In The Big City

Give My Regards to Broadway

Experience Broadway Like Never Before at the Entertaining & Educating Museum of Broadway

By Tara Jean McDonald


The Museum of Broadway {145 W 45th St, NYC; 212.519.6600;} is located in New York City’s bustling Times Square. This four-level, 26,000 square foot space houses the interactive and experiential museum that celebrates Broadway’s rich history and New York City’s famous theater district. Visitors may take a self-guided or guided tour to experience the fascinating journey through 500 of Broadways theatrical milestone productions. The journey takes us through the years, experiencing the music, costumes and sets of your favorite Broadway shows. As you walk the museum you will travel from the past through to the present where you will eventually find yourself backstage, behind the curtains to experience what it feels like to be working with the people who help bring a theater production to life on a stage.

The Museum of Broadway is a for-profit museum although it has a philanthropic affiliation with Broadway theaters. When founders Julie Boardman and Diane Nicoletti began planning the museum, they reached out to major players in the New York theater industry, including Wendy Federman, Theatre & Film Producer, CEO of Foolish Mortals Productions and winner of thirteen Tony Awards (Hair, Pippin, All The Way, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Dear Evan Hansen, Hello Dolly!, Angels in America, The Band’s Visit, Hadestown, Moulin Rouge!, The Inheritance, The Lehman Trilogy and Company.) “Julie called and asked if I would be a part of it,” said Wendy. “I told Julie that as soon as they found a space to create it, I would help to make it happen.” Once on-board Wendy and the team began calling everyone they knew, producers, writers, actors, and directors to contribute and curate items for displays. “People were honored to be a part of it,” Wendy said. “For the first time there would finally be a museum dedicated to the history of Broadway.” There was extensive preparation, teaming up with internationally renowned artists, designers, and theatre historians to create both an entertaining and educational experience. By opening day there were hundreds of rare costumes, props, and artifacts, that were once in storage facilities, and forgotten explains. She said many people came to her saying “my favorite show is not there,” but Wendy reassures that the museum’s founders and producers are hopeful to add more space as it becomes available in the future.

In each of the theatrically designed rooms dedicated music is playing from spotlighted musical productions. “People don’t always remember the first movie they saw but they almost always remember their first Broadway Show,” Wendy exclaims. Many seniors take the tour, and the museum experience brings back exciting memories of being at a Broadway performance sometimes decades earlier. The museum also offers an interactive educational experience for students and school groups. Wendy states, “Finally, to have a place to teach the history and have amazing artifacts all in one room.” There is also a private studio room on the first floor next to the gift shop, that is available for up to 60 guests and can be used for private events, birthday celebration, and fundraisers.

Just to name a few:

Ziegfeld Follies – This exhibit is a replica of the backstage dressing room, lavishly decorated with pink feathered wallpapered and mannequins wearing two extravagant follies costumes.

Oklahoma – “Oh What A Beautiful Mornin’” plays in the background as you walk through a mini corn field. The side of the barn is covered in pictures from the original 1943 productions, and replicas of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s manuscripts and lyric sketches.

A Chorus Line – “I Hope I Get it” lyrics are featured, along with the intricately designed

original costumes and top hats from the production. Not to be missed is Cassie Ferguson’s cranberry red leotard and the mirrored panels you can stand in front of from the final number.

Evita – Both Evita’s costume and the wig worn by Patti LuPone are on display.

West Side Story – Walk into the set of the drug store where the Jets would hang out. Dance on the “rooftop” and follow along to the original choreography.

Hair – Listen to the soundtrack while sitting on a colorful swing, and check out the groovy original 1968 costumes.

Annie – The little red dress from ‘Annie’ is displayed as it was worn by America’s favorite little red head from the 1970s Broadway musical.

Broadway AIDS Quilt – Broadway Cares and Equity Fights AIDS presents a quilt made up of 7-inch-by-7-inch squares of shows running on Broadway in the late 1980s. On the walls are names of artists lost to the epidemic. 

Phantom of the Opera – This classic is represented with numerous costumes and the Opera’s monkey music box in a glass case. As a beautiful tribute to the now closed production, a unique chandelier was created using 13,917 crystals, each representing a single performance of The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. If you look very closely you can see the image of the Phantom in the center of this glistening chandelier.

Wicked at the Gershwin Theater – Just over five feet wide, the model design of the theater and set during the original Broadway production of “Wicked” is very detailed. It includes over 300 characters that include the full cast, production crew and backstage hands.

Al Hirschfeld – Featured in the Special Exhibit Room, the theater caricaturist, Al Hirschfeld, was most famous for his sketches that ran in The New York Times the Sunday before a NYC Broadway show opened. In his lifetime he created around 10,000 drawings.

Broadway is considered the heartbeat of New York City, and The Museum of Broadway is the new gem not to be missed on your next visit to Times Square. Enjoy an afternoon lunch, go to the theater, and follow with a stroll through the museum. You might see your next theater pick on the walls where the playbills from all the newest Broadway Shows are posted. If you like the lights on Broadway in the evenings, then visit the museum first to excite your senses, then dine at a nearby restaurant and be at the theater just in time for the show of your choice.

TICKETING INFORMATION: Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased online at by calling Telecharge at 800-447-7400, or on site at the Museum during regular operating hours. Operating hours are: Monday-Friday & Sunday: 9:30AM – 6:30PM (last entry at 5:00PM). Saturday: 9:30AM – 8PM (last entry at 6:30PM). Please check the website calendar for the hours on any specific date.