Facebook Pixel
The Bowery Boys: New York City History

Rewind: The Birth of the Broadway Musical

The Broadway musical is one of New York City's greatest inventions, over 160 years in the making! It's one of the truly American art forms, fueling one of the city's most vibrant entertainment businesses and defining its most popular tourist attraction -- Times Square.

But why Broadway, exactly? Why not the Bowery or Fifth Avenue? And how did our fair city go from simple vaudeville and minstrel shows to Shuffle Along, Irene and Show Boat, surely the most influential musical of the Jazz Age?

This podcast is an epic, a wild musical adventure in itself, full of musical interludes, zipping through the evolution of musical entertainment in New York City, as it races up the 'main seam' of Manhattan -- the avenue of Broadway.

We are proud to present a tour up New York City's most famous street, past some of the greatest theaters and shows that have ever won acclaim here, from the wacky (and highly copied) imports of Gilbert & Sullivan to the dancing girls and singing sensations of the Ziegfeld revue tradition.

CO-STARRING: Well, some of the biggest names in songwriting, composing and singing. And even a dog who talks in German! At right: Billie Burke from a latter-year Follies. (NYPL)

Visit the website for more information and images.

This episode was originally recorded in 2013. Since then we have recorded many shows on the Broadway theater district. Please check out these shows for more information:

-- Mae West: 'Sex' On Broadway
-- Rodgers and Hammerstein
-- West Side Story: The Making of Lincoln Center
-- The Shuberts: The Brothers Who Built Broadway
-- The Cotton Club: The Aristocrat of Harlem
-- Tin Pan Alley and the creation of modern American music

The Bowery Boys: New York City History
Not playing