The Great White Way has been a hub of American culture for over a century. Broadway isn't a location; it's a legal designation - it refers to a New York venue of over 500 seats with specific contracts with Actors' Equity and other unions.
A show typically takes about 5-10 years of development - writing, readings, workshops, out-of-town tryouts, rewrites, etc. - plus $8-25 million to reach Broadway. There are only 40 Broadway theaters, and half have long-running shows, meaning not many spots are available.
Theater owners, investors, and producers need to know a show will last long enough to pay back investment, as well as covering all their flops. Profitable shows are a minority, and hits are even rarer. Still, if your show lands, you can make a fortune (box office then licensing to am-dram, regional, and international), win awards, and most of all, transform hearts, uplift minds, and make thousands of people laugh.
What are the elements of a great show? First: the script or "book." Even if the show is sung-through, it has a book, and if the story sucks, no staging or music can compensate for that. Then there are the songs: opening number, hero's "I Want" song, the 11 o'clock number, the ballad, the charm song, the comedy song, the musical scene, the Act One closer, the overture, the closer. The writers - book, lyrics (usually the same person) and composer (who may also do lyrics) - must tie all these elements together. It's unbelievably difficult to get right.
Still, it's also incredibly important. There's a reason dictators always try to censor theater; it's a weapon for justice and freedom. Great theater can change minds, inform, entertain, educate, challenge, and liberate. So tell us about your show, and we'll help point you at the right existing show to fully express your beliefs, talent, and drive.