When plans for the Museum of Broadway were first announced in early 2019, the space’s organizers aimed to open sometime during 2020. Then the pandemic hit.
Two years later, after a string of delays no one could have possibly foreseen, development of the first-ever permanent space dedicated to the history and legacy of the Broadway industry has rebounded and is scheduled to open next summer. The museum, founded by the Tony-nominated producer Julie Boardman and marketing expert Diane Nicoletti, will be located at 145 West 45th Street, in the heart of the Theater District.
The museum will offer visitors with with an immersive, one-of-a-kind experience. Per the New York Times, the space is slated to include a map room that details how the theater industry bounced around Manhattan, productions running in the Financial District and Herald Square, before eventually settling in Times Square. Another room will deconstruct the history and format of the musical genre more broadly, including old lyric sheets on display. Then, it what sounds to be a true showstopper, visitors can explore a mock backstage area for a glimpse into the sheer labor and production expertise that goes into staging a show.
“We really thought it would be this great idea that was a hybrid of both an experiential museum that’s very interactive and colorful and fun,” Diane Nicoletti told the Times on Monday, “as well as making sure that we were really getting the integrity of the history of Broadway, by including costumes and artifacts and historic elements as well.”
The announcement comes just as the Broadway industry is revving back to life, with multiple blockbuster shows resuming production. There are similar efforts to the Museum of Broadway aiming to reignite interest in the industry and Theater District overall. This fall, the pop-up exhibition Showstoppers! will showcase costumes from popular stage and screen productions within a prime Times Square location that used to house a Modell’s store.