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History of Broadway

Broadway history is often left in the past, but it is important to remember what has brought Broadway up to this point and how it has progressed over time. Broadway history can be traced back as far as 1798 with the opening of the John Street Theatre, the first theater on the island.

Over time, this street became known as "The Great White Way. New York City is now home to 39 theatres that are located on Broadway. When the 19th century came to a close, new acting schools were opened which began to develop and refine acting techniques.

The American musical has had a long history and Broadway plays an important role in shaping that history. Musical theater is found throughout the world, but it is on Broadway where musicals are given the grandest of productions.

From the early days of vaudeville to the modern era of television, Broadway has been the home of the stage musical. It has produced some of the most well-known musicals of all time, from the original production of Show Boat in 1927 to the iconic show Hamilton in 2015.

But what about the rest of New York City? Off-Broadway shows can be just as entertaining, sometimes even more so than their big brother in midtown. Of course, not every production makes it to Broadway.

Some never find a large enough audience or have financial difficulties and are forced to close before their time has come. Nevertheless, they are still a large part of New York City’s cultural landscape.

Off-Broadway is the area where musical comedies are born, and it is here that new actors and directors first get their start. The glamour, applause, and social networking that Off-Broadway provides can help launch new careers; see next section.