Broadway, the famous “Street of Dreams” in New York, had very humble begininings. The main thoroughfare began as an Indian trail called the Wickquasgeck Trail and stretched it’s way through what is now known as Manhattan. Many years later in the 18th century the road was renamed Broadway.
In the 1880’s, Broadway was lined with bright Brush arc lights, giving it another nickname, “The Great White Way.” The area that is now known as the theater district encompasses the streets of 42nd and 53rd in Manhattan. There are nearly 40 theaters in operation today, with live performances being held every night. Top shows like The Lion King and Cats all have had immense success on Broadway, and are a number one stop for tourists.
There are all types of performances to be found in the theater district. Look for Avant-garde art pieces performed next door to big Broadways hits. Most of the art houses are located right outside the Broadway area and are great places to discover new and upcoming performances and talent. Many of these performances are free to attend.
The George Gershwin Theater on 51st Street is the largest in the theater district. It contains 1,193 seats and has been home to some of the greatest plays and musicals around.
Big money is spent each year by tourists at the district. If you travel to New York, it is a must visit place to see. Ticket sales on Broadway can top one and a half billion dollars annually. It’s relatively easy to find and buy tickets for the theater district, however, the big name shows and musicals will sell out quickly. Options for ticket purchases include several online ticket sellers, or one can usually purchase tickets directly from the theater. Evening shows are a big hit, but matinee performances can be found on Wednesdays and Saturday afternoons, and are usually less expensive.
There are multiple publications and websites that list what shows are currently playing in certain theaters, but listings can also be found by calling a theater directly or visiting their website. There are multiple restaurants nearby as well that take reservations on the night of performances, and often offer pre-show dinner specials so it’s easy to plan an entire night of fun.