Because Broadway Week Is Almost Over: 11 Facts You Probably Didn't Know About Broadway

Okay, New York City, listen up. This week is the last week of Broadway Week, which means it's your last chance to get two-for-one tickets to see shows.

Specifically, these shows are two-for-one, and you only have until February 7th to get the tickets. It's the perfect opportunity for you to finally have that excuse to splurge on that show you've been wanting to see.

Given Broadway Week's importance and relevance in all our hearts, we thought now was as good a time as ever to go over some fascinating facts about Broadway you may not have known.

Broadway is an important industry in NYC, and it's been around a long time. It also does a lot to contribute to the climate of culture and artistry in NYC, not to mention tourism.

Interested in learning a little more about it? Great. Read on to learn facts you never knew before about Broadway in NYC.

1. There's no row "I" in most Broadway theaters

tiffanysaxby 🌟Shine Bright Ruby🌟 #MercuryLounge #NYCbroadway

In most Broadway theaters, rows are listed alphabetically, and the row "I" gets skipped. That's right; it jumps from H to J.


Why? It's to avoid disappointing people who thought they were buying seats in the first row.

2. Number of seats matters

annsopagels #broadway#broadwayaladdin#Aladdin#genie#family#vacation#familyvacation#sohappy#amazing#newyork#newyears#NYC#newyorkcity#Danish#Christmas#christmasnyc#timesquare#broadwaytheater

Ever wondered what distinguished Broadway theaters from "off Broadway" theaters?

It's number of seats in the theater that make all the difference. Contrary to popular belief, a Broadway theater does not have to be located on Broadway, but it does have to have the capacity to seat at least 500 people.

If it's an off-broadway performance, that means it seats between 100 and 499 people.

3. What's the Broadway show that's made the most money?

tonysdanielx Took the kids (and myself) out for a treat today #LionKingOnBroadway. LOVE it every time. Such a feast for the eyes and soul

To date, The Lion King's on Broadway performance has accumulated an incredible amount of money: $1.09 billion to be exact.

The Lion King surpassed Phantom of the Opera in April of 2012 as the highest earning Broadway show ever.

What's even crazier is that The Lion King, Broadway's sixth longest-running musical, out-earned the movie of the same title, on which the play is based.

The next top earners: The Phantom of the Opera earned second most, with $850 million in the bank, and the incredible play Wicked has grossed around $477 million. So, yeah, Broadway is a big industry.

4. What's the show with the most Tony Awards?

b.alvarezfeal “The point is, the question ‘how to make a clock’ has the same answer for everybody. We can all be clockmakers, or astronomers. But if we all wanted to be #Pushkin…if the question is, how do you make a poem by Pushkin?- or, what exactly makes one poem or painting or piece of music greater than another?-or what is beauty? or liberty? or virtue?- if the question is, how should we live?…then reason gives no answer or different answers. So something is wrong. The divine spark in man is not reason after all, but something else, some kind of intuition or vision, perhaps like the moment of inspiration experienced by the artist.” – #Belinsky #TheCoastOfUtopia #Voyage #Shipwreck #Salvage #TomStoppard @scottpaskstudio

The Tony's are like the Oscars for Broadway. You probably already knew that. So let's talk facts.

The show with the most Tony nominations is a tie. August Wilson's Fences (2010) and Tom Stoppard's The Coast of Utopia (2007) are tied for the most Tony nominations at 10.

Which show actually won the most Tony Awards? Well, Wilson's got to secede that one to Stoppard; The Coast of Utopia took home seven Tony awards in 2007.

5. Who's the person with the most Tony's?

faisalnyc @phantombway was one of the first — if not THE first — professional theatrical productions I saw as a kid, sparking a lifelong love of theatre and admiration of @andrewlloydwebber and #HaroldPrince. Cheers to 28 years on #Broadway. #nyc #musicaltheatre

For performers, owning the most Tony Awards is a tie. Julie Harris won 10 Tony awards, which isn't that surprising given that she acted in 34 Broadway performances.

