What’s Doing on Broadway
Broadway is not only the oldest north-south thoroughfare in New York City (it dates back to the first New Amsterdam settlement) but it is also the heart of the theater industry. Close to Broadway and Times Square in midtown Manhattan is the Theater District – also known as the Great White Way, a nickname given to it by the New York Evening Telegram in reference to the millions of lights on the theaters’ marquees and billboards – although most of the theaters in the area are not situated directly on Broadway.
While the area near Times Square became rundown and seedy, effectively Manhattan’s Red Light District, it has since become a Disneyfied family-friendly destination following Disney’s purchase of the New Amsterdam Theatre in the 1990s and the opening of shops and tourist attractions that encouraged people to visit.
Along with the West End in London, Broadway is synonymous with theater – especially musicals – and both are considered to be home to the most important English-language theaters in the world.
The best plays and musicals on Broadway are recognized each year by the Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Theatre, more commonly known as the Tony Awards.
Here’s a look at the four nominees for Best Musical in 2015
AN AMERICAN IN PARIS
“An American in Paris” is an adaptation of the 1951 film of the same name and is the type of show one would assume to be already a musical. The transition from screen to stage doesn’t always work but every so often, it works brilliantly. Building on the imagery of Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron dancing to Gershwin tunes, it starts with a love story set in post-World War II Paris but diverges from the film in many respects after that.
Paris is still recovering from the German occupation in Craig Lucas’ script. Adam Hochberg (played by Brandon Uranowitz) is a Jewish composer injured in the war who befriends Jerry, another American GI (played by Robert Fairchild, a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet, in his Broadway debut in the role originated by Gene Kelly).