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Broadway and Off-Broadway—What's the Difference?

There are roughly 40 Broadway theaters in New York, and although you might expect their shows to be the best ones in town, the definition depends on theater capacity, not quality. Per the Actors' Equity union, which determines such matters, a Broadway theater must have at least 500 seats, though most have at least 1,000. Nearly all are within a few blocks of Times Square. A show must be performed in a Broadway theater to be eligible for a Tony Award. Off-Broadway theaters, which are scattered throughout Manhattan, have 100 to 499 seats; Off-Off-Broadway venues seat fewer than 100.

Updated: 2014-06-25

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