Broadway shows are known the world over for the exciting stories they tell, the incredible impact of the sets and choreography, the engaging musical arrangements, the beautiful costumes and a whole host of reasons that are only understood by going to see them. One with one’s own eyes. After all, whoever says musical says Broadway, and visiting New York without seeing one of the shows in the Times Square area means missing a unique opportunity…unless you consider it a reason to return
For a long stretch of the island of Manhattan, in the beating heart of the Big Apple, which responds to the mythical name of “New York”, the infinite artery called “Broadway”, welcomes years and years of the history of the American musical. It is perhaps the street with the largest number of theaters in the world and the only one that does not respect the almost perfect chessboard in which the city is divided. The Manhattan road system is based on two series of parallel streets, which intersect at right angles: from east to west (street) and from south to north (avenue). The great diagonal of Broadway interrupts this system, crossing the whole island of Manhattan from south-east to north-west, along the Hudson River. . The intersection takes place in the crucial node of the forty-second street, that of the homonymous musical “42nd Street, a basin of vice and sin, of transgression and involving spectacle, of invention and existential boredom”. In this area alone, which goes from Columbus Circle to Time Square, there are approximately 80 theaters: it is the Discrit Teathre, cradle of the fascinating myth of the imaginary, the dream and the fantastic, of a kind of show that on Broadway it is born, consumed and dies; a legend that has about two centuries of history. Here, for years, Americans and foreigners have witnessed the frenetic pulse of a fantastic life, full of invention. Today this little street, which from Times Square plunges down to the most secret alley all around, is called “Silicon Alley, a completely random irony of fate”, or rather the triumph of silicon, a computerized universe, which a little perpetuates and a little profane the ritual of the dream factory, which for years the American musical has spread around the world. A new Mecca of multimedia culture, which borders the musicals of the old days in the “off” theaters of Broadway (the Broadway off), among nostalgic remakes of the good old days (the latest in chronological order, Chicago in the double theatrical and cinematographic version) and sporadic successes, merciless signs of a crisis of imagination, to which the multimedia logic of the last decades has given the coup de grace. Thanks to show business, or tradition as it is, musical entertainment remains, however, the soul of this Great White Way and, despite everything, for anyone who wants to join the American dream, to perceive even just the idea, all that remains is go to Broadway and see one of its shows.