Broadway New York City means phenomenal talent and breath-taking performances. All shows are performed live onstage, 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.
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.
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 show times 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.
Read our Broadway Show Reviews.
Essential New York City 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.
Read our Broadway Show Reviews
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.
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.
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.
Some exciting musicals have come out recently...
Find even more shows to choose from. View All Broadway Tickets Here.
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.
Essential New York City Guide Tip
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.
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.
View Theatre District in a larger map
The area inside the blue rectangle above is home to Broadway New York City's many theatres.