Broadway: The Great White Way

nyc2wayBroadway theater entertainment remains one of New York City’s most popular attractions, dating back to the 1700s when the first stage was built in Times Square. Few other attractions match the excitement and spectacle of a Broadway musical. Featuring 40 Broadway theaters, high-profile stage actors, and world-class sets and costumes, NYC Broadway shows are must-see entertainment for any visitor to the city. Be sure to add a Broadway musical to your itinerary when in NYC, and hire a NYC2Way limo to get you to and from the show in comfort and style.

The name Broadway refers to the name of the well-known street in Manhattan that has become the worldwide leader in the stage entertainment. The history of Broadway goes back to Massau Street, a theater that held less than 300 people and mostly presented Shakespeare plays. It wasn’t until after the American Revolution (1798) that the first great NYC theater was built.

In the 1800s, the Park Theater NYC ushered in a new era of theater. After the Civil War, the center of New York theater moved from Downtown to Midtown Manhattan due to less expensive real estate. By late 1800s to early 1900s, the rise in train transportation and the NYC Subway, led to a drop in poverty and rise in demand for evening entertainment. Soon, the NYC theater district was bustling, leading to more ambitious and expensive Broadway productions.

“The Great White Way,” coined by the New York Evening Telegraph, refers to the Theater District area of Broadway from 42nd Street to 53rd Street in Midtown. In the early 1900’s Broadway theaters advertised shows by using bright electric signs made up of white lights. The bright lights of NYC Broadway became known as “The Great White Way,” giving birth to a new NYC landmark.

The 1920s saw the premiere of a number of classic Broadway shows, including The Jazz Singer and No, no Nannette, but then Broadway was faced with the uncertainty of the Great Depression in the 1930s. Yet, much like New York City has again and again, Broadway would eventually persevere.

By the 1940s Broadway had made a come back with a great run that would shape it into the mecca of stage productions it is today. The classic Broadway musical adaptation by Rodgers and Hammerstein, Oklahoma! opened in 1943 and was an instant hit. Its run of 2,212 performances at the St. James Theater in Manhattan was by far the longest of its time. Oklahoma! was used as a blueprint for Broadway success. Other well known, successful musicals that opened in the 40s include The Glass Managerie, A Streetcar Named Desire – both by Tennessee Williams – as well as Annie Get Your Gun, by Rogers and Hammerstein.

In the last three decades, the most notable Broadway shows include Cats, Les Miserables, The Phantom of the Opera, Chicago, and Wicked. Current shows include the Lion King at the Minskoff Theater, Annie at the Palace Theater, Newsies at the Nederlander Theater, Spider-Man at the Foxwoods Theater, and Mamma Mia! at the Winter Garden Theater.

When traveling to NYC, Broadway is a must for great entertainment and an unforgettable time. Choose NYC2Way limousine services to take you to your favorite Broadway show and all of the NYC attractions you’ve always wanted to see and experience. Don’t let traffic, weather, or any other reason stand in the way of enjoying NYC to the fullest. NYC Two Way can make your travels enjoyable, convenient, and worry-free.