Pedestrian Mall Opens in Times Square and Herald Square

Pedestrian Mall Times SquareSeven blocks along Broadway in Times Square and Herald Square in New York City have been closed to vehicular traffic to relieve traffic jams, reduce pollution, and allow pedestrians the pleasure of enjoying the city’s center without worrying about being hit by a taxi. West 47th Street to 42nd Street in Times Square and West 35th Street to 33rd Street in Herald Square are the blocks along Broadway where this has taken place.
The new pedestrian promenade took effect on May 24, 2009 as part of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s plan to reduce Midtown congestion. The remainder of the year will serve as a trial, and the experiment could become permanent if all goes smooth and the city benefits.
The opening of the car-free pedestrian area has eased the Times Square chaos and created breathing room in the usually unbearably crowded Times Square. People who work in the area have a new place to spend their lunch break and New Yorkers who normally avoid Times Square are venturing in to join tourists.
The city has so far provided lawn chairs for lounging and tables and chairs, but not much else, as it is an ongoing development. Musicians and performers have also been hired by the city to attract afternoon crowds, and the Naked Cowboy is out in full force.
While the pedestrian mall undoubtedly improves the congestion of crowded streets and sidewalks, the big question yet to be answered is whether this will help or hurt Times Square and Herald Square businesses.

Four Broadway Shows Close Today

Four Broadway shows will be taking their last bows today. Two of the closures – Exit the King and Joe Turner’s Come and Gone – were limited runs and therefore expected. However, two other closings – Reasons To Be Pretty and Guys and Dolls – were only announced days ago and likely due to their failure to earn any Tony Awards this past Sunday. Post-Tony closing announcements are something of a tradition on Broadway. Many struggling shows make the effort to continue running until Tony time, in the hopes that if they snag a win, it will result in an upswing in ticket sales. Unfortunately Reasons To Be Pretty, which has had a hard time selling tickets despite good buzz and positive reviews, lost the Best Play award to God of Carnage, and it didn’t get any actor wins either. Although Guys and Dolls did fail to win Best Musical Revival, its closing announcement was far more surprising, considering it has done respectable (if not impressive) box office sales during its run.

First Post-Tony Casualties – Four Broadway Shows Close Today


Four Broadway shows will be taking their last bows today. Two of the closures – Exit the King and Joe Turner’s Come and Gone – were limited runs and therefore expected. However, two other closings – Reasons To Be Pretty and Guys and Dolls – were only announced days ago and likely due to their failure to earn any Tony Awards this past Sunday. Post-Tony closing announcements are something of a tradition on Broadway. Many struggling shows make the effort to continue running until Tony time, in the hopes that if they snag a win, it will result in an upswing in ticket sales. Unfortunately Reasons To Be Pretty, which has had a hard time selling tickets despite good buzz and positive reviews, lost the Best Play award to God of Carnage, and it didn’t get any actor wins either. Although Guys and Dolls did fail to win Best Musical Revival, its closing announcement was far more surprising, considering it has done respectable (if not impressive) box office sales during its run.

God of Carnage and Billy Elliot Take Top Honors at Tonys


The sun shined in Radio City Music Hall last night where they held the 63rd Annual Tony Awards, and where Best Musical Revival winner Hair made a particularly impressive showing. The broadcast’s opening number began with Elton John singing a song from Best Musical winner Billy Elliot, which led into a medley that featured several current Broadway shows, culminating in all of the performers singing “Let the Sun Shine In” together on stage as Hair‘s hippies prowled through the aisles and danced with Tony attendees. The rest of the ceremony – for better or for worse – was similarly eventful, and was jam-packed with musical numbers this year (including songs from touring shows Legally Blonde, Mamma Mia, and Jersey Boys). Neil Patrick Harris proved to be a great host, with a relaxed demeanor and a sharp wit – he also sang a hilarious closing song recapping highlights from the ceremony. Big winners during the night included Best Play winner God of Carnage and Best Revival of a Play winner The Norman Conquests. Actors that took home trophies included Angela Lansbury and Geoffrey Rush, whose acceptance speeches were particular highlights, Next To Normal‘s Alice Ripley, West Side Story‘s Karen Olivo, and the trio of young men who play the title role in Billy Elliot.

2009 Tony Awards Time

Attention theater fans: Tonight is your night! It’s Tony Awards night, which is practically a national holiday for those who love Broadway. The 63rd Annual Tony Awards will air on CBS at 8pm Eastern time in a three-hour broadcast coming live from Radio City Music Hall in midtown New York City. Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother) hosts the ceremony, which will feature musical numbers from the nominated shows, in addition to the awards. The impressive list of presenters will include Will Ferrell, Nicole Kidman, Jane Fonda, Kristin Chenoweth, Anne Hathaway, Angela Lansbury, Kevin Spacey, Susan Sarandon, James Gandolfini, and many more. For Broadway lovers who would like to enjoy the telecast in the company of fellow theater fans, there is going to be a simulcast of the ceremony in Duffy Square (home of the TKTS booth), right in the heart of Times Square. Hosted by Tovah Feldshuh (currently starring in the Broadway play Irena’s Vow), this special broadcast of the Tonys will also include the untelevised pre-show Creative Arts Awards from 7pm to 8pm.

2009 Tony Awards Tonight


Attention theater fans: Tonight is your night! It’s Tony Awards night, which is practically a national holiday for those who love Broadway. The 63rd Annual Tony Awards will air on CBS at 8pm Eastern time in a three-hour broadcast coming live from Radio City Music Hall in midtown New York City. Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother) hosts the ceremony, which will feature musical numbers from the nominated shows, in addition to the awards. The impressive list of presenters will include Will Ferrell, Nicole Kidman, Jane Fonda, Kristin Chenoweth, Anne Hathaway, Angela Lansbury, Kevin Spacey, Susan Sarandon, James Gandolfini, and many more. For Broadway lovers who would like to enjoy the telecast in the company of fellow theater fans, there is going to be a simulcast of the ceremony in Duffy Square (home of the TKTS booth), right in the heart of Times Square. Hosted by Tovah Feldshuh (currently starring in the Broadway play Irena’s Vow), this special broadcast of the Tonys will also include the untelevised pre-show Creative Arts Awards from 7pm to 8pm.

Obama Visit Spikes Ticket Sales For Joe Turner’s Come and Gone


President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle had a date night in New York City this past Saturday night, and the centerpiece of their evening out was a Broadway show. The Obamas visited the Belasco Theatre in Times Square, taking in the Tony Award-nominated Broadway revival of August Wilson’s play Joe Turner’s Come and Gone. The audience at the performance was delighted to have the Commander-in-Chief in attendance with them, and they weren’t the only audiences affected by the Obamas’ Broadway visit. The press coverage of the First Couple at the show proved to be phenomenal publicity for Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, which was struggling with ticket sales. According to the New York Post, Joe Turner’s sold three times as many tickets as usual on the day after the President and First Lady attended the play. Now if only a few other troubled Broadway shows could entice the leader of the free world and his wife to show up for a visit …