”Broadway” is a name full of glamour and attraction, its status in the musical and theater world is the same as “Hollywood” in the film industry, representing the pinnacle and success. In a geographical sense, Broadway refers to a 25-kilometer long street in the center of New York starting from Battery Park and running through Manhattan Island from south to north. Broadway theaters are concentrated on Broadway from 44th Street to 53rd Street. Since the first theater, the Park Theater, was established in New York in 1798, other theaters have also appeared on Broadway. By the early 19th century, Broadway had become the center of American theatrical activity. At that time, it was mainly influenced by European drama, and staged classic Victorian plays, such as Shakespeare’s plays, which were often put on the stage.
But what people call Broadway today refers to American musicals and dramatic arts in a larger sense, and is synonymous with American modern song and dance and dramatic arts. After years of development, Broadway has completely got rid of the influence of European drama, and has formed its own unique drama style that is in line with the cultural diversity of the country. Now Broadway theaters mainly stage musicals, whose artistic features are easy to understand and highly entertaining, thus attracting a large number of audiences. Most of them come from the United States and other parts of the world outside New York. One of the main purposes of many tourists to New York is to experience the elegant and classic singing and dancing art of Broadway. All successful classic plays are staged on Broadway. The stage setting is magnificent, and various modern equipment and technologies make the stage performance unpredictable, which creates a warm atmosphere for the theater and makes the audience mesmerize. Almost every Broadway show is a huge box office hit for theaters. However, this kind of successful commercial operation also makes the Broadway drama criticized. Many people think that the strong commercial atmosphere here is not conducive to the development and innovation of the drama. Nonetheless, Broadway’s contribution to the prosperity and development of American theater and cabaret art cannot be denied. Here came Eugene O’Neill, Arthur Miller and other drama masters. Classic plays such as “Beauty and the Beast”, “The Lion King”, “The Phantom of the Opera”, “Cat”, “Les Miserables” and “Miss Saigon” have been staged here. year. Take “Cat” as an example, from October 1982 to June 2000, the show lasted for 18 years.
Off-Broadway Off-Broadway refers to theatrical events outside of Broadway in New York. In the early 20th century, due to dissatisfaction with the commercial atmosphere of Broadway, some elites in the theater industry left Broadway with expensive production costs and went to other areas of New York City, such as the vicinity of Greenwich Village. They used nearby old churches, abandoned warehouses, and basements as venues for rehearsals and even performances. There they staged experimental plays or avant-garde plays that were not accepted on Broadway, and also repeated failed Broadway plays, and made bold explorations in directing, acting and acting styles, thus forming a huge off-Broadway movement. Off-Broadway theaters are generally small in scale, and sometimes the performance is better than the large-scale performance of Broadway, and the ticket price is low, usually 20-40 US dollars a piece, while the Broadway performance ticket price is more than 200 US dollars, so it is very large. Most New Yorkers are willing to go to Off-Broadway to see a play. Off-Broadway used to be a great place for experimental dramatists to shine. But after the 1960s, Off-Broadway was gradually commercialized, imitating Broadway and embarking on the road of high-cost production.
Off -Broadway is a dramatic movement that began in the 1960s and 1970s. The slogan of the movement was to resolutely boycott commercial theaters. The direct cause of the movement was that the commercialization of Off-Broadway made some playwrights and actors “relocate” again. . Many new writers and small troupes began to perform all kinds of experimental plays at very low cost in remote top floors, cellars, bars, churches, etc. The repertoire of the performance is all-encompassing, and the cost of performance is extremely low, and some actors do not even get paid. The audience came from all levels of New York City, but mainly consisted of college students, citizens, artists, and playwrights. Broadway Abroad has injected fresh blood into the development of American theater. At this time, drama was no longer a tool for cultural traders to seek profits, and it was not just a means for dramatists to express their thoughts and emotions, but became a way of life for people from all walks of life who participated in Broadway drama activities abroad. There are currently more than 130 theaters on Broadway in New York City.
From Broadway to Off-Broadway to Off-Broadway to Off-Broadway, the most important difference between the three is not the geographic location they are located in, but the business philosophy and the style of performing arts. This distinction and change, on the one hand, is the embodiment of the prosperity and development of American drama and musicals, showing the diversity and openness of the development of this industry; on the other hand, this phenomenon also reveals the contradictions and conflicts within Broadway. struggle. Is it art for money or art for art’s sake? In the eyes of many people, Broadway is the perfect combination of money and art, which has created countless classics while creating extremely high box office revenue. However, for many innovative playwrights, Broadway is too conservative and refuses to accept new and experimental dramas without box office guarantees. As long as it can attract audiences, Broadway can replicate successful plays elsewhere. In order to pursue free creation and development, Off-Broadway came into being. But the temptation of money is huge, and the drive of profit is even more irresistible. Off-Broadway finally repeats the mistakes of Broadway and embarks on the road of commercialization. At this time, the appearance of Broadway abroad brought people a kind of confidence, making people still believe that in this materialistic society, art will not stop its free development at any time.