Did you know that there are free sources on the Internet for information about theatre productions?
The Internet Broadway Database is an archive of Broadway theatre information, with “records of productions from the beginnings of New York theatre until today.” You can look for information about particular shows, people, theatres, characters, awards, songs, and grosses. Most of the information is taken from theatre programs, with additional information from “newspaper and magazine reports, theatrical text books, interviews with theatre professionals, and [The Broadway] League archives.”
For example, did you know that Paul Newman played the Stage Manager in a production of Our Town (my favorite play) in 2002? That part was played by others, including Henry Fonda, through time. Don’t know how to spell someone’s last name? The first name will get you into a list you can browse. What are the songs, and what characters sing them, in Cats? Who got the Tony award for choreography in 2010, and who were the other nominees? These and other questions may be answered by using this resource.
See also the The Lortel Archives, the Internet Off-Broadway Database, which currently has information going back to 1958 for productions in Manhattan theatres with a seating capacity of 100-499.
And if you’d like to learn more about all different aspects of Broadway theatre, Andersen Library has resources. Search HALCat for books such as Showtime: A history of the Broadway musical theater (3rd-floor Main Collection, ML1711.8.N3 S73 2010), The performing set: The Broadway designs of William and Jean Eckart (3rd-floor Main OVERSIZE, PN2096.E23 H37 2006), and The Broadway musical: A critical and musical survey (3rd-floor Main Collection, ML1711 .S95 1990). There is music for various voices, such as Broadway repertoire for mezzo-soprano: A selection of Broadway’s best in their original keys for mezzo-soprano voice (3rd-floor Main OVERSIZE, M1507 .B762 1979). You also can find original Broadway cast recordings, including Sunday in the park with George: Original Broadway cast recording (2nd-floor Browsing CDs, SOU Son Son). Search article databases for articles such as “A Theatre Historian’s Perspective” (TDR: The Drama Review, 2001, vol.45:no.4, pp.125-128), “The history of the Broadway costume business” (TD&T: Theatre Design & Technology, 2011, vol.47:no.1, pp.10-19), “Megamusicals, spectacle and the postdramatic aesthetics of late capitalism” (Studies in Musical Theatre, 2011, vol.5:no.1, pp.13-34), and ‘Is this what it takes just to make it to Broadway?!’: Marketing In the Heights in the twenty-first century (Studies in Musical Theatre, 2011, vol.5:no.1, pp. 49-69).
Please ask a librarian for assistance with finding additional materials.