THE MUSEUM OF BROADWAY OPENS IN NYC!

New York’s first ever museum solely dedicated to Broadway is now officially open.  The Museum of Broadway, located in Manhattan’s theater district, is a 26,000 square foot, three floor building, honoring Broadway’s rich history, and showcasing props, costumes, and other memorabilia from countless Broadway shows.  The museum teamed up with internationally renowned artists, designers, and theatre historians to create an interactive experience that highlights groundbreaking moments in Broadway’s history – the moments that pushed creative boundaries, challenged social norms, and paved the way for those who would follow.

Aired on January 19, 2023

 

TRANSCRIPT

> NEW YORK CITY IS HOME TO A NOU NUMBER OF MUSEUMS CELEBRATING OUR RICH ARTISTIC AND CULTURE HISTORY, BUT UNTIL NOW THERE'S NEVER BEEN A PERMANENT MUSEUM DEDICATED TO HONORING WHAT IS PRAPGS NEW YORK'S GREATEST CONTRIBUTION, THE PLAYS AND MUSICALS OF BROADWAY.

WELL, AFTER YEARS OF PREPARATION WE CAN FINALLY SAY THAT IS NO LONGER THE CASE, BECAUSE THE BRAND NEW MUSEUM OF BROADWAY IS OFFICIALLY OPEN.

LOCATED IN THE HEART OF MANHATTAN'S THEATER DISTRICT, THE 26,000 SQUARE FOOT MUSEUM COVERS HUNDREDS OF YEARS OF BROADWAY'S HISTORY AND SHOWCASES PROPS AND COSTUMES AND OTHER MEMORABILIA FROM COUNTLESS BROADWAY SHOWS.

THE MUSEUM, CREATE IN THE PARTNERSHIP WITH ORTIVES AND DESIGNER FROM THE COMMUNITY ITSELF ALSO FEATURES SEVERAL PERMANENT EXHIBITS, INCLUDING ONE DEDICATED TO THE BEHIND THE SCENES CREWS THAT ARE ESSENTIAL TO PUTTING TOGETHER THE SHOWS THAT WE ALL LOVE.

AND WE ARE THRILLED NOW TO BE JOINED TO TALK MORE ABOUT THE BROADWAY MUSEUM WITH THE MUSEUM'S COFOUNDERS, DIANE NICOLETTI AND JULIE BOARDMAN.

WELCOME TO BOTH OF YOU.

THANK YOU FOR HAVING US.

THE QUESTION IS THIS, AND THAT IS, AS MOST FIRST QUESTIONS ARE, WHY THE MUSEUM AND WHY NOW?

REALLY, REALLY GREAT QUESTION.

YEAH, THERE'S NEVER BEEN A MUSEUM DEDICATED TO BROADWAY AND THE HISTORY OF BROADWAY IS SO RICH, AND THE THEATER IN NEW YORK HAS BEEN AROUND SINCE THE 1700s, SO IT'S MIND BLOWING IT DIDN'T EXIST BEFORE.

WE FEEL REALLY FORTUNATE AND ARE VERY GRATEFUL TO BE THE ONES WHO ARE MAKING IT HAPPEN, AND WE FOUND THIS INCREDIBLE SPACE IN THE MIDDLE OF TIMES SQUARE WHERE WE CAN CELEBRATE BROADWAY AND ITS HISTORY, SO YEAH.

DIANE, SAME QUESTION TO YOU.

I'M ALWAYS FASCINATED BY THE GENESIS OF AN IDEA, WHERE IT SPRINGS OUT, WHEN.

PEOPLE SAY, HEY, THAT'S A GOOD IDEA.

HOW ABOUT FOR THE TWO OF YOU.

DO YOU REMEMBER WHEN YOU SAID, WHOA, THAT'S SOMETHING WE SHOULD BE DOING?

YEAH, ABSOLUTELY.

IT WAS ALL JULIE'S IDEA.

IT WAS FROM A CONVERSATION SHE HAD WITH A FRIEND, AND WE HAVE BEEN FRIENDS FOR OVER 20 YEARS.

AND SHE WAS LIKE, WHY IS THERE IN THE A MUSEUM OF BROADWAY?

WE WERE JUST TALKING ABOUT THAT THE OTHER DAY.

AND I JUST PAUSED FOR A MINUTE.

I WAS LIKE, YOU'RE RIGHT, THERE ISN'T ONE.

HOW DOES ONE NOT EXIST?

WE STARTED BRAINSTORMING ON IF WE WERE TO CREATE ONE WHAT WE WOULD DO AND HOW WE WOULD GO ABOUT IT, AND THEN THAT WAS SORT OF THE IMPETUS FOR THE IDEA, AND THEN, YOU KNOW, FIVE YEARS LATER, HERE WE ARE.

