If you’re an unmitigated, unapologetic theater geek like me, stepping into a Broadway theater isn’t merely a rite of passage, but a fully immersive religious experience. Having had much experience working inside many of the 40 spaces between 41st Street and 65th Street in Manhattan, you often get asked the question, “How old is this theater?” Now, thanks to the remarkable, painstakingly comprehensive new website Spotlight on Broadway, you can geek out as well by not only answering them, but explaining the entire architectural and production history of each and every one of the 40 theaters that currently occupy the Great White Way.
Spotlight on Broadway was launched this fall as a project of the NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, and if you are a Broadway Baby in any way, this will become as addictive to you as Candy Crush Saga in no time (except your brain will thank you). Among the many features on the website in addition to the concise five-minute mini-documentaries on each Main Stem theater are conversations with theater professionals (including very specific duties like Child Actor Guardian and Dance Captain), easy-to-use visual scrolls through theater facades and interior designs, dozens of photos of past and present productions featured throughout, and talent galore expounding on past projects, including Nathan Lane, Jeremy Irons, Laura Linney, David Hyde Pierce, Sutton Foster, Tony Kushner, and, of course, the dulcet tones of the one and only Harvey Fierstein.
Just to give you a taste of what to expect, here are two of the 40 featurettes on the Broadway houses, and after digesting these, get ready for some serious Broadway bingeing.
You can visit the official Spotlight on Broadway website here.
Click below to see Glenn Close, Cynthia Nixon, and more discuss the history of the Schoenfeld Theatre:
Click below to hear Kristin Chenoweth, Angela Lansbury, and more discuss the history of the Gershwin Theatre (home to Wicked for the past decade):