As an art form, Broadway has transitioned to include several aspects and themes that display the creative side of writers and artists. Through time, they have managed to create a space for themselves in the entertainment sector. Considering the impact of Broadway in New York, around 41 theatres have come into the picture to tell stories of different nature. Due to that, there is a long list of facts that have emerged right from the moment Broadway took centre stage. So to bring them to light, we will be looking into those facts that talk about Broadway, including the ones that you may have never heard about.
1. The longest street in NYC
Beginning from Lower Manhattan, Broadway runs for 33 miles up to the Bronx to Albany. Out of the 33 miles that it covers, 18 miles are not part of New York City. Its roots can be traced back to Native American times, and the first written reference of the term was seen in the 1700s. Due to this form of history, Broadway has emerged to hold an important place all over the country.
2. The Phantom of the Opera
A major achievement of Broadway comes in the form of the Phantom of the Opera. It is the longest-running Broadway show and has been a part of the scene for more than 30 years. During this span of time, over 12,500 performances have been staged and for 18 million people. So the Phantom of the Opera is credited until this very day for its remarkable performances as a unique form of visual art.
A significant change for the play lies with the fact that the role of Phantom was changed 15 times in the last 30 years. Among the top list of names, Norm Lewis stands out for being the first African-American actor to perform the coveted role.
Coming close to the Phantom of the Opera, Chicago is the second longest-running Broadway show that was opened in 1975. After a break in 1977, it was revived and back on the main stage in 1996. Till this day, Chicago has been played in 24 countries, 12 languages with over 8,000 performances. It is based on a real-life Windy City murder case that took place in the year 1924.
4. Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical
Being a product of hippie counterculture and sexual revolution of the late 1960s, Hair was the first-ever nude Broadway production. It ran for 1750 performances with a revival in 2009. Apart from receiving strong reviews, it also received a Tony Award and a Drama Desk Award for the Best Revival of a Musical. A few songs from the production were also in the Top 10 hits of the period.