Broadway! The “Great White Way”! Many startling facts turn up among the glamour and glitz of this Street of Dreams.
The oldest known performer in a Broadway show was a 100-year-old parrot. “Senor Car” appeared in the show The Rope Dancers in 1958.
Longest-running is the romantic musical, The Phantom of the Opera, which celebrated its 10,000th performance on February 11, 2012. It’s also the top-grossing show, having earned 845 million.
Shortest-running was a “mystery farce” titled Moose Murders. It opened and closed on the same night, February 22, 1983.
The most expensive–with a 75 million budget “and most dangerous Broadway show ever is Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, which opened on June 14, 2011. Before opening night, five serious accidents befell cast members.
After a tryout of Oklahoma! in 1943, the show was dismissed as “No legs, no jokes, no chance.” It went on to run over 2000 performances on Broadway, and continues to be produced in an average of 600 theaters every year.
Actress Irene Ryan (“Granny” from The Beverly Hillbillies) reportedly suffered a stroke onstage while performing in Pippin in April 1973. She passed away several weeks later.
No onstage births are reported, but Finn Murray-Sweeney was born on Broadway in the back seat of a taxi on April 22, 2011.