WE TALK ABOUT FIVE YEARS LATER BUT OF COURSE THERE WAS A CHUNK OF TIME IN THE MIDST OF THAT FIVE YEARS WHERE EVERYTHING WAS THRUST INTO DISARRAY IN OUR LIVES.

AND I SUSPECT ALSO THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE MUSEUM.

TELL US ABOUT THAT AND THE IMPACT THAT COVID HAD ON GETTING THIS UP AND RUNNING.

JULIE?

YEAH, WE -- SO, AS DIANE SAID, ABOUT FIVE YEARS AGO STARTED BRAINSTORMING AND WHITE BOARDING THE CONCEPT, AND WHAT WAS THE STORY WE WANTED TO TELL AND FIGURING OUT HOW IT WOULD WORK.

AND SO WE WERE WORKING ON ALL OF THAT AND STARTING TO FUNDRAISE TO PUT IT ALL TOGETHER, AND THEN COVID HAPPENED.

IT, YOU KNOW, WAS HARD AT FIRST BECAUSE WE WERE LOOKING FOR A SPACE, AND YOU COULDN'T ACTUALLY GO TO SEE SPACES.

LIKE, EVERYTHING WAS CLOSED.

IT GAVE US SOME TIME TO REALLY CONTINUE TO HONE AND WORK ON THE TIME LINES WITH BEN WEST WHO'S OUR CURATOR AND RESIDENT HISTORIAN.

THE DESIGN.

AND WE WORKED A LOT OVER ZOOM, LUC LUCKILY, DURING THAT TIME.

AND AS SOON AS WE COULD, WE GOT OUT AND STARTED LOOKING AT SPACES.

AND ACTUALLY, THE SPACE THAT WE'RE IN, IT USED TO BE AN IRISH BAR THAT UNFORTUNATELY DIDN'T MAKE IT THROUGH COVID.

THEY HAD TO SHUT THEIR DOORS.

AND I GUESS WHEN ONE DOOR CLOSES, ANOTHER OPENS, AND WE WERE REALLY FORTUNATE TO FIND THE SPACE.

AS YOU SAID, IT'S 26,000 SQUARE FEET.

IT'S RIGHT OFF OF TIMES SQUARE ON 45th STREET.

WE'RE NEXT DOOR TO THE OLDEST CONTINUOUSLY OPERATING THEATER, WHICH IS A REALLY NICE PLACE TO BE.

SO BIT OF A SILVER LINING, IF YOU WILL, FROM COVID, THAT WE WERE ABLE TO FIND THE SPACE, SECURE IT, SIGN THE LEASE, AND GET GOING.

HOW IMPORTANT WAS IT -- DIANE, I'LL ASK YOU THIS -- HOW IMPORTANT WAS IT, OR HOW WAS IT ESSENTIAL, FOR THIS SPACE TO BE LOCATED IN THE HEART OF BROADWAY, THE HEART OF THEATER?

IT WAS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT.

IT WAS ONE OF THE GREATEST CHALLENGES, TOO, BECAUSE WE WERE LIMITED, OBVIOUSLY, INTO THE THIS GEOGRAPHIC SPACE, WHICH WE FELT IT WAS VERY IMPORTANT TO BE THERE.

IT TOOK A LITTLE LONGER.

WE HAD TO GET CREATIVE BECAUSE THERE WEREN'T AS MANY SPACES THAT HAD THE SQUARE FOOTAGE WE NEEDED.

AND ALSO THE LAYOUT, BECAUSE WE DID HAVE THE CONCEPT PRIOR TO FINDING THE SPACE, WHICH WAS IMPORTANT.

LET ME TALK ABOUT -- I MENTIONED THIS IN THE BEGINNING.

I WANT TO GIVE OUR VIEWERS A SENSE OF SOME OF WHAT'S THERE, TO DRAW THEM IN AND GET THEM THERE, AS A MATTER OF FACT.

BUT I MENTIONED IN THE INTRODUCTION THERE ARE A NUMBER OF PERMANENT EXHIBITS.

THERE WILL BE OTHER EXHIBITS COMING IN.

THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF PERMANENT EXHIBITS.

I MENTIONED ONE IN THE BEGINNING, WHICH IS HOW DOES A PRODUCTION GET MADE?

WE ALL SEE WHAT'S ON THE STAGE, BUT AS YOU KNOW -- AND YOU'VE BOTH BEEN INVOLVE IN THE THIS -- THERE ARE YEARS OF WORK INVOLVED BEFORE IT FINALLY BECOMES THAT.

WHY, JULIE, WAS IT THEN SO IMPORTANT TO SAY, WE NEED A PERMANENT EXHIBIT TO SAY, THIS IS HOW THIS THING GETS MADE?

YEAH.

