact, it is one of the longest running plays. Other popular long-running musicals on Broadway are:

  • The seven sisters by Laura Keane
  • The Black Crook

You can say that the middle of the 19th century was the golden age for Broadway, back then real estate was inexpensive thus more theaters were built and more plays produced. This also meant that more money was being made on Broadway.

Forward to the 20th century and we saw the rise of “princes’ theater”, these shows had a modern touch to them and were mostly written by Guy Bolton, victor Herbert, and PG Wodehouse.

Broadway has produced lots of talents over the years and in my opinion, it will continue to do so for a very long time. If you have never been to Broadway this is the best time to go.… Read More

Pre Show Activities

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Are you In New York’s Broadway district and out of ideas about what to do until the show you are waiting for starts? If that’s you should consider doing some or all of the following, trust me it will be fun.

Take a foot tour

There is no better way to experience a city than on foot, when you walk around you get to experience things first hand and interact with the locals. There are businesses in the area that offer celebrity tour guides to show you the city, if you are lucky you may even land a tour with the likes of Denzel Washington, trust me this is the closest you will get to act out your Training Day fantasy.

If you chose to tour the area on your own I suggest that you tour the following locales:

  • Duffy square
  • Barrymore theater
  • The Edison hotel
  • Times building and new year’s ball
  • The music box theater
  • St Malachy’s actors chapel
  • Hell’s kitchen
  • Central park
  • Manhattan (lower, midtown and lower east)
  • East village

Try People Watching

I know you were taught not to stare at strangers, but believe me Time Square is the best place to go people watching. Who knows you might even run into the famous Naked Cowboy or even superman, not the real one of course.

There are lots of people here so you should give people watching a try when you are done awing at the huge screens and billboards.

Broadway Up-Close

As mentioned above you can get on foot tours on Broadway with one of your favorite celebrities.

The benefits you will get from this are, insider info on what’s happening currently and a behind the scenes look at Broadway. Oh, this will also keep you from getting lost in the city.  If you are interested in that book your tour here.

Buy Stuff

There are lots of shops in the area, I mean lots. This means that you can never miss a souvenir for your travels if you are looking for clothes, sweets and anything else you fancy just simply walk and have a look around before your show starts.

Where to Eat

We all have to eat and if you are New York why not sample the best the city has to offer? In my opinion, the top places you should eat at are:

There are over 150 restaurants in the district so you have lots of options, my advice is to walk around and look for one that impresses you the most and tells us about it. In the end, it’s all about fun, I could tell you lots of things to do but it’s always better if you make it up as you go. So have fun and don’t forget to watch a play or two while there.… Read More

 Must See Plays of 2017

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Each year over 13milion people head down to Broadway to catch a play or two, this means that if you are planning to visit New York City this April Broadway is one of those places that you must visit. When you are there I suggest that you find time to watch one of the following plays.

Hamilton by Lin-Manuel Miranda

What do you get when you mix hip-hop and a great story? You get Hamilton a story by Lin-Manuel Miranda that you must see this April. This is a look at American history from a different perspective; the music is amazing and the play is overall entertaining. Bookings are currently ongoing so I suggest that you buy your ticket today. You can find tickets on the Richard Rodgers theater website.

Beautiful Carole Kings’ Rise

This is a look at Carole king’s rise to fame; trust me you will love it from start to finish. The play is about her journey into becoming who she is today (an icon in songwriter circles). There is a lot of talent on display here if I were I wouldn’t miss this play.  You can book your tickets now on the Stephen Sondheim theater website.

Other shows you should keep an eye out for in April are.

  • Rain (beetles tribute)
  • Natasha, Pierre &the great comet of 1812
  • Sunday in the park with George
  • Sunset boulevard

Pretty Woman

One of the funniest romantic comedies is coming to Broadway this year; a pretty woman is a story about a rich man who falls in love with a prostitute. You can say that this is a throwback to Brian Adams songs and the 90s. Although the venue is yet to be announced you should keep an eye out for this one, I’m sure that it will be awesome judging by the talents behind it.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

This is a classic that you must watch before the end of 2017, the play is based on Roald Dahl’s book by the same name. There is no venue yet for this play but that should be corrected soon, in my opinion, this is one of those plays that you must see. The story was adapted for the silver screen multiple times and is now coming rather returning to Broadway.

Come from Away: Gerald Schoenfeld Theater

This is one of the highest rated musicals on Broadway; the story is about a small town named Gander which played host to displaced airplane passengers on September 9/11. This play opens on 12 of March 2017 and you can book your ticket all the way up to the end of the year, so you have a lot of opportunities to watch it.

Honorable Mentions

Other plays that you should watch this year are:

  • Waitress: Brooke Atkinson theater
  • The glass menagerie: Belasco theater
  • Hamlet: Anspacher theater
  • War Paint: Nederlander theater
  • Anastasia: Broadhurst theater
  • Bandstand: brand B Jacobs theater
  • The little foxes: Samuel j. Friedman theater

The good thing about Broadway is there is everything for everyone, so share with us your favorite picks for 2017.… Read More

The Biggest Hits on Broadway

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The theater is one of those things that you either love or hate, judging by the numbers you can tell that there are lots of people enjoy theater. The reason why Broadway is as big as it is today is it produces lots of hits. Some stay in Broadway and others make it to the big screen for all to see.

