Luciana Capretti

Broadway Museum Celebrates Nearly Two Centuries of New York Theater – The Voice of New York

Broadway celebrates itself. She is reborn like a phoenix from the ashes amongst sequins, sequins, feathers and neon. Closed for 18 months because of Covid, with the magic of assembly with actors, lights, music and phrases, we convey the viewers again to the cinemas painstakingly, take away them from the couch at residence and rejoice collectively. Museum devoted to its historical past and artwork, to its stars and craftsmen, to its irresistible radiance: the Broadway Museum. It appears unusual that it isn’t there anyway – inform the 2 founders, Julie Boardman and Diane Nicoletti. Once we met to debate the concept Julie had – Diane continues I can not consider somebody hadn’t considered this earlier than. We began doing analysis to see if the general public may present curiosity and if Broadway producers may collaborate to offer us what may very well be used to inform the story of Broadway, and right here we’re!

Julie and Diane are speaking to me on zoom, mates since school have gone their separate methods, Julie is a Broadway producer, Dianne, who comes from distant roots in Southern Italy, is the creator of a advertising and marketing company. 5 years in the past they imagined the museum collectively, the producers and associations signed offers with the American Theater Wing, Broadway League, Playbill, Broadway Cares, discovered the house that was as soon as an Irish bar and the “excellent residence” within the upstairs places of work. location”, on west forty fifth road subsequent to the Lyceum Theatre: They have been prepared for the opening in 2020 however covid got here. Trapped for 2 years, they’ve amassed much more materials for a digital journey by way of time and house.

Julie Boardman and Diane Nicoletti / photograph by Nolan Doran

Broadway’s origins date again to 1732, when theaters have been downtown, the place the Monetary District and Chinatown at the moment are. However within the late 1800s they wandered round forty fourth Road: then white actors had their faces painted black to play black, minstrel reveals and vaudeville have been staged. As in Du Bose Heyward’s 1927 Porgy on which the well-known 1935 Porgy and Bess are primarily based, now we have to journey again to 1910-20 to lastly see black actors taking part in themselves on stage. The brief movie was edited by Julie’s buddy Jennifer Ashley Tepper and is the creator of books on Broadway historical past. Positioned within the second room of the museum, the primary is totally devoted to posters of present productions staged on Broadway (you possibly can guide tickets there and there with a qr code), you can see the stays of 500 productions going ahead. adopted one another over time. They inform us that Broadway has managed to beat many crises. The despair of the Nineteen Thirties that brought about a number of theaters to go bankrupt and switch them into motion pictures; the monetary disaster of the 70s that lowered Occasions Sq. to a drug dealing and prostitution zone in New York, AIDS.

Timeline Wall / photograph Monique Carboni

A big plaid patchwork devoted to ’80s productions from Cats! In Les Misérables, he remembers the good battle in opposition to AIDS that killed nearly a technology of Broadway artists. Tony Kushner’s Angels in America 92 after which Lease staged this tragedy, impressed by La Boheme with AIDS as a substitute of tuberculosis. Covid is just the most recent in a sequence of crises which have occurred over time, however the Museum’s founders are optimistic. We do not understand how Broadway will change, explains Julie. After all it is nice to see that the 41 halls are all the time filled with reveals of every kind. There have been many ups and downs through the years, however Broadway has all the time bounced again. It’s a must to see how the viewers reacts. tourism has recovered, 85% of vacationers have returned to New York, Broadway will even get well.

Tourism has been a key phrase for Broadway lately, which has invested in mega reveals to draw them. The technique labored: 66.6 million tickets have been bought in 2019. Covid lowered attendance to 22 million. Restoration was sluggish, January was a tough month with many reveals being compelled to shut, and even Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera musical, which has been on stage for 35 years, will shut its doorways in April.

The Phantom of the Opera / photograph by Monique Carboni

What appears to be going very nicely is as a substitute the museum recording giant numbers of holiday makers, largely… vacationers. They don’t hesitate to learn the explanatory texts that they will simply translate into totally different languages ​​with an utility, however they’re enchanted by the colourful scenes and costumes appropriate for Instagram. They usually take their footage in entrance of The Phantom from the opera as a substitute of The Wiz’s neon mild.

Wiz / photograph Monique Carboni

Visible storytelling was a key aspect for us when establishing the museum, explains Julie. It is arduous to recollect names and dates, individuals now devour data and content material in a different way, and we wished to ensure the museum was each enjoyable and academic.

The Wall Road Journal described the operation as an “incentive for the vacationer greenback” headline, including that it was extra of a glittery promotional extension of the business than a celebration of the humanities. Definitely the value of tickets is costlier than every other metropolis museum, from $39 to $49 relying on the time slot chosen, definitely the structure of the rooms is influenced by the restricted areas provided by the previous places of work and the enthusiastic explanations of the ambassadors. Enthusiastic actors working there ready for the large break do not fill within the blanks for a Broadway common. However the sparkle and music accompanying you from one room to the following are sufficient to fill the vacationer’s go to and his store together with his bag filled with reminiscences.

Broadway store/Museum of pictures Monique Carboni

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