ONE OF THE THINGS AS WE WERE BRAINSTORMING, AGAIN, WHAT IT COULD BE AND THE STORY, IT WAS ALSO WHAT WE WISHED EXISTED WHEN WE WERE LITTLE AND COMING TO NEW YORK.

I GREW UP A HUGE FAN OF BROADWAY.

I STARTED PERFORMING WHEN I WAS 5.

WE CAME TO NEW YORK TO SEE MY FIRST BROADWAY SHOW WHEN I WAS 10.

SO I HAVE BEEN A FAN FOR A VERY LONG TIME AND HAD SOMETHING LIKE THIS EXISTED WHEN I FIRST CAME TO NEW YORK, YOU KNOW, MAYBE THE TRAJECTORY OF MY -- MAYBE MY PATH WOULD HAVE BEEN A LITTLE BIT DIFFERENT.

I WAS PERFORMING, AND IT TOOK ME A LONG TIME TO LEARN ABOUT ALL THE ROLES BACKSTAGE.

I'M ON THE PRODUCING END FOR BROADWAY, BUT I DIDN'T EVEN KNOW THAT WAS A THING WHEN I WAS GROWING UP.

I JUST THOUGHT YOU HAD TO BE THE ACTOR.

SO THIS ROOM, DAVID ROCKWELL'S DESIGNED THE ROOM, AND IT'S MEANT TO SHOW YOU KIND OF ALL THESE DIFFERENT, YOU KNOW, JOBS THAT EXIST IN BROADWAY THAT YOU MAY NOT HAVE KNOWN.

LIKE YOU SAID, YOU SIT IN THE AUDIENCE AND YOU SEE THE FINAL PRODUCT, BUT YOU DON'T KNOW THE SEVEN, TEN YEARS SOMETIMES IT TAKES TO DEVELOP A SHOW TO GET IT TO BROADWAY AND KIND OF ALL THE STAGES.

SO WE WANTED TO KIND OF GO BEHIND THE SCENES AND SHOW A BIT OF THAT MAGIC AND HOPEFULLY EXPOSE PEOPLE TO SOMETHING THEY DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT BROADWAY.

DIANE, TELL ME A COUPLE OF THE OTHER -- GIVE ME A QUICK GLIMPSE OF SOME OF THE OTHER PERMANENT EXHIBITS.

WE TOOK THE TIME LINE OF BROADWAY, SO EACH OF THE DIFFERENT SHOWS THAT ARE HIGHLIGHTED ON THE EXHIBITS OR WITH THE EXHIBITS ARE, LIKE, 'PHANTOM OF THE OPERA', WHERE WE HAVE A CRYSTAL CHANDELIER WITH CLOSE TO 15,000 -- MADE OUT OF CRYSTALS.

IF YOU LOOK AT IT ONE WAY, YOU SEE THIS LOVELY CRYSTAL INSTALLATION, BUT IF YOU TURN JUST RIGHT, YOU SO THE MASK COME THROUGH.

SO IT'S ORIGIN ART WORK THAT PAYS HOMAGE TO PHANTOM OF THE OPERA.

YOU GO THROUGH THE CORNFIELDS IN 'OKLAHOMA'. YOU GET TO EXPERIENCE COOL AND AMERICA RE-CREATED BY DANCERS FOR WEST SIDE STORY.

EACH ROOM HAS ITS OWN UNIQUE EXPERIENCE THAT SORT OF BRINGS IT TO LIFE IN ADDITION TO SEEING PHOTOS AND ARTIFACTS AND COSTUMES AS WELL.

SO IT REALLY IMMERSES YOU IN COSTUMES AND EXHIBITS.

I HAVE SEEN MORE THAN A THOUSAND OF THEM ARE INCORPORATED INTO THE MUSEUM.

THE FIRST QUESTION I HAVE IS, WHERE DID THEY COME FROM?

JULIE, WHERE DID YOU FIND THEM ALL?

WE HAVE AN INCREDIBLE TEAM OF CURATORS WE ARE WORKING WITH, AND A LOT CAME FROM JUST RELATIONSHIPS, THE PEOPLE WHO ARE PART OF THE MUSEUM ARE PART OF THE BROADWAY COMMUNITY.

AND SO IT'S JUST CONVERSATIONS AND KIND OF UNCOVERING WHAT STILL EXISTS.

NOT EVERYTHING WAS KEPT FROM THE PAST, SO THERE ARE A COUPLE KEY PLACES WE WORKED WITH, LIKE GOOD SPEED OPERA HOUSE.

THEY HAVE A REALLY WONDERFUL COLLECTION OF COSTUMES.

THE TDF COSTUME COLLECTION.

THE PUBLIC THEATER THAT HAS DONE AN INCREDIBLE JOB OF KEEPING, LIKE, THE ENTIRE -- BASICALLY FROM 'A CHORUS LINE', THEY PUT AWAY ONE OF EVERY COSTUMES FROM THE LINES.

