New York: The Evolution of Broadway Self-Guided Audio Tour

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Take a look and listen to scenes from NYC's theater district and its long history of costume changes on this audio tour. Experience the magic of GPS-playback on this immersive stroll through NYC.


  • Find out about some of the longest-running theater shows in history
  • Hear about how Studio 54 was a symbol of the era‘s lively nightlife
  • Discover secret venues that mainly locals know about
  • Pop into Sardi‘s, a famous hangout for Broadway actors, writers and producers
  • Get unlimited use of the tour before your booking date and after it


Behind the glitz and glam of Broadway‘s theaters is a story of resilience and the enduring magic of live performances. On this walking tour with Sean Hartley, a musical theater writer, historian, and Context Travel expert, you‘ll explore the dynamic changes in this vibrant New York City district from the early 1900s to the present day. Starting in front of the historical Nederlander Theater, you‘ll see some of the area‘s 40 playhouses. As you wind your way through Manhattan‘s midtown, you‘ll hear about the history of several theaters, how they‘ve transformed over time, and why they‘ve changed names relatively often. On this tour, you‘ll learn about Broadway and Times Square’s theatrical evolution, starting from the early 1900s when live performances were people’s primary source of entertainment and theaters began popping up everywhere. Soon, theater-going had become an exclusive event requiring tuxedos and ball gowns. Sean will give you a sense of the impact television had in the 1950s, and how theater eventually became a far more casual jeans-wearing affair. As you make your way to Studio 54 where our tour ends, you‘ll see the Belasco Theater, one of the few playhouses where you can still see the separate upstairs and downstairs entrances from the country’s days of racial segregation. You’ll also pass the Majestic Theater, which has had a record-breaking run of Phantom of the Opera for over 35 years.


Lifetime access to this tour in English VoiceMap app for Android and iOS Offline access to audio, maps, and geodata

Important Information

  • You need to install the VoiceMap smartphone app.
  • You can download the tour at any time, before or after your booking date. It’s best to download the tour before you set off for the starting point.
  • This tour follows a set route and includes turn-by-turn directions. It works best if you start it in the right place and follow the directions from one location to the next.
  • When the download completes, you’ll see a screen with a photo of the starting point and directions to it. The red start button will become active when you are at the starting point.
  • This tour is only available in English.

Easy cancellation

Cancel up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund


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