New York gets a major new museum next week, with the opening of the Museum of Broadway.
The Museum of Broadway promises to be an immersive and interactive theatrical experience devoted to musicals, plays, and the people who make them, and opens on 15 November 2022 at 145 West 45th Street in New York.
The museum will feature the work of dozens of Broadway designers, artists, and theatre historians, and will take visitors on a journey along the timeline of Broadway, from its birth to present day, with permanent exhibits relating to shows including Cabaret, HAIR, The Phantom of the Opera, The Lion King and more.
Check out the first photos of the new museum, below.
The Museum of Broadway’s first special exhibit will be “The American Theatre as seen by Hirschfeld”, curated by David Leopold, Creative Director of The Al Hirschfeld Foundation. Hirschfeld created more posters for shows than any other artist, which are featured alongside a number of iconic album covers and programs from 1928 to 2002. Illustrations include Fiddler on the Roof, The Phantom of the Opera, The King and I, Sunday in the Park with George, Funny Girl, Ragtime, Beauty and the Beast, and Hairspray.
Visitors will also be able to sit in a replica of Hirschfeld’s barber chair, where he drew all the finished drawings in his career, as well as a selection of sketchbooks that he used to record his initial impressions of shows in out-of-town tryouts and previews.
Portraits of Meryl Streep, Julie Andrews, Stephen Sondheim, Liza Minnelli and John Leguizamo, many of them signed by their subjects, will also be on display, and visitors will have the chance to create a Hirschfeld portrait of themselves with a new app created exclusively for this exhibition. There will also be Hirschfeld coloring pages available to make the exhibition fun for visitors of all ages.
The Museum of Broadway is founded by entrepreneur and two-time Tony Award-winning producer Julie Boardman, and founder of award-winning experiential agency Rubik Marketing, Diane Nicoletti. The museum was founded in collaboration with Playbill, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, The Billy Rose Theatre Division at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, The Al Hirschfeld Foundation, Goodspeed Musicals, Creative Goods, and Concord Theatricals.
Permanent exhibitions include The Map Room, taking visitors on a journey from the first play performed in New York in 1732 to the present day; a visual history of Broadway highlighting groundbreaking moments in a series of exhibits that showcase dazzling costumes, props, renderings, rare photos and videos; and behind-the-scenes with “The Making of a Broadway Show” exhibit.
Some of the exhibits and immersive experiences will feature Cabaret, HAIR, The Lion King, The Phantom of the Opera, The Producers, Show Boat, The Ziegfeld Follies, Oklahoma!, The Wiz, Ain’t Misbehavin’ and Rent, among many more. Overall, the Museum will highlight more than 500 individual productions from the 1700s through the present.
The Museum of Broadway will feature work from a huge range of Broadway creatives, including a number of British theatre people such as scenic designer Bunny Christie (Company, Curious Incident…).
In London the V&A museum is currently hosting the Re:Imagining Musicals exhibition in their Theatre and Performance Galleries, celebrating the world of musical theatre and exploring the cultural significance of some of the industry’s most iconic stories.