Julie Harris tied with Chita Rivera, who also won 10 Tony Awards and acted in 19 Broadway performances.


Still, Harold Prince has them both beat after winning 21 Tony Awards in total; eight as a director, eight as a producer, two special awards for Candide and Fiddler on the Roof, and a lifetime achievement award in 2006.

6. The first Tony Awards were held in 1947

beccaschneids What is my life? #tonyawards #dressrehearsal #behindthescenes #onlyonCBS

When the Tony Awards were first held, they were called the Antoinette Perry Awards for Excellence in Theatre.

The first ceremony was hosted by Brok Pemberton and was broadcast on the radio.

The name of the award changed to "Tonys" during the first-ever ceremony when Pemberton handed one out and referred to it as a "Toni," referring to Antoinette Perry's nickname.


7. The first Broadway theater was opened in the 1730s

shoutoutny December 28th 1944 Leonard Bernstein's musical "On The Town" opened on Broadway and ran for 462 performances. It featured the song "New York, New York". #BroadwayHistory #OnTheTown #GreatWhiteWay #NYNY #Navy #FancyFree #Connecting

Yeah, Broadway is old.

One of the first ever Broadway theaters was The Playhouse, which opened on Broadway in the 1740s in downtown Manhattan between Beaver and Exchange Place.


However, when the Revolutionary War struck, it stopped Broadway theatre abruptly, and it didn't open back up until 1798.

8. The Phantom of the Opera is the longest-running Broadway show

the_phantom_of_the_opera Hey guys I'm so sorry I haven't been on I'm like forever we had the holidays and then I had a lot of hospital checkups. I will post so much from no wok an a new phan phic very soon!

The Phantom of the Opera has been running since January 26th, 1988.

It's also currently running, so it's definitely setting the bar high in this category. It won seven Tony Awards in 1988, including Best Musical.

Since it's been running for 28 years and the next-longest show, Chicago, has been running for 20, we really don't see a show surpassing The Phantom of the Opera any time soon.

9. The first "long run" Broadway play was staged in 1857

mightymisterx Spending my last Sunday of August in New York, New's a helluva town! @onthetownnyc #oldschoolbroadway

The first play to ever put on a lot of performances over time was a play called The Elves, which was performed 50 times, starting in 1857.

The next play to run for a long time? A play called The Seven Sisters written by Laura Keene, which was first staged in 1860 and blew the roof of previous records by staging 253 performances. 

10. A police raid shut down a 1926 performance

theacademy Cinematographer Karl Struss and Mae West behind the camera on the set of "Belle of the Nineties" (1934), a film written by West. The sultry actress is credited with several screenplays, including the 1940 classic "My Little Chickadee" which she co-wrote with her co-star W.C. Fields.

There have been plenty of controversial Broadway plays throughout Broadways' existence.

Hair provoked protests in the 1960s as a result of its nudity and explicit themes, and The Book of Mormon, created by the same people who write South Park has stirred up its own storm of backlash.


Nothing caused the kind of scene that Sex, by Mae West, caused in 1926, though.

At that time, the police raided a theater in the middle of a performance and shut the play down. They said it was obscene, and arrested the entire cast.

Mae West then spent 10 days in jail and after her release, continued on to a successful Hollywood career.

11. Broadway is a huge industry

In 2015, Broadway set attendance records.

The New York Times reported that in 2015, NYC's 40 Broadway theaters racked in a record-setting $1.365 billion in ticket sales.

Last year, another, corresponding record was broken: 13 million people attended Broadway shows in 2015. In fact, attendance at Broadway shows has risen 13.3% over the past two years.

Check out 7 Shows You Have Have to Cross Off Your Broadway Bucket List

[Feature Image Courtesy Broadway Tour] 

get spoiled in your inbox