Fifteenth in a series of Broadway reports

NEW YORK – The Museum of Broadway, an immersive and intimate (by museum standards) emporium of everything Broadway, is a show-goer’s dream come true.

Opened last November, the museum has corridors of treasured and historical Broadway fare.

Like, costumes. Lots.

Sheet music. Fascinating.

Stage models. Curious.

But you can’t easily soak it all in.

Since I’m a lifelong fan, follower and reviewer of Broadway musicals, I found the density and variety of historical memorabilia gratifying. Brought back memories of so many productions, most of I’ve sat through over the decades..

So many treasures to see.

Like, Annie’s red dress. The monkey music box from “The Phantom of the Opera” auction (pictured, left). A West Side Story jacket. Patti LuPone’s “Evita” wig. A collage of  “Rent” street junk.  Puppets from “Lion King.” A cornfield as high as an elephant’s eye, representing “Oklahoma!” “Hamilton” costumes on headless mannequin. A top hat from “A Chorus Line.” A scale model of the “Chorus” finale, “One Singular Sensation” (pictured below) . A vintage jukebox, featuring labels showcasing songs from “West Side Story.” Darling “Avenue Q” puppets.

There are a couple of astounding, eye-filling installations, too. Like a Ziegfeld Follies wall full of pink feathers and a mammoth memorial Broadway Cares AIDS quilt, comprised of several dozens of show title panels, the ultimate show keepsake.

I had two favorites: the AIDS quilt (pictured above)) and a neon sign next to Annie’s dress, proclaiming “The sun will  come out tomorrow” (pictured below).

While several of his caricatures of Broadway greats are part of the exhibit, the museum currently has an Al Hirschfeld special exhibition, where you can seek out how many times he’s embedded his daughter’s name, Nina, hidden in his iconic caricatures. One of the popular caricatures is Hirschfeld’s Carol Channing memory, from : “Hello, Dolly” (pictured below).

The facility, next to the Lyceum Theatre, includes three levels of inspection and viewing. You arrive and are whisked by a docent of sorts into an elevator, to rise to the top third level, then work your way down, by stairs or elevator.

But the hallways are tight, the elevators tiny (like a tiny apartment building’s), so mobility and comfort are challenged. I visited on the second day of my experience in navigating a rental electric wheelchair, and it was a difficult task, so my buddy Kevin Iwamoto became a pusher after the chair was switched from electric to manual mode.

Vi and me, on wheelchair, in the”Oklahoma” sector, where the corn is as high as, well, you know…

The tightness of space, with the bounty of exhibits, results in a claustrophobic feeling, especially when the corridors are people with young and old alike. It minimally takes 90 minutes to navigate all three levels, including the prime exhibition zone, a floor devoted to how-a-play-evolves and the ground floor that includes, natch, a merch shop. Since I rarely buy logo-tees at the shows, anymore, I opted for a smart-looking navy sweatshirt with Museum of Broadway wordage, Broadway repeating  nine times.

And that’s Show Biz …

Museum of Broadway

The first permanent museum, focusing the history and highlights of the Broadway show experience.

Location: 145th W. 45th St., between Sixth and Seventh Times Square

Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. daily; designate visiting time

Tickets: $39 to $49, with a portion of each ticket benefiting the nonprofit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AID



  1. Thanks Wayne! What a great review and details of the museum shared! Thanks for including me in the experience and I’m always happy to push your chair anytime my friend. It was a twofer as I got to experience the museum with good friends like you and Vi and I got my cardio and physical workout for the day!

  2. Looks like a nice place to visit. Photos of you and Vi are great. Mahalo for all the info about your trip. Glad you made it around town OK. Aloha Dolores

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