Definition of Broadway noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//ˈbrɔːdweɪ//
; NAmE NAmE//ˈbrɔːdweɪ//
[uncountable] Types of play
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a street in New York City where there are many theatres, sometimes used to refer to the US theatre industry in general a Broadway musical The play opened on Broadway in 2013. see also off-Broadway See related entries: Types of play CultureBroadwayBroadway is the name of a street in New York that is closely associated with the theatre and is often used to mean US theatre in general. The street runs the whole length of Manhattan, but its theatres are in the Theater District between West 41st Street and West 57th Street. The most famous are between 44th and 45th Streets, near Times Square. This part is called the Great White Way because of its many bright lights. The first theatres were built there in 1894 and New York's subway system was extended north shortly afterwards to help audiences get to them. Other theatres in New York, usually smaller, are said to be off-Broadway, and there are even off-off-Broadway theatres, which are less commercial.Before the rise of the film industry, Broadway was the place where actors could become famous. Broadway's best years were in the 1920s when there were about 80 theatres. Most of the longest-running plays on Broadway have been musicals(= amusing plays with singing and dancing) such as South Pacific, Guys and Dolls, My Fair Lady, A Chorus Line and Cats by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Another musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber, The Phantom of the Opera, has had the longest run (= the most performances) so far, with over 10 000 performances to 2013. Serious plays that have won Tony awards include Death of a Salesman, Long Day's Journey into Night and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?Famous actors who have appeared on Broadway include Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford, Elizabeth Taylor, Liza Minnelli and, from Britain, Vanessa Redgrave, Jeremy Irons, Maggie Smith and Ralph Fiennes.Since the early 1970s the high cost of producing plays has forced many theatres to close or to become cinemas/movie theaters, and Broadway is not as important as it once was. It has had fewer successful new plays and has tried to attract audiences with revivals (= old plays produced again) or with successful British productions. A bad review (= an article that describes the quality of a performance) by the drama critic of the New York Times can close a play. Paul Simon's $11-million musical, The Capeman, for instance, ran for only two months after bad reviews. Broadway has attracted larger audiences with musicals such as Chicago and The Producers, but most new avant-garde (= experimental) works are produced off-Broadway, or off-off-Broadway in the lofts (= old warehouses) of SoHo.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: Broadway

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