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History of Off-Broadway

Ever wonder why they call it Off-Broadway? Many visitors flock to the Theatre District to see Broadway shows like Wicked, Lion King, Rent, Hamilton but some of these hits actually got their starts in small theatres on Off-Broadway.

While Off-Broadway often refers to the actual location - falling outside the “Broadway Box”, later times amended this to be theaters of 499-seats or less. This lowered minimum requirements for certain theatres which lessened the the cost of production allowing for smaller budget works to be produced and seen.

The insurgence of Off-Broadway came about during the 1950’s when many felt Broadway was becoming too commercial. Off-Broadway became a space for poets, songwriters, play writers, designers and more to have a platform to ‘speak’ their voice. This later lead to the creation of Off-Off Broadway in the 1960’s. From this movement, companies such as The Negro Ensemble Company, La Mama Experimental Theatre Company and the Open Theatre were created and provided more diversity in the Broadway space.

What we love the most is the continued effort to make shows accessible to everyone by creating Broadway Week and Off-Broadway Week. During the week of February 12 - 25, Off Broadway offers 2 for 1 tickets to a selection of shows. At that rate, you can afford to see a show every night...or at least a couple during your stay at our hotel near Central Park and discover a show off the beaten path or the next hit. A couple of our recommendations are Jersey Boys, Avenue Q, and Blue Man Group. Participating shows get released on January 29th, so mark your calendar and enjoy the show!

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