Broadway


Broadway
Broadwayite, n.
/brawd"way'/, n.
1. a street in New York City, famous for its theaters, restaurants, and bright lights.
2. the theater district located on or near this street, esp. as the center of the professional or commercial theater in the U.S.
adj.
3. (of a play, theatrical performance, etc.) pertaining to, suitable for, or produced in the commercial theater, esp. on Broadway: a Broadway show.
4. acting or working on Broadway: a Broadway producer; a Broadway star.
5. characteristic of or frequenting the theater district on Broadway.
6. garish; tawdry.

* * *

Theatre district in New York City.

It is named for the avenue that runs through the Times Square area in central Manhattan, where most of the larger theatres are located. Broadway attracted theatre producers and impresarios from the mid-19th century. The number and size of the theatres grew with New York's increasing prosperity, and by the 1890s the brightly lit street was called "the Great White Way." By 1925, the height of theatrical activity in New York, about 80 theatres were located on or near Broadway; by 1980 only about 40 remained. In the 1990s the revitalization of the seedy Times Square neighbourhood attracted larger audiences, though high production costs limited the viability of serious plays in Broadway theatres, which often chose to mount big musicals and other crowd-pleasing commercial ventures. See also Off-Broadway.

* * *

      village (“parish”), Wychavon district, administrative and historic county of Worcestershire, England, at the foot of the Cotswolds escarpment, which is crowned by the Beacon Tower built in 1797. The village of Broadway is much frequented by tourists attracted to its Tudor and Jacobean houses built of Cotswold stone. Notable buildings include the Norman church, a 14th-century abbot's grange (once housing the abbots of nearby Evesham), the gatehouse of Broadway Court, and the 17th-century Lygon Arms hostelry. Pop. (2001) 3,025.

▪ street and district, New York City, New York, United States
      New York City thoroughfare that traverses the length of Manhattan, near the middle of which are clustered the theatres that have long made it the foremost showcase of commercial stage entertainment in the United States. The term Broadway is virtually synonymous with American theatrical (theatre) activity.

      Broadway gained its name as the axis of an important theatre district in the mid-19th century, attracting impresarios with its central location and fashionable reputation. The number, size, and magnificence of the Broadway theatres grew with New York City's prosperity and power, and in the 1890s the brilliantly lighted street became known as “the Great White Way.”

      Impelled by growing U.S. wealth and cultural aspirations and unrivaled by other forms of popular entertainment, the theatres on Broadway increased in number from about 20 in 1900 to an all-time high of 80 in 1925. The record season of 1927–28 saw 280 new productions open there. Broadway's fortunes subsequently shifted with those of the nation, and by 1980 only 40 of its theatres remained (few of which were located on Broadway itself; rather, they were east or west of Broadway, generally between 41st and 53rd streets). However, since the 1980s major new stages have drawn theatregoers to Times Square, nearby venues on 42nd Street, and elsewhere along the boulevard. Times Square itself was transformed in the 1990s from a seedy urban core to a brightly lit hub of tourism and high-powered corporate consumerism. See also Off-Broadway.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.