I’m passionate about musicals and theatre, so when I arrived in New York I felt like a foodie looking at the menu of one of the world’s best restaurants or a wine connoisseur stepping into a well-stocked cellar. There were so many fine choices laid out in front of me and my heart beat faster with the excitement of being surrounded with so much culture.
The History of Broadway Theatre
A Broadway Musical includes any performance that is held within one of the 40 professional theatres in the Manhattan district of New York City. To perform on Broadway is considered the height of success for commercial theatre and this cultural district is a showcase of some of the finest shows in the world.
The Broadway musical originated in New York City back in the late 1800s when a number of talented actors, dancers, burlesque performers and vaudeville acts began to collaborate together under the direction of producer Florenz Ziegfeld. These original popular musicals were written by famous American composers such as Irving berlin, Jerome Kern and the Gershwins and they were high energy, humorous, campy and fun.
While Broadway theatre declined during the Great Depression in the 1930s, the tradition still survived and later from the 40s to the 60s it flourished in the “Golden Age of Broadway”. Well-known composers created hugely popular shows starring the biggest names of the time, including My Fair Lady, The Sound of Music, Oklahoma and The King and I.
During the 60s and 70s, the influence was on rock and roll and a number of rock musicals hit the stage, such as Grease, Hair, Grease and Jesus Christ Superstar. These days the tradition of musical theatre on Broadway is still going strong and this district shows both classic productions and new modern musicals.
Best Broadway Shows to See This Year
If you have booked an air ticket to New York to catch a Broadway show this year, what great performances should be on your list
Check out Rock of Ages, which is a 80s heavy metal rock musical known as “Broadway’s Best Party”. Beer vendors walk up and down the aisles and free lighters are given out to hold up during the epic rock ballads. It was one of the most fun and laid back nights of theatre I have ever enjoyed. Also, you can’t miss The Lion King as this musical has won six Tony awards and is one of the most popular shows on Broadway.
Wicked The Musical is another popular favourite that has won over 35 major awards. Also, don’t miss Jersey Boys which tells the story of the 60s band Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Of course, there are also a number of brand new shows on offer for 2013, such as Lucky Guy with Tom Hanks, Kinky Boots with Cindy Lauper and Orphans with Alec Baldwin.
Tips for Attending a Show
If you know what show you want to see and you have booked your cheap flights, you can purchase tickets directly at the box office in the theatre. You can also purchase tickets online in advance and pick them up at the box office. If you decide to see a show at the last minute, as your hotel concierge as they are usually able to act as a middleman between you and a ticket seller so that you don’t get taken advantage of by a scalper. Don’t forget to tip the concierge for their help!
Make sure that you arrive 30 minutes early for the show and don’t forget to turn off your phone and unwrap your candy before the performance begins.
Where to Stay
There are many great hotels to choose from where you can stay during your visit to New York. For example, the Hotel Elysee is one of the best hotels in the city and has hosted many artists, writers, movie stars and other celebrities over the years.
Another great choice is the Library Hotel. It has a literary theme and every room is dedicated to a different category of the Dewey Decimal system, including Math & Science, Philosophy, Religion, The Arts and History.
Enjoy your holiday in New York City and the unforgettable experience of seeing a Broadway performance.