AND WE UNCOVERED THESE INCREDIBLE COSTUMES.

WE HAVE MERYL STREEP'S COSTUME FROM HER BROADWAY DEBUT, WE HAVE SOMETHING KEVIN KLEIN AND ESTELLE PARSONS WORE ON STAGE.

IT'S WONDERFUL FOR THESE PEOPLE TO GET TO SEE UP CLOSE AND THAT YOU GET TO SEE, YOU KNOW, THE HAND BEADING THAT GOES INTO MAKING THESE COSTUMES.

IT'S REALLY INCREDIBLE.

OUR TEAM OF CURATORS HAS DONE AN EXTRAORDINARY JOB OF BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER.

SOME JUST HAPPENED I WAS WALKING DOWN THE STREET, AND RAN INTO MY FRIEND, THE PRODUCER OF ''HADES TOWN'. I WAS LIKE, CAN WE HAVE HIS COSTUME?

SHE WAS LIKE SURE.

DO YOU HAVE FAITHS OF THE EXHIBITS, THE THINGS THE ARTIFACTS?

MAYBE THIS IS LIKE ASKING A MOTHER, DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE CHILD?

TO COME EXTENT, BUT I'M STILL GOING TO ASK YOU.

DO YOU HAVE SOME FAVORITES IN THE COLLECTION?

THERE ARE SOME THAT HAVE REALLY INTERESTING STORIES BEHIND THEM.

SO THERE'S, LIKE, A PART OF THAT THAT MAKES IT EXTRA INTEREST.

ZIGFELDFOLLIES, DISNEY, WE HAVE THEM ON LOAN.

JUST SO IMPRESSIVE THEY WERE PRESERVED AND THEY STILL EXIST, BECAUSE THERE'S MANY COSTUMES ANYMORE THAT DON'T.

SO IT'S GREAT THAT WE HAVE ORIGINAL ZIGFELLD COSTUMES ON DISPLAY THAT ARE BEAUTIFUL AND ONE OF MY FAVORITES.

REAL QUICK, JULIE, DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE?

I WAS GOING TO SAY, SOMETHING COOL ABOUT THE FOLLIES COSTUMES SOMEBODY SAID TO US IS WHEN YOU THINK OF THE FOLLIES YOU THINK IN BLACK AND WHITE BECAUSE WE'VE ALWAYS SEEN BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOS, BUT THE COLORS ARE EXTRAORDINARY.

IT'S REALLY -- THEY'RE SO BRIGHT AND VIBRANT, AND SO IT'S REALLY COOL TO SEE.

QUICK QUESTION.

GO AHEAD.

IS THERE A FAVORITE?

YEAH, THAT'S REALLY HARD.

IT KIND OF CHANGES EVERY DAY, I GUESS.

THAT'S A GOOD SIGN, DON'T YOU THINK?

THAT WHEN YOU WANDER THROUGH A MUSEUM, ONE DAY IT'S LIKE, THIS IS FABULOUS.

AND THEN ALL OF A SUDDEN YOU SEE ANOTHER ONE AND SAY, THAT'S FABULOUS, TOO.

ISN'T THAT WHAT YOU WANT FROM US?

OUR MUSEUM WAND EAER ERS, DON'TU WANT THEM TO HAVE THAT REACTION?

GREAT TO SEE SOMEONE'S FAVORITE.

THE YOU'RE IN THE MOOD FOR SOMETHING ABOUT TRACT OR MOODY OR CHEERFUL, THERE'S A DIFFERENT ROOM AND DIFFERENT EXPERIENCE FOR YOU IN TERMS OF WHAT YOUR FAVORITE MIGHT BE.

IT'S SO WONDERFUL.

WE'RE THRILLED BROADWAY IS BACK.

WE'LL HAVE YOU BACK TO TALK ABOUT SOME OTHER ISSUES SOME TIME ABOUT THAT, BUT WE'RE THRILLED BROADWAY IS BACK.

WE'RE THRILLED THE MUSEUM OF BROADWAY IS UP AND RUNNING.

SO FOLKS OUT THERE, IF YOU'RE INTERESTED, GET THERE AS SOON AS YOU CAN.

I'M SURE YOU WILL LOVE EVERYTHING THAT'S AVAILABLE.

JULIE, DIANE, THANK YOU SO MUCH, BOTH OF YOU, FOR SPENDING TIME WITH US AND FOR THE WORK YOU DID PUTTING THIS TOGETHER.

A JOB VERY WELL DONE.

LOOK FORWARD TO TALKING WITH YOU AGAIN SOON.

BOTH BE WELL NOW.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

YOU TOO.

THANK YOU.

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