Picture Perfect: Irving Underhill captures New York style

Top: the Brooklyn Bridge in 1925. Bottom: Underhill on the boardwalk: the photographer captures a seemingly meloncholy day in Coney Island, with Childs Restaurant at right Nobody in New York’s early history captures the romance of early city life more than the first photographers — the men and women who wiled away with expensive, limited […]

1969: Astronauts land in New York!

Below: two pictures of the ticker-tape parade thrown in New York City on August 13, 1969 to celebrate Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins and their successful landing on the moon. Believe it or not, this was the second space-themed ticker-tape parade that year. In January, Frank Borman, James A. Lovell, […]

Broadway snapshot: Photography Temple of Art

I’m busily working a new podcast which will be available by tonight. In the meantime, enjoy this really old photograph of the extravagent photo studio of Charles D. Fredricks, sometimes known simply as C.D Fredricks. This picture of his ‘Temple of Art’ was taken, according to the National Archives, in 1850, although I believe it […]

Sarah Bernhardt’s favorite New York landmark

Sarah Bernhardt may be the most famous and most mysterious actress who ever lived and certainly “the greatest celebrity of her era.” Working mostly in the days before recorded medium (there are exceptions), Bernhardt crafted a legend matched by outrageous behavior and provocative stage performance. Naturally, she brought both with her when she came to […]

My Broadway ‘Whirl Girl’ obsession

See these lovely lasses? This is a photograph that ran on the HD photo website Shorpy last week, featuring some chorines from a 1921 Broadway show. “The Broadway Whirl,” a lively revue knockoff, played the Times Square Theatre, a ‘legitimate’ stage at 217 West 42nd Street that was closed in the 1980s. If you’re trying […]

PODCAST: Ziegfeld!

Cue the dancing girls, lower the props, raise the curtain — we’re taking on Broadway’s most famous producer, Florenz Ziegfeld! We give you a brief overview of the first days of Broadway, then sweep into Ziegfeld’s life — from his early successes (both professional and personal) to his famous Follies. And find out how the […]

Ultimate Flair: T.G.I.Friday’s four Broadway goddesses

Imagine a Steve Madden shoe store in Times Square erecting a grand new palace to footwear, and atop its banner they decided to welcome its patrons and the throngs of Broadway theater goers passing by with sculptural likenesses of Angela Lansbury, Audra McDonald, Idina Menzel, and Julia Roberts. That absurd theater dream actually happened — […]

‘Rent’ hikes, taking the old East Village with it

A stubborn group of good-looking, well-meaning squatters were finally evicted last night as the hit Broadway musical ‘Rent’ closed after 5,124 performances. The show had become the most peculiar historical time capture on Broadway, freezing forever a musical variation of late 80s/early 90s, pre-Guiliani East Village underground, recalling a time when Avenue B had far […]

Sarah Jessica Parker: her New York City history

Above: the sun comes out for Sarah Jessica Parker New York City usually spends the summer movie season being destroyed by aliens or scarred by car chases. So despite what you may think of the upcoming Sex And The City movie, consider this — not only does the Big Apple make it out alive, it […]

When Jupiter aligned with Mars: Hair on Broadway

Forty years ago today, April 29, 1968, the musical Hair debuted on Broadway and basically changed New York’s theater industry — where shows come from, how they’re staged, what you can even doon stage. Here’s ten reasons why Broadway’s first rock musical is so important, and why today you should probably fish out your Fifth […]

PODCAST: Studio 54

Join us as we step behind the velvet ropes to explore the history of Studio 54, legendary dance club. Listen to it for free on iTunes or other podcasting services. Or you can download or listen to it HERE April 26 marks the 31st anniversary of the opening of Studio 54 Before it was Studio […]

One-eyed Willie takes the stage

Even though the British kept the burnt, chaotic city of New York as their military base during the Revolutionary War, life did manage to go on for some residents. In fact the population of New York began to swell, as those still loyal to the British — for practical as well as philosophical reasons — […]

New York’s love affair with ticker tape

Above: Golfer Bobby Jones assailed with wild strings of paper Whenever New Yorkers get really, really excited about something — as we are this week with the thrilling victory of the New York Giants over the New England Patriots — we like to take serpentine strips of paper and throw them out a window, primarily […]

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It's Showtime

Broadway’s first musical: The Black Crook

The Broadway theater season begins again with another new batch of musicals hitting the boards — from an unusual adaptation of War And Peace to a stage version of a Robert DeNiro drama.  Some believe that this musical tradition begins all the way back in September 12, 1866, back when musicals based on movies and popular Founding […]