History Behind the Curtain: Broadway Theatre

Theatre District-Photo Collage

First play I went to see as a teen was Fiddler on the Roof and I was hooked.  Continued to go to live theatre during my college years including Yale Repertory Theatre in New Haven as well as student productions of Southern Connecticut College where I attended school from 1972 to 1975. In 1982, I became a TDF member that gave me access to a lot of live shows on and off Broadway.

Most Broadway theatres are historic; treasures that I hope will be preserved for a long time. Broadway Theatres are defined by their size (number of people in the audience) and the quality of the performance. Musicals require live musicians. The smallest theatres seat about 500 but many seat over a thousand. Most are in the Theatre District (W 40th St to W 54th St) of NYC but the Vivian Beaumont Theater is at Lincoln Center.

Many of the 41 Broadway Theatres are named after producers,  actors and others associated with the theater.

Samuel J. Friedman Theatre

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The 1925 theatre at 261 W 47th St is named for publicist Samuel J. Friedman. 

Ethel Barrymore Theatre:

The 1928 theater at 243 W 47th St is named after actress Ethel Barrymore.

Brooks Atkinson Theatre:

The 1926 theatre at 256 W 47th St is named after NY Times theater critic Brooks Atkinson.