Broadway Musical Tickets

A History Of Broadway Musical Tickets

Theater is a symbol of New York, a symbol of live theatrical entertainment, a symbol of live musicals – as best as any in the world, and maybe even better. Many consider a trip to New York to only be complete if a show is seen in the Theatre District and the marquees that wallpaper the skyline of the city certianly capture the importance of live performance. Only four theaters - the Marquis at 46th Street, the Palace at 47th Street, the Winter Garden at 50th Street and the Broadway at 53rd – are physically located on it. Today, all other legitimate theaters are located east and west of this 12 block spread. Though simply is a street in New York, stretching from West 41st St from the Netherlander Theater to West 53rd St to Broadway Theater.

Musicals combine music, songs, spoken dialogues, and dance. The content of a musical – its story, humor, love, anger, etc – is communicated through words, music, dance, and movements. This art of story telling through songs dates back to around 5 BC in ancient India with its Natya Shastra, and the ancient Greece, who had music and dance in their stage comedies and tragedies. 3 BC Rome had comedies, which included song and dance performed with orchestrations.

Musical By Accident

Musicals, for which theater is so famous for, accidentally came to its stages more than 140 years ago, with William Wheatley – a one time actor – the inventor of the musical. Broadway then, in 1866, was as busy a street as it is today, with high degree of traffic congestion. The civil war was just over, and business was booming. The masses in New York were craving for entertainment, and more entertainment.

With people asking for more, disaster struck when fire destroyed the elegant Academy of Music in New York, leaving two promoters - Henry C. Jarrett and Harry Palmer – with a ballet troupe from Paris and a shipload of stage sets with no place to put up their show. At that time, at the corner of Broadway and Prince Streets, Niblo’s Garden – an auditorium with a seating capacity of 3200 – was the best equipped stage in the city. Its manager – Wheatley – was trying to keep his theater booked and had a dull melodrama in hand.

Though specifics are not clear, both, Jarrett and Palmer met Wheatley, and a deal was cut to stage The Black Crook. A $1500 bonus stopped the objections of its playwright, Charles M. Barras, who objected to the inclusion of musical numbers. Thus, on September 12, the opening night performance lasted for a numbing five and a half hours creating the first mega hit musical on the stage. The other noteworthy musicals at Niblo’s were The White Fawn (1868), Le Barbe Blue (1868), and Evangeline (1873).

A number of ‘questionably suspicious’ dance interludes followed The Black Crook in New York City. There was Billy Watson’s line of Rubenesque British beauties in the 1870s. The early years on Broadway, the musicals were performed by dance strangers. ‘Choreography’ in connection with a show on Broadway was brought in by George Balanchine in 1936, with the performance of the Ziegfeld Follies at the Winter Garden Theatre.

From those obscure beginnings, musicals, today, are the boldest expression of the American art of performance.

For more articles on Broadway musical tickets please check out the "Articles" section of the website.

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