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Broadway Theater Trivia Quiz Questions and Answers

Trivia quiz questions with answers about Broadway Theater


Broadway Theater Trivia Quiz Questions and Answers

What is Broadway Theater?
A: Broadway theatre, commonly known as Broadway, refers to the theatrical performances presented in the 41 professional theatres each with 500 or more seats located in the Theater District and Lincoln Center along Broadway, in Midtown Manhattan, New York City.

Along with London's West End theatre, Broadway theatre is widely considered to represent what?
A: The highest level of commercial theatre in the English-speaking world.

The Theater District is a popular “what” in New York City?
A: Tourist attraction.

According to The Broadway League, for the 20172018 seasons (which ended May 27, 2018) total attendance was how much?
A: 13,792,614 and Broadway shows had US$1,697,458,795 in grosses.

The majority of Broadway shows are what?
A: Musicals.

Historian Martin Shefter argues "'Broadway musicals,' culminating in the productions of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, became enormously influential forms of American popular culture" and helped make New York City what?
A: The cultural capital of the nation.

New York did not have a significant theatre presence until about when?
A: 1750, when actor-managers Walter Murray and Thomas Kean established a resident theatre company at the Theatre on Nassau Street, which held about 280 people.

They presented what?
A: Shakespeare plays and ballad operas such as The Beggar's Opera.

In 1752, William Hallam sent a company of twelve actors from Britain to the colonies with whom as their manager?
A: His brother Lewis

They established a theatre in Williamsburg, Virginia and opened with what?
A: The Merchant of Venice and The Anatomist.

Where did the company move to in the summer of 1753, performing ballad operas and ballad-farces like Damon and Phillida?
A: New York.

The Revolutionary War suspended theatre in New York, but thereafter theatre resumed in what year?
A: 1798, the year the 2,000-seat Park Theatre was built on Chatham Street (now called Park Row).

The Bowery Theatre opened in what year?
A: 1826.

By the 1840s, where was P.T. Barnum operating an entertainment complex?
A: In lower Manhattan.

In 1829, at Broadway and Prince Street, what opened and soon became one of New York's premiere nightspots?
A: Niblo's Garden.

The 3,000-seat theatre presented all sorts of what?
A: Musical and non-musical entertainment.

In 1844, Palmo's Opera House opened and presented opera for how many seasons before bankruptcy led to its rebranding as a venue for plays under the name Burton's Theatre?
A: Only four seasons.

What year did the Astor Opera House open?
A: In 1847.

A riot broke out in 1849 when the lower-class patrons of the Bowery objected to what they perceived as snobbery by whom?
A: The upper class audiences at Astor Place.

After the Astor Place Riot of 1849, entertainment in New York City was divided along what lines?
A: Class lines: opera was chiefly for the upper middle and upper classes, minstrel shows and melodramas for the middle class, variety shows in concert saloons for men of the working class and the slumming middle class.

The plays of William Shakespeare were frequently performed on the Broadway stage during the period, most notably by what American actor?
A: Edwin Booth who was internationally known for his performance as Hamlet.

Booth played the role for how many consecutive performances at the Winter Garden Theatre in 1865?
A: 100. (The run ended just a few months before Booth's brother John Wilkes Booth assassinated Abraham Lincoln).

Where would he later revive the role?
A: At his own Booth's Theatre (which was managed for a time by his brother Junius Brutus Booth, Jr.).

Who were other renowned Shakespeareans who appeared in New York in this era?
A: Henry Irving, Tommaso Salvini, Fanny Davenport, and Charles Fechter.

Theatre in New York moved from downtown gradually to midtown beginning around what year?
A: 1850, seeking less expensive real estate.

In the beginning of the 19th century, the area that now comprises the Theater District was owned by whom?
A: A handful of families and comprised a few farms.

In 1836, Mayor Cornelius Lawrence opened 42nd Street and invited Manhattanites to do what?
A: "Enjoy the pure clean air."

Close to 60 years later, theatrical entrepreneur Oscar Hammerstein I built what?
A: The iconic Victoria Theater on West 42nd Street.

Broadway's first "long-run" musical was a 50-performance hit called what?
A: The Elves in 1857.

In 1870, the heart of Broadway was in Union Square, and by the end of the century, many theatres were near what?
A: Madison Square.

Theatres did not arrive in the Times Square area until when?
A: The early 1900s, and the Broadway theatres did not consolidate there until a large number of theatres were built around the square in the 1920s and 1930s.

New York runs continued to lag far behind those in what city?
A: London. Laura Keene's "musical burletta" The Seven Sisters (1860) shattered previous New York records with a run of how many performances?
A: 253.

It was at a performance by Keene's troupe of Our American Cousin in Washington, D.C. that who was shot?
A: Abraham Lincoln.

What is considered by some historians to be the first musical?
A: The Black Crook.

When did The Black Crook premiere?
A: On September 12, 1866.

The production was how long?
A: A staggering five-and-a-half hours.

Despite its length, it ran for how many performances?
A: A record-breaking 474.

The same year, The Black Domino/Between You, Me and the Post was the first show to call itself a what?
A: A musical comedy.

Tony Pastor opened the first vaudeville theatre one block east of Union Square in 1881, where who performed?
A: Lillian Russell.

Comedians Edward Harrigan and Tony Hart produced and starred in musicals on Broadway between 1878 (The Mulligan Guard Picnic) and when?
A: 1890, with book and lyrics by Harrigan and music by his father-in-law David Braham.

These musical comedies featured characters and situations taken from what?
A: The everyday life of New York's lower classes and represented a significant step forward from vaudeville and burlesque, towards a more literate form.

They starred high quality singers (Lillian Russell, Vivienne Segal, and Fay Templeton), instead of what?
A: The women of questionable repute who had starred in earlier musical forms.

As in England, during the latter half of the century, the theatre began to be cleaned up, with less what?
A: Prostitution hindering the attendance of the theatre by women.

Charles H. Hoyt's A Trip to Chinatown (1891) became Broadway's long-run champion, holding the stage for how many performances?
A: 657.

This would not be surpassed until Irene in what year?
A: 1919.

In 1896, theatre owners Marc Klaw and A. L. Erlanger formed the Theatrical Syndicate, which controlled what?
A: Almost every legitimate theatre in the US. for the next sixteen years.

However, smaller vaudeville and variety houses proliferated, and Off-Broadway was well established by when?
A: By the end of the 19th century.

What was the first musical comedy entirely produced and performed by African Americans in a Broadway theatre?
A: A Trip to Coontown (1898).

New York runs continued to be relatively short, with a few exceptions, compared with London runs, until when?
A: World War I.

Beginning with The Red Mill, Broadway shows installed what outside the theatres?
A: Electric signs.

Why were white lights were used and not colored lights?
A: Colored lights burned out too quickly.

In August 1919, the Actors' Equity Association demanded what?
A: A standard contract for all professional productions.

What play by Winchell Smith and Frank Bacon, became the first Broadway show to reach 700 performances?
A: Lightnin'.

From then, it would go on to become the first show to reach how many performances?
A: 1000.

Lightnin' was the longest-running Broadway show until being overtaken in performance totals by what?
A: Abie's Irish Rose in 1925.

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