Guides New York Broadway Unplugged: Behind the Scenes Tours & Experiences

Broadway Unplugged: Behind the Scenes Tours & Experiences

City Guide July 25, 2023


You’ve heard about them and probably dreamt about going to one of these at some point— we’re talking about Broadway shows. So what is Broadway? Is it one theatre? Is it an area in Midtown Manhattan?

In this article, you’ll learn more about Broadway, NYC's Theater District, which is undoubtedly a dream destination for drama, music, and dance, whether you're more of a West Side Story or Wicked fan.

We’ll also delve into the lesser-known aspects of the Broadway theater district, showcasing what to do and seeing beyond the grand productions that captivate audiences from around the world while learning about the behind-the-scenes of Broadway. Get ready to learn and see Broadway like you’ve never seen before.

To see and learn, you have to be traveling without large bags. You wouldn’t take your suitcase to Broadway musical shows, so if you’re wondering where you can drop your bags off, we have an answer for you. Nannybag is here to efficiently store luggage in NYC for as little as $6 per bag per day. Now onto business, and we mean show business!

If you didn’t know, Broadway refers to the collection of theaters in the Theater District of Manhattan, New York City. It is renowned for hosting world-class musicals, plays, and other theatrical performances, often featuring top-tier talents from the entertainment industry.

If you didn’t score tickets to a Broadway play or would like to know more about the behind-the-scenes action and experience even more of Broadway then let us tell you about some more Broadway experiences you can partake in.


Catch an off-Broadway production

Off-Broadway refers to theatrical productions staged in smaller, more intimate venues located near, but not within, the traditional Broadway district in New York City. Broadway venues get hold over 500+ guests, so off-Broadway offers a more intimate experience. And despite the name, Off-Broadway theaters are not always physically located off the main Broadway street. Some well-known Off-Broadway venues include The Public Theater, Playwrights Horizons, Signature Theatre, and New World Stages.

Discover hidden gems and support emerging talents as they take the stage in Off-Broadway productions. Off-Broadway is where innovative scripts, breakthrough performances, and intimate settings create memorable theatrical experiences. Many of your favorite Broadway shows were off-Broadway once, so who knows where a production might end up. Broadway shows, such as "Hamilton," "Rent," and "A Chorus Line," originally started as Off-Broadway productions before transferring to larger Broadway theaters.

To view a list of off-Broadway productions, click here.



Take a Broadway walking tour with Broadway Up-Close

Led by knowledgeable guides, this walking tour takes you behind the scenes of iconic theaters, where you'll learn about the magic that brings Broadway productions to life. Experience behind the Scenes of Broadway with one of their tour options.

You can choose from a Broadway's Beginnings tour, where you'll discover the roots of Broadway and its evolution over the years, or immerse yourself in the world of a specific hit show with the Hamilton tour, uncovering the behind-the-scenes secrets of this groundbreaking musical.

For theater history enthusiasts, the Hudson Theater Up Close tour offers an exclusive opportunity to explore the history and architecture of the historic Hudson Theater, which dates back to 1903 and has been a landmark of Broadway's rich heritage.

Delve into the past with archived original IBDB records, documenting the lineage of Broadway productions, and dive into Theater Playbill highlights, a cherished tradition in Broadway history, where you can discover the original cast, creative team, and fascinating trivia about your favorite shows.

For more information about the tours, click here.


Museum of Broadway

Discover the treasures of Broadway's past at the Museum of Broadway. The museum pays tribute to the many wonders of Broadway, like the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. Honoring Broadway legends and offering interactive experiences, the museum inspires and educates aspiring artists and theater enthusiasts.

Be sure to explore the museum's captivating special exhibits, like the current homage to "Chicago," the musical that holds the record for the longest-running show currently playing on Broadway. Celebrate its immense success with over 10,000 performances since its opening in 1996, a testament to the timeless appeal and enduring love for the magic of Broadway.

145 West 45th Street, NYC Sunday-Friday from 9:30 am to 6:30 pm, Saturday from 9:30 to 8:00 pm

To buy tickets click here.



Meet the Cast

After a breathtaking performance (if you go), head to the cast door, where the magic continues as you meet the talented cast members. Capture the moment with a signed Theater Playbill as a cherished memento.

While meeting a Broadway League cast is an exciting prospect, remember that this is a personal moment for the artists. They may need to rush to other commitments or prefer private time after the show. Always respect the artist's decision on whether or not they want to sign your Playbill, and remember that their performances are physically and emotionally demanding. If you're lucky, you might even have the chance to meet the music director!


Participate in a Workshop

Whether you're a seasoned performer looking to fine-tune your skills or a newcomer eager to explore the world of theater, there's something for everyone at Broadway Workshop. From acting, singing, and dancing to audition techniques and musical theater intensives, each workshop provides a unique opportunity to learn from the best in the business.

Many companies like Broadway Inbound and Broadway Workshop curate workshops to help you understand Broadway from the POV of the performer. Most of the classes are for kids and teenagers, but there are a couple of adult classes too! It’s never too late to learn.


Shakespeare in the Park

If you’re looking to experience theatre in a different setting, visit Shakespeare in the Park. Admission to the show is free because the actors are volunteers— reserved seating for a donation is limited to keep most tickets to Free Shakespeare in the Park accessible to all.

It’s not Broadway, but it’s an outstanding performance by up-and-coming artists. Experience the magic of Shakespeare's timeless plays amidst nature's embrace. Shakespeare in the Park brings iconic works to life under the open sky.

From Hamlet to The Tempest, it’s been done. Make sure to check the schedule to see the showings offered!

To see the schedule click here.



New York: Broadway Behind the Scenes Experience

Finishing this guide off with the tour that wraps up the Broadway Behind the Scenes Experience Tour. These Broadway tours will have you explore the hidden gems and legendary theaters that have shaped the history of theater.

The tour begins in the bustling center of New York City and the theatre world, Times Square. With this tour, however, you will get the chance to go behind the scenes with an active rehearsal studio tour. Talk about the ultimate experience!

To learn more and purchase tickets, click here.

Last pro tips: you can also head to Duffy Square (not too far from 6th Avenue 7th and 8th Avenue) to try and score some cheaper theater tickets. Metro Broadway & W 54th Street stop can be a great way to start your Broadway adventure. This way, you can walk down West 54th Street.

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