When you think about Broadway shows, you probably picture famous actors, inspiring sets and bustling New York City. Whether you live in New York or are visiting, you may want to make time to see a Broadway show at some point. There are 40 Broadway theaters. That means that there are always plenty of shows to choose from. However, some tickets may sell out months in advance, while you can get great last-minute deals for other shows. Some shows have high turnover, and others have a longer run. The longest running Broadway musical is “The Phantom of the Opera,” which opened in 1988 and is still playing today.
The History of Broadway
Broadway is a wide street that runs from the southern tip of Manhattan to its northern end.
The theater district is between 42nd and 53rd streets and includes Times Square. It is referred to as “The Great White Way” because it was one of the first streets in the country to be illuminated by electric lights. It’s still brightly lit. Thousands of lights on the theater marquees and billboards brighten the area.
Orchestra seats for Broadway plays can cost more than $150. Sitting up front isn’t always ideal, though. If you’re going to a flashy musical, you might want to sit at least 10 rows back to take in all of the action at once. You can get cheaper tickets for seats with an obstructed view. Websites like BroadwayBox.com give you discount codes that you can use to purchase your tickets. The Theatre Development Fund operates three ticket booths in New York City where you can buy same-day tickets at up to half of the regular price.
The merchandise sold in the theaters is usually marked up to twice as much as the retail price. If you see a memento that you absolutely must have, search for it online. There are hundreds of websites that sell Broadway souvenirs.
Getting an Autograph
If you want to score an autograph from one of the main characters, you may be out of luck. The mega-stars take forever to come out. Sometimes they’re obliging, but other times they may ignore their fans.
The members of the chorus are usually happy to chat with audience members and sign autographs. If you do have the patience to wait for your favorite star, stay behind the barricades. When the actor appears, don’t go crazy, but make yourself known. They usually don’t have time for everyone’s request. It’s traditional for actors to sign the Playbill, so don’t expect them to autograph a photo you brought from home.
How do you choose what show to see? Do you prefer to see a spectacle of singing and dancing or a more subdued performance? Do you want to watch a classic performance like “Chicago” or one of the newer, trendier shows? You can find out what the musical is about before you see it, but don’t let the subject matter sway you. One of the most popular musicals in 2015 was “Hamilton.” While it sounds like a historical show might be boring, it got great reviews and won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize.