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Broadway's Backstory: The Evolution of an Entertainment Powerhouse

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Monday, October 16, 2023 - 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET
Code: 1CV023
This online program is presented on Zoom.
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Special Offer: Receive a complimentary ticket to this online program on Zoom by registering for the December 13 Radio City Music Hall in-person tour by Friday, October 13. Further information will be shared with qualifying registrants via email in October.

Today Broadway is a globally recognized brand representing roughly 40 legitimate playhouses located in and around Times Square. But in the decades prior to adopting such a strict definition, Broadway was a sprawling entertainment mecca encompassing a considerable range of stage forms. Minstrelsy, vaudeville, nightclubs, and burlesque were all an integral part of Broadway in the early 1900s. Ragtime and jazz were developed and refined here. And it was primarily on Broadway that the American musical was born.

The so-called Main Stem has a rich and complex history. It reaches back to the 1700s and continues to reflect the social, cultural, and political sensibilities of the country. Broadway has also presented many of the most beloved plays and musicals of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Musical theatre artist and historian Ben West chronicles the history of the Broadway stage and highlights several pivotal artists and shows along the way—particularly those related to the American musical. West recently created 20 “Timeline Wall” exhibits for the new Museum of Broadway in New York City that collectively spotlight more than 500 productions and more than 100 artists. His upcoming book, The American Musical, will be published in 2024 and will offer a detailed and comprehensive look at the titular art form’s artistic evolution. Join him for an exciting and informative look at the dazzling history of Broadway—the original incubator of American entertainment.

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