NEW YORK, NY—Broadway, the street in Manhattan synonymous with the world’s elite theater productions, has reached its limit with the decline of quality shows opening on it.
Extending from the bottom of the Manhattan Island through The Bronx, Broadway has decided that it no longer wants to called Broadway within the boundaries of the Theater District. Its displeasure came clear in an interview with Marz Daily Media last week:
Marz Daily Media: What brought this all about? It’s kind of a monumental change.
Broadway: I held out hope for several years, but the upturn doesn’t seem to be on the horizon. You’ve all heard reports that Broadway is dying, that it’s dead, that it’s a shell of its former self. And, naturally, I’ve taken those comments to heart. Then I had a moment of clarity.
MDM: What was that?
B: Well, I’m a street. I’m a stretch of land upon which there are properties. There is a concentration of these properties that specialize in producing attractions for the paying public.
MDM: I’m familiar with all this.
B: Certainly, but what I neglected to realize while nursing a bruised ego is that I never had any control over the kind of work that gets produced. I was spoiled by the golden age of theatre by mere coincidence. I never played a part.
MDM: So now that you’ve witnessed the undeniable drop-off in great shows, you’d like to distance yourself from it all.
B: Precisely! Why sit by and feel bad for something I had no control over, right?
MDM: Makes sense. What, if any, shows currently running served as your tipping point?
B: Where do I begin? Do I talk about show producers who’ve decided to pander to music fans who wouldn’t otherwise be caught dead on Broadway, like the people behind Rock of Ages, American Idiot and Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles?
MDM: We could, I suppose.
B: Or maybe the lame and adaptations of big and small screen productions, like Billy Elliot, The Addams Family, Driving Miss Daisy and Elf? ELF?!! Are you serious?!
MDM: It does seem weird—
B: Or perhaps the tripe that just doesn’t make any sense at all, like Spider-Man, Turn Off the Dark or Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson.
MDM: Those sound terrible. So I guess it’s more of a combination of shows, then.
B: Absolutely. This is the highest concentration of garbage that I’ve ever had to be walked on for people to see. And I’ve had enough. And that’s why I want my name taken down from 40th to 54th Street.
MDM: I wonder what they’d replace it with. The bidding war for Broadw—I mean show-related historical figures would probably get pretty heated and never end. And ‘Theater Row’ is already 42nd Street’s nickname over there.
B: Yeah, well I’m not going to completely leave that area in the lurch. I’ve actually prepared some alternative names for myself that could work quite well.
MDM: Oh! Please share!
B: Gladly. [Clears throat] ‘Musical Lane’ seems accurate, but it’s kind of gay.
MDM: …You do know who…Nevermind, it’s a good option. Any others?
B: Then there’s ‘The Cavern of Commerce.’ It’s more dramatic, but it’s the moniker that the area has earned, to be sure.
MDM: I agree, but we both know that one won’t fly.
B: I know, I know. But now for my personal favorite…I’d like to be called ‘The Velvet Curtain.’
MDM: That’s provocative.
B: Is it? I just saw it as a nod to the material gateway to wonder and enjoyment.
MDM: So did I, in a sense.
B: But how does—oh! OH! OH! YOU’RE FRESH!!!
MDM: I will not apologize.
B: Nor should you. I love it! It hearkens back to before 42nd Street was Disney-fied, too. People can say what they want to, but I was proud of those days. Certainly were fewer fanny packs wandering around all over me. I hate that.
MDM: You do realize that even with a new nickname, you’ll still be getting walked all over. I mean, that stretch of Manhattan will still be you.
B: Yeah…but ‘Broadway’ used to mean something, now it means something different and that I cannot allow. My name doesn’t have to be all out in the street whenever some idiot decides that it’s okay to give one of the most destructive US presidents a show because the actor playing him has a nice butt.
MDM: I wouldn’t know.
B: I would…SUCH a nice butt. That poster doesn’t do it justice.
MDM: I’ll take your word for it.
In classic bureaucratic fashion, the city has failed to take Broadway’s request seriously. After the recording stopped, Broadway made a comment about how the process might shake out. “Watch them finally honor my request, but name it something horrible, like Bloomberg Boulevard.”