#372 The Shuberts: The Brothers Who Built Broadway


Manage episode 302993526 series 1530999
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There's no business like show business -- thanks to Lee, Sam and J.J. Shubert, the Syracuse brothers who forever changed the American theatrical business in the 20th century.

At last Broadway is back! And the marquees of New York's theater district are again glowing with the excitement of live entertainment.

And many of these theaters were built and operated by the Shubert Brothers, impresarios who helped shape the physical nature of the Broadway theater district itself, creating the close cluster of stages that give Times Square its energy and glamour.

In this show, we'll be visiting the dawn of Times Square itself and the evolution of the American musical -- from coy operettas and flirty song-filled revues filled with chorus girls.

The Shuberts were there almost from the beginning. After fending off their rivals (namely the Syndicate), the Shuberts centered their empire around an alleyway that would quickly take their name -- Shubert Alley.

They were innovative and they were ruthless, generous and often cruel (especially to each other). During the 1950s and 60s, the Shubert empire almost crumbled -- only to rise again in the 1970s and 1980s thanks to A Chorus Line and some very musical felines.

FEATURING A visit to the Shubert Archive above the Lyceum Theatre, a magical trove of historical items from the American stage.


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