A general view shows the interiors of The Museum of Broadway, in New York. © Monique Carboni/The Museum of Broadway/Handout via REUTERS
Right on Times Square in the heart of New York’s theater district, a new Museum of Broadway is designed to take fans behind the curtain of some of its biggest musicals.
Rooms in the museum on 45th Street, which opened in November, use music, videos, glittering costumes and walk-through sets to tell the history of how the theater district came to be. It also covers groundbreaking shows from West Side Story to Cats, with details on who does what behind the scenes.
Similarly, the rooms detail the hold Broadway has on modern-day Times Square and all the pieces that go into the making of a Broadway show.
The Museum of Broadway was founded by Julie Boardman and Diane Nicoletti, who wanted to find a way to honor Broadway in its home city. Boardman is a Tony Award winning Broadway producer and founder of event staffing agency Boardman Productions. Having worked with Nicoletti in the past, she joined forces with her longtime friend to open the historical, educational, and exciting museum.
“We have really collaborated with the community on what would be the best experience for fans,” Nicoletti shared in a sneak peek video. “We use visual storytelling, it’s interactive. It’s experiential and Instagrammable and immersive.”
To create the one-of-a-kind museum, Museum of Broadway teamed up with internationally renowned artists, designers, and theater historians to create an interactive experience that highlights groundbreaking moments in Broadway’s history.
“Broadway’s been around, you know, since the 1700s. And so we just are really wanting to bring that to life,” Boardman said.
The heart of Broadway Theater was located downtown in Union Square in the 1850s and arrived in Times Square in the early 1900s. A show is considered “Broadway” when performed in about 40 theaters with 500 or more seats in the Broadway District in Midtown Manhattan.
“It’s a very uniquely American art form that’s developed here. And so, you know, it should be here, and it should be in Times Square,” Boardman said.
The museum was created in partnership with a variety of Broadway charities, including Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, which is known by artists at the philanthropic heart of Broadway. A portion of the proceeds of ticket sales are donated to the charity to assist in their mission to raise funds for services for people living with HIV/AIDS and other critical illnesses.
Tickets start at $39 and the museum is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
“Broadway is the second reason tourists come to NYC,” the website reads. “It is an international brand, and a tentpole of American culture, yet there has never been a museum or a place to honor it properly.
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