What is the history of Broadway?

I am doing a social studies fair project on Broadway. Every time I have went before, I have always won 1st at the highest level, and this year I wanted some difficulty on my project. I was wondering if anyone could help me this and give me your resource. (author, book, website, etc.) It would be really helpful and any more information you would like to add in that you think would be beneficial to this subject would be great. Thank you!

3 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Broadway was the hangout for most of the famous people in the 1920s-the gangsters, like Owney Madden, rubbed shoulders with celebrities like Charlie Chaplin. High stakes poker games ran for days in the back of speakeasies, with Babe Ruth, Al Jolson, and Arnold "The Brain" Rothstein all sitting at the table.

    The history of Broadway New York in the Roaring Twenties was anchored by a delicatessen(remember America was in the midst of alcohol prohibition) called Lindys, where the gamblers, drunks (ironic enough), chorus girls, and celebrities like Groucho and Harpo Marx would converge at 4 in the morning for a bite to eat and to carouse.

    The history of Broadway New York was chronicled and embellished by the beat writer and adopted son of Broadway, Damon Runyon.

    Runyon rubbed elbows with these same gangsters, millionaires, celebs, and vapid chorus girls that graced "The Great White Way".

    Runyons stories were largely responsible for the patois of Broadway, the reason we think of people on Broadway talking about a woman as a "daffy dame", "tough Broad", a "doll, or a "tough gorill". Seemingly tough guys went "daffy over dames" in Runyon's stories.

    This is the language of Broadway, and it would eventually sweep the nation in the popular flapper slang of the 1920s. In Runyon's eyes, New York only existed "on Broadway" and, in his world, it was perpetually between the hours of 11PM and 4 AM.

    In his amazing book Gangsters and Gold Diggers: Old New York, the Jazz Age, and the Birth of Broadway, which I highly recommend to anyone who wants a great fast-paced history of New York in the 1920s, Jerome Charyn says:

    "Broadway was a no-mans land, neither the East nor the West. It ate up your past and your tradition. The Big Street was where you went when you had nowhere to go."

    If there is anywhere that seems to live in a vacuum during the 1920's, it is Broadway. In the literature and characters of the time it seemed to live by it's own code, the code of the street--the code of Damon Runyon.

    If there is one tangible link to the early Broadway that Runyon left it can be seen in the Broadway Musical, Guys and Dollswhich is based on "The Idyll Of Miss Sarah Brown" a short story by Runyon based loosely on the "goings on" of Broadway and New York in the early years.

    Runyon created Broadway, as much as anyone could, along with Flo Ziegfeld, and Arnold Rothstein, and Babe Ruth. The history of Broadway New York is littered with seemingly one-dimensional yet larger than life characters.

    The Big Street was a blur of actions and a pit of glittering debauchery. Runyon and the history of Broadway New York are almost complicit in the birth of Film noir, and the Hardboiled detective novel that would soon appear in the decades to come.

    Though it wouldn't appear for nearly twenty years, Mickey Spillane's character "Mike Hammer" was conceived in a dark alley just off 42nd street, America's future love of Humphrey Bogart and the femme fatale was conceived here as well, at least in theory; America fell in love with the black and white morality of the law of the streets.

    Source(s): web
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Wikipedia gives you a list of contents about broadway

    It says New York did not habe significaant theatre pesence until about 1750, when actor-managers Murray and Thomas Keab established a resident theatre company at the Theatre on Nassau Street, which held about 280 people.They presented Shakesphere plays and ballad operas such as The Beggar's Opera. In 1752 William Hallam sent a compnay tweleve actors from Britain o the colonies with his brother Lewis as their manager.

    Source(s): www. wikipedia
  • 7 years ago

    You may want to narrow down your topic a little. The history of Broadway in like the History of US, or Hollywood. There is a great deal to try and include.

    I would stop using yahoo answers, and go to a library, and start digging.

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