NYC Students Go Behind the Scenes of Broadway’s ‘On the Town’

New York City public school students got a behind-the-scenes look at Broadway’s On the Town as part of Inside Broadway’s Creating the Magic program.

Students from public schools in all five New York City boroughs were treated to a behind-the-scenes look at the production of the Broadway musical On the Town on March 26.

Hundreds of kids gathered at the Lyric Theatre in Times Square for Inside Broadway’s Creating the Magic program. Now in its 33rd year, Creating the Magic is an 80-minute show that introduces kids to Broadway and teaches them how a show is brought to life. During the show, cast members, stage and theater managers, props masters, and sound and lighting technicians demonstrate their roles in making the show.

on the town dinosaur props

Michael Presser, executive director of Inside Broadway, says it’s important to expose kids to this inside perspective of Broadway shows because a lot of kids aspire to someday work in the theater. “Actors are the tip of the iceberg,” Presser says. “There’s a whole army behind the scenes working to make possible an educational objective for the future.”

Ryan Hiney, an 11-year-old from P.S. 304 in the Bronx who was among the young audience members, aspires to be an actor on Broadway in the future. He said he enjoyed the songs New York, New York and You Got Me because they were the most soulful to him. “I learned that even though it looks easy and fun when you’re on Broadway, it’s actually a lot of hard work,” Hiney said after the show. “But it looks like fun and I definitely want to do that when I grow up.”

on the town broadway scene

Nine-year-old Hulaye Diallo, also from P.S. 304, enjoyed the show too. “I learned that it’s more than acting, singing, and dancing—there’s magic behind it all,” Diallo said.

On the Town is a musical about three sailors who have 24 hours to venture through New York City, each with his own agenda. This Broadway revival has been in production at Lyric Theatre since September.

Presser says this show was perfect for the audience because it captures the essence of New York City and was created by city natives such as Leonard Bernstein, Betty Comden, and Adolph Green. “Could we have picked any musical that’s more New York?” Presser says. “This is the ultimate New York show and our audience is all New York City children, so this was a natural [fit].”

Inside Broadway programs are funded by the New York City Council, the New York City Department of Education, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. For more information, visit