Get Off My Broadway

Source: User Nogwater on Flickr

This Sign Is Probably Gone Now
Source: Nogwater on Flickr

News broke that Avenue Q, a popular mainstay on Broadway for the last 6 years or so, and winner of the 2004 Tony Award for Best Musical, is moving “Off Broadway,” a direction most productions don’t take. Generally speaking, the move is in the opposite direction, as Off Broadway productions “make the big time” on the Great White Way. Must be a long trek right?

Not really.

I grew up hearing the term “Off Broadway” over and over and no one ever explained it, and I heard it a lot. Perhaps it’s all laid out in Kindergarten, and I was sick that day. In any case, until recently, I assumed it was geographical in nature. Off Broadway must have been, like… a few blocks away or something. Thus, it followed “Off-Off Broadway” was probably in Sheboygan. Turns out, though the general geographic location is important, both Off Broadway and Off-Off Broadway are in the same basic place: Broadway.

How “Off” you are is principally determined by how many people you can pack into your theatre. You are a Broadway Theatre if you have more than 500 seats. You are Off Broadway if you have between 99 and 500 seats. Off-Off Broadway? You guess it; less than 99 seats.

Geographically speaking, the various Broadway Theatres must be in the New York City area, no matter what capacity of “Off” they contain. The street address of most Broadway Theatres isn’t, in fact, Broadway, though they are mostly clustered around Broadway (the street) in Manhattan’s Theatre District.

Avenue Q is an example of an Off Broadway production that made it to Broadway and now boomerangs back. The Off Broadway production will open at New World Stages on October 9th. Off Broadway isn’t exactly our thing, so you can check out the New World Stages box office to buy tickets if you want to see the show there.

If you’re not looking to see puppets in a more intimate venue, you could catch the Avenue Q touring show, which is hitting dates across the country starting October 2nd in Scranton, PA. TicketCity has tickets for most shows on our Avenue Q Tickets page for the touring production.

About Eric Lester

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