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Broadway’s 9 Most Iconic Set Pieces

Though it’s easy to get dazzled by a show’s music, acting and choreography, set pieces quite literally set the stage for the world you are witnessing and are a vital part of any Broadway musical. Whether they wind up being part of a major plot point or provide a visual spectacle, here are nine of the most iconic set pieces on Broadway:

1. The Chandelier in ‘Phantom Of The Opera’

This moving set piece is the pièce de résistance of this show, gliding over the audience and crashing down to help create the dramatic climax we will always remember.

2. The Barricade in ‘Les Misérables’

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The awe-inspiring barricade, built with chairs, tables and many other pieces, is certainly the visual stunner of this production, whether you see it onstage or in the recent movie version.

3. The Tire in ‘Cats’

The large tire is the most recognizable set piece of this show. It rises, it’s danced upon and it gives the stage the dilapidated look of a junkyard.

4. The Long Table in ‘Rent’

The cast of “Rent” schemes, dreams and dances over the large restaurant table during “La Vie Boheme.”

5. The Swings in ‘Matilda’

This is a first for a musical, with cast members singing as they swing out over the audience. How fun would these be to ride every show?

6. The Bubble in ‘Wicked’

Glinda makes her iconic first entrance in this life-size bubble as it floats its way to the stage. Let us be glad and thankful it’s a part of this show.

7. The Bus in ‘Priscilla, Queen of the Desert’

The bus, also known as Priscilla, takes on a character of its own, opening, shutting, twisting and turning as the leads make their journey through the desert.

9. The Car in ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’

The car, also known as Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, takes on a life of its own as it swirls, whirls and flies in this fun, family-friendly musical based on the beloved film.

What are some of your favorite iconic set pieces? Did your favorites make the list? Let us know in the comments below…

Written by Kimberly Faye Greenberg

Kimberly Faye Greenberg is the first and only actress to play Leading roles in 2 OFF-BROADWAY musicals at the same time. In addition, Kimberly's numerous portrayals of a FANNY BRICE have been critically acclaimed by the NY Times, Huffington Post and Associated Press and currently her solo show Fabulous Fanny Brice is touring the country. Kimberly has worked backstage as a Broadway wardrobe swing dresser on over 20 Broadway shows. As a Performing Arts Consultant Kimberly loves to inspire, educate and work with proactive Artists.

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  1. Matilda is not the first use of giant swings. There may have been more even before this, but Evelyn Nesbit swings during “The Crime of the Century” in Ragtime.

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