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Broadway Meets Broadway (with Detours to D.C. and Haiti)

by Amanda Gordon
Fri, 28 May 2010 at 11:26 PM

The Broadway League's Executive Director, Charlotte St. Martin, right, and its communications director, Elisa Shevitz, at a Broadway Association luncheon at Sardi's on May 25.

There's only one Broadway, but there are many groups that support it. The Broadway Association, founded in 1911, brings together businesspeople not directly involved in Broadway to look after Broadway's interests. These are folks in hotels, public relations, restaurants, real estate, and politics (Mayor David Dinkins, for instance; Bill Rudin; Tim Zagat, whose father was a founder). Among their activities is a monthly luncheon; May's meeting was upstairs at Sardi's, and featured guests from another group, the Broadway League, Broadway's trade association, founded in 1930. The speakers at the event were from another, less formalized group, the Broadway press. Theater critics from the Daily News, Time Out, Entertainment Weekly, and Variety gave their assessments of the past season. But the most remarkable talking point came from Jujamcyn Theaters' Paul Libin, who described his donation to support culture in Haiti. While he started out wanting to build a theater there, he said he soon realized that what was needed was to support all the things that lead to a theater. Closer to home, Broadway Association's chairman, Cristyne Nicholas, noted that the group has joined in a petition to the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, for the continued funding of security in Times Square. The Broadway Association also lobbied last year to route the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade through Broadway and Times Square instead of Sixth Avenue. "Sixth Avenue is generic, it could be any city. Broadway shows off New York ," Ms. Nicholas said in an interview after the luncheon.

Entertainment Weekly theater reviewer Melissa Rose Bernardo, the Broadway Association's chairman, Cristyne Nicholas, and board member Tim Zagat.

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