Monday, December 23, 2013

Holiday Gift Guide Day 7: A Ghost and Other Broadway Backstories

Theater folk cool their heels and heads at Sardi’s while awaiting what say the critics. Archive photos.

HEAD’S UP: Where did the year go? Already? Yes, the Yuletide Season is in swing. And, yes, once again you are bewitched, bothered and bewildered. What to get auntie, grandpa, madea, nana, papa … little Virginia? Don’t get yourself into a lather when the elves at VEVLYN’S PEN are on the case. Continuing every other day or so through 24 Dec., we will introduce one or a series of products, items and brands that we believe is worthy of consideration as a holiday gift(s).


back the curtain and see what it's really like backstage on Broadway.

Take a tour of the Great White Way, lead by a "theater professional" who will share current anecdotes about life on the street, as well as its storied past.

Did you know that Times Square was once a horsetrading area? Find out how it transformed into one of the world capitols for theatrical events. Visit Shubert Alley and Sardi's. Discover what's involved in auditioning for a show.

The Belasco Theatre may be a haunted house.

Is it true that David Belasco's ghost stopped haunting his namesake theater after the 1971 production of "Oh! Calcutta" shocked his sensibilities?

DB had kept an apartment on the top floor of the theater, and is said to have roamed his enclave and appeared in its balcony seats dressed in his signature high collar and cassock. Some dubbed him The Monk.

Duffy Square is the place to meet to start many Broadway tours and to get cheap tix.

Whether for the theater buff, newbie or someone who aspires to be on the stage, these tours offer a peak at the history and the workings of New York City's great artistic thoroughfare.

It's a big city, and Broadway is a world famous destination, so don't be surprised that there are competing tours on offer. A well-rated walking excursion, the Inside Broadway Tours, takes slightly less time to cover the same hotspots as the two-hour Viator.

Blanche Bates in "The Fighting Hope" at the Belasco Theatre in 1909.

This is one to share with a friend. Meetup spot: Duffy Square, home of TKTS, where you can score theater tickets for a song.

Visit the following Web sites to learn more about Broadway tours:

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