Broadway is the name of a wide street that cuts through the center of New York City, New York. It has also come to refer to the New York theatre district which straddles Broadway near Times Square in the middle of the city. Over the years, approximately 200 theatres have been built on or around Broadway, some going on to spectacular success, others failing within months.
The first recorded professional theatrical performance held in New York occurred in 1732. The play was a comedy titled "The Recruiting Officer." The play was performed in an improvised space; unfortunately, the exact location of the performance has been lost. New York's first known theatre was opened in 1750; the Theatre on Nassau Street held about 280 people. The theatre lasted about four years before being torn down and replaced by a church.
At present there are over forty theatres in operation. These theatres offer a selection of dramas, comedies and musicals, with musicals being in vogue at present. The competition is extremely tough, and many shows fail within weeks of opening. Clearly, Broadway is one of the two centers of American performance arts - with Hollywood, of course, being the other.