Broadway, New York City

Broadway Shows [y] Guide

Broadway New York City means phenomenal talent and breath-taking performances. All shows are performed live on stage, right in front of you. No cuts, no do-overs.

Broadway artists are true performers. They may not get the same attention as Hollywood stars, but their brilliant ability to belt out a tune, dance, and act night after night in front of a crowd is certainly remarkable. The talent showcased on a Broadway stage is virtually incomparable. The effects, lighting, and stage design are top quality too.

When you think of adult activities in New York City, your thoughts should instantly go to Broadway. Every year, there are countless acts in the many theaters nearby. You can stay busy for days with the number of things to do in the Broadway area.

Broadway Shows

Broadway is a fun and popular activity for tourists and locals alike. Approximately 12 million people attend Broadway performances annually.

Musicals vs. Plays

Broadway’s most popular shows tend to be musicals. Often when people say “Broadway,” they are referring to Broadway musicals. Plays can be dramas, comedies, or thrillers and generally do not have singing. So if you are looking forward to stellar vocal performances, be sure to choose a musical.

Schedule

Generally, evening shows are presented every night from Tuesday through Sunday and matinees are on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday. Tickets to matinees are usually a little cheaper than to evening shows.

Broadway is “dark” for most shows on Mondays, meaning there are no performances that day. There are exceptions, so check the showtimes and schedules.

Choosing a Broadway Show

The Broadway New York City stage has much to offer, from long-running classics to fresh new shows. There is enough variety on Broadway to satisfy a range of tastes.

There are many shows to choose from. The New York Times website has summaries and reviews of current Broadway shows. The site also allows you to sort by categories such as “Critic’s Picks” and “Family Friendly.” Broadway shows may include heavy topics, nudity, and off-color language, so if you’re bringing kids it’s worth doing a little research to find a show that is appropriate.

Essential Broadway Guide Tip

Choosing a Show

Many find they have a greater appreciation for a Broadway show when they are familiar with the storyline or music. If you feel this will be the case for you, consider choosing a show with a story that you are already familiar with (e.g. The Lion King or Spiderman) or music you already know (e.g. Mamma Mia! or Rock of Ages).

If you aren’t familiar with the show, it doesn’t mean you won’t find it enjoyable. But you may want to look it up online and read a little background first, just enough to know the gist of it going in.

Tickets to Top Broadway Shows

Long-Running Classics

Phantom of the Opera is Broadway’s longest-running show in history. It has been going strong for two and a half decades! Chicago and The Lion King are also popular classics.

  • Phantom of the Opera Tickets
  • Chicago Tickets
  • The Lion King Tickets

Popular Shows

Shows that have been time tested and remain extremely popular are Wicked, Mamma Mia!, and Jersey Boys. The Book of Mormon and Rock of Ages are two newer shows that have received much acclaim.

  • Wicked TicketsRead our Review of Wicked
  • Mamma Mia! TicketsRead our Review of Mamma Mia!
  • Jersey Boys Tickets
  • The Book of Mormon Tickets
  • Rock of Ages Tickets

Kid-Friendly

If you’re looking for a good show to take your kids to, it’s hard to go wrong with Mary Poppins, Spiderman, or The Lion King.

  • Mary Poppins Tickets
  • Spiderman: Turn off the Dark Tickets
  • The Lion King Tickets

Brand New

Some exciting musicals have come out recently…

  • Once Tickets – A story of two musicians and their friends in a Dublin pub, Once won eight Tony Awards including Best Musical.
  • Evita Tickets – This classic has been revived on the Broadway stage!
  • Newsies Tickets – The NYC-based musical Newsies has received positive reviews for its high-energy music and choreography.

Want More Broadway New York City?

Find even more shows to choose from. View All Broadway Tickets Here.

Broadway vs. Off-Broadway

To be considered Broadway Theatre, a show must take place in a venue with 500 or more seats located in the Theatre District of New York City. Off-Broadway caters to a smaller audience. It also allows for a more experimental atmosphere, featuring off-beat and unconventional material without the pressure of drawing in large crowds. Some shows get their start Off-Broadway and “graduate” to the Broadway stage.

This isn’t to say you can’t find star power and superb talent Off-Broadway. Also, the ticket prices are cheaper than Broadway.

Find Off-Broadway Tickets

Essential New York City Guide Tip

Buying Tickets

Beware of ticket scalpers trying to sell you tickets near the Broadway theatres. They may just be working on behalf of brokers trying to unload tickets at the last minute. But because they have no official affiliations, they may also try to get away with selling you fake tickets, tickets for the wrong performance, or tickets where the seats are not together.

Are you willing to stand in line to save money on Broadway New York City tickets? Learn how to get cheaper Broadway tickets from the TKTS booth.

Location: Theatre District

Broadway theatres are clustered around Times Square in an area known as the Theatre District. The street named Broadway is the main thoroughfare running through this area but many theatres are also located on the side streets off-Broadway.

TKTS

You can choose to purchase tickets in advance from the individual theaters or you can try your luck at the Broadway TKTS Ticket Booth at Broadway and 47th Street in Father Duffy Square. Depending on the show and where you choose to sit, tickets can be anywhere from $25 to $300 and above.

You can see a full calendar of shows here.

What You Need to Know About Broadway

When you want to see a show on Broadway, you will need to consider what play or musical you want to see. Further, seating is everything. You can be in the orchestra, the balcony, or anywhere in between. Certain shows may sell out quickly so it can be advantageous to purchase tickets several months in advance.

The average Broadway show is approximately 2 and a half hours and includes a short intermission halfway through the show.

Most of the Broadway shows start at 7 or 8 PM. There may be matinee shows also offered, which may start around Noon or 1 PM.

Where to Eat

Many restaurants around Broadway have a theatre menu that is designed to get you out in a timely fashion. Quite a few have a pre-fixe menu so that you can order a three or four-course meal and know that you will make your show.

Bluefin, 1567 Broadway

If you love seafood and sushi, check this high-end restaurant out.

Café Un Deux Trois, 123 W 44th Street

This is a longtime French bistro with delicious cuisine and a great bar.

The Lamb’s Club, 132 W 44th Street

Found in the Chatwal Hotel, this restaurant is owned by Geoffrey Zakarian.

You can also find a full guide to restaurants around the Broadway area here.

Where to Stay

There are many hotels around Broadway, making it easy for you to walk to your show. You will be able to choose based on budget as well as the features inside the hotel.

Pod 51 Hotel

230 E 51st Street This hotel is hip and modern with a café, free Wi-Fi, and a rooftop deck. Off-season rates are around $85 per night.

The Avalon Hotel

16 E 32nd Street The Avalon is an upscale hotel that features free Wi-Fi as well as suites. An average off-season rate is around $120 per night.

Hilton Times Square

Located in the heart of Times Square, this high-rise hotel offers a chic bar and provides incredible city views. An average off-season rate is around $150 per night.

Other Things to Do

In addition to seeing a Broadway show, there are many other things to do throughout this area of New York City.

Shopping should be at the top of your list. You can venture into Times Square to check out places like M&M; World and the shopping mall is known as The Fulton Center.

You can also check out some of the NYC walking tours that are available. These will provide you with some history and fun facts about the surrounding area.

Hop-on/hop-off buses are also readily available and you can pay for them when you hop on for the first time. It will make it easy to get all around the city and explore countless attractions.

How to Get Around

Driving in New York City can be difficult because of the amount of traffic as well as all of the one-way streets. Additionally, parking garages are at a minimum and can be extremely expensive.

The best way to get around is by using taxis or the subway. A full map of the subway can be found here.

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