As they say, money talks, based on the amount of money generated the following are the five biggest hits on Broadway.

The Lion King

Originally this was a Disney cartoon, you may think that something Disney dished out 23 years ago would be old news by now, but it’s not you can still buy tickets to watch the musical version of it on Broadway today. Why? Because it’s awesome that’s why.

Today the number of times lion king has been performed has passed the 5000mark, worldwide the lion king musical broke box office records by earning $6.2 billion. If you are a 90s baby and want something that will take you “back then” you should go watch the lion king.

Chicago

Chicago is a play about betrayal and murder, the story revolves around Velma Kelly a woman who murders her sister and husband after finding them in bed together. So you know it’s good, the play was written back in 1975 by john Kander.

The play is set during the prohibition era, if you are in New York this is a must see so don’t miss out.

Les Miserable’s

Just so you know Liam Neeson once played a leading role in a movie based on this play, this play is based on a novel by a victor Hugo. The novel is about a man who broke his parole and is being hunted by a ruthless policeman.  The novel is considered to be one of the best ever written thus explaining the success of plays and movies based on it.

Cats

‘Cats’ is one of the most beloved musicals on Broadway, why? This is a play that is suitable for all audiences thus making it perfect for families. This musical is based on ‘old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats’ by TS Elliot wrote in 1939. If you and your family are planning to visit New York this year this is a show that you shouldn’t miss.

The Phantom of the Opera

This is something I’m sure you’ve heard of; this is one of the most popular plays in Broadway’s history. The story is about a mentally unstable and highly deformed phantom that lurks underneath the Paris Opera Theater, the phantom plots malevolent acts against the owners of the opera and the actors.

The phantom kidnaps an actor and takes her to his lair because in his mind he thinks that the kidnapped actor can do his musical talent justice. This musical was written by Charles hart and was first performed back in 1986.

If you are visiting Broadway you can never go wrong with any of these plays, so give them a try and tell us about it.… Read More

Top 10 Celebrities on Broadway

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Uh, celebrities we all love them, with their perfect bodies and good looking faces, wait! This is getting kind of weird so let’s just stick to the important stuff. Okay, sheesh killjoy, anyways there are lots of celebrities on Broadway even that guy played a guy with three claws and awkward haircut, you know Dead pool no wolverine.

What’s his name again? I keep forgetting.

Hugh Jackman

We won’t all agree on this spot but come one this is the wolverine, who wouldn’t want to see this guy singing a musical for your entertainment?  If you want to see Hugh Jackman in action you should keep an eye on the following plays:

  • The river
  • The boy from oz
  • A steady rain
  • Oklahoma

If you missed these plays you can always download them off the internet, but don’t tell anybody I told you that.

Glenn Close

Unlike Leonardo Di Caprio this is a three time Tony award winner, this is an actor who has been in the business of acting writing and producing for over 40 years. You can catch her on

  • Sunset boulevard
  • A delicate balance
  • The play what I wrote

Al Pacino

The guy who said “say hello to my little friend” deserves a spot on this list, this is a man who has been in the business for over 50 years. On Broadway, you can catch him in plays such as:

  • The merchant of Venice (shylock)
  • Salome
  • Hughie
  • China doll

Forest Whitaker

Is this guy in ‘Rogue One’ and ‘platoon’? Amongst many other awesome movies, need I say anything more? On Broadway you can find him in:

  • Hughie

Fran Drescher

For 90s babies her voice was the most familiar thing on TV, if you hear it you can never forget it. Fran is an actor/comedian who is well known for her role in a TV show titled ‘The Nanny’ on Broadway you can catch her on:

  • Cinderella
  • Camelot

Matthew Broderick

Remember that guy from Godzilla, not the recent boring one the older one? You can find him on Broadway playing Godzilla, nope just kidding you can find him the following plays:

  • Sylvia
  • Nice workout if you can get it
  • It’s only a play

Julie Andrews

Mary Poppins remember that? At one time it was the best-animated movie on the big screen. That was Julie Andrews, on Broadway you can find her in:

  • my fair lady
  • Camelot
  • Victor/Victoria

Idina Menzel

This is an actor/songwriter whose rise to fame came thanks to her roles as Maureen Johnson in a musical titled “Rent”. She earned a Tonny award for that role and has also featured in the following:

  • If/then
  • Hair
  • Aida
  • Wicked

Daniel Radcliffe

Most people know this guy for his role as Harry Potter, he is an English actor born in Hammersmith, London, UK. On Broadway you can find him on:

  • The cripple of Inishman
  • How to succeed in business without really trying
  • Equus

Honorable Mentions

Other talents you should pay attention to on Broadway are:

  • Lea Michele
  • Neil Patrick Harris
  • Liza Minnelli
  • Josh Groban
  • Nathan lane
  • Zack Braff
  • Bruce Willis
  • Taye Diggs
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