Museum of Broadway

Museum of Broadway



4.7/5 Pros

  • Very extensive exhibition about the history of Broadway shows
  • Very good presentation with a lot of original items
  • Perfectly located for show fans Cons

  • Rather pricey, esp. flexible tickets

The Broadway is one of the key global centers for theatrical entertainment. With all the tourist attractions New York City is featuring, it is quite remarkable that it took until November 2022 until the city is also hosting a Museum of Broadway. During my April 2024, the museum has been one of the spots I have been most curious about. Here is my review.


Museum of Broadway – Location & Admission

The museum is located at 45th Street, right off Times Square – or in other words: right at the heart of the Broadway. It is a short way away from the 42nd Street subway stations, Times Square – 42 St (lines 7 N, Q, R, W), 42 St – Port Authority Bus Terminal (A, C, E) or 42 St – Bryant Park (B, D, F, M). You can also use lines N, R or W to 49 St. Apart from the theaters, there are multiple other attractions around, like RiseNY across the street or Madame Tussauds New York, right at Times Square.

Daily opening times are 9:30 to 18:30. On Wednesdays, doors close at 14:30 already. Saturday opening is prolonged until 20:00. If you book in advance, a fixed 15 minute time slot ticket is 46.82 USD, including all takes. If you want to go for a longer time slot, morning ticket until noon are available on weekdays for 42.47 USD, while weekend, afternoon and late afternoon tickets go up to 57.71 USD incl. tax. Anytime tickets are 79.48 USD. I would at least recommend to factor in a visiting time of 90 minutes. I used the GoCity All-inclusive Pass for my visit.


Museum of Broadway – The Visit

There are three exhibition levels. You start the the uppermost level (typically by a staircase, but an elevator is available). For the first two rooms, you are gathered in groups. The first room gives an introduction and a list of shows presented on the Broadway. The second room is a video show about the history of the theater district. Thereafter, you are on a self–guided tour. The first two floors thereby are like a chronological tour from the mid 18th century, where the roots of shows in New York are based, until today. The museum features a lot of stories and pictures, but also original items.

Some major acts and show are featured in short, special sections. For example, you see the impressive area about the musicals Oklahoma!, West Side Story and Hair in the pictures below. They allow for a deeper look into the topics presented. When you finished the upper floor and head down to the second level, you have already reached the late 1960’s.


Second Floor: 1970’s until today

Apart from moving on in time, the second floor also has some interesting feature areas. For example, there is an area about jukebox areas (one of two places where I spotted my favorite, Rock of Ages). Another really impressing room is about the the actors which the Broadway scene lost by the AIDS epidemic. This level also features a room with original show inventory, from Aladdin‘s magic lamp to the silver glove in MJ to original boots used in Kinky Boots. I also loved to visit the feature area for Phantom of the Opera. I overall felt that the musicals put on stage in 2000 and later are slightly under-represented. There is also also a section which presents different original stage outfits. During my visit, there was a temporary feature about Six.


A Focus in the People Behind The Shows

While the first two floors at most feature famous composers and writers, the last section of your visit is focusing on the people behind the shows. You learn about the work of writers, choreographer, light and sound engineers or costume designers. I felt that this part is really interesting and a part you do miss when you visit a show. For example, you learn about the long workdays of a stage manager around the shows. I felt that this part of the museum visit is really valuable and worth it.


Museum of Broadway – Services

The staff was really helpful and friendly. The museum is featuring a store in the ground level reception area. Apart from a lot of merchandise from current shows and the museum, you also find some really interesting show-related items. For example, they had an original stage model, which you can purchase as a very special item.

To make your visit more convenient, you may lock your bags in complimentary lockers. This is very helpful. Especially in the upper floor, you are quite close with the people you started with in your group. As the museum is rather packed, the aisles are sometimes a bit of narrow.


Museum of Broadway – My View

The Broadway was the place where my passion for Rock of Ages has started. I feel it is absolutely overdue that New York is having this museum. It is such an essential part of traveling to the city for so many visitors. The Museum of Broadway has a lot of information and original items. If you are a theater or musical nerd, you will absolutely love it. But even if that’s not your kind of entertainment, the museum is absolutely interesting and well-presented. The pricing, especially for more flexible tickets, is quite high, though.


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