Broadway is a road in New York City which is synonymous with many of the world's most renowned plays which debut and are performed there in the area. The historic Theatre District and Manhatten's Lincoln Center are home to more than 40 theaters with 500+ seats and, along with London's West End Theatre, are considered home to the greatest caliber of performers and productions in the world.
Broadway theatre, commonly called simply Broadway, refers to theatrical performances presented in one of the 40 professional theatres with 500 or more seats located in the Theatre District centered along Broadway, and in Lincoln Center, in Manhattan in New York City. Along with London's West End theatre, Broadway theatre is widely considered to represent the highest level of commercial theatre in the English-speaking world. The Broadway theatre district is a popular tourist attraction in New York. According to The Broadway League, Broadway shows sold approximately $1.081 billion worth of tickets in calendar year 2011, compared with $1.037 billion for 2010. Attendance in 2011 was 12.13 million. New York did not have a significant theatre presence until about 1750, when actor-managers Walter Murray and Thomas Kean established a resident theatre company at the Theatre on Nassau Street, which held about 280 people. They presented Shakespeare plays and ballad operas such as The Beggar's Opera. In 1752, William Hallam sent a company of twelve actors from Britain to the colonies with his brother Lewis as their manager. They established a theatre in Williamsburg, Virgiginia.
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