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Botanical Garden Hosts Broadway Themed Orchid Show

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Broadway has made its way to the Bronx at the New York Botanical Garden.

The NYBG opened its ninth annual orchid show on Saturday, March 5, and the theme for this year’s show is “On Broadway.”

The Garden’s horticultural staff worked with Tony Award-winning set designer Scott Pask and graphic designer Drew Hodges, who has created posters and ad campaigns for shows such as Rent, Chicago and The Color Purple. Their mission was to make the Garden’s conservatory feel like the inside of a Broadway theater.

The Orchid Show at the NYBG has become a yearly ritual for Bronxites as well as people from all over the northeast.

“It’s really a sign of spring,” said Marc Hachadourian, the curator of the Orchid Show since its inception. “You realize the importance it plays in people’s lives. This is really a curated, museum-quality show.”

Hachadourian, who holds a degree in plan science from Cornell University, is in charge of overseeing the growth and selection of all orchids that are used in the show each year and chooses what types of flowers are used, controls the conditions they are grown under and has to make sure they all blossom at the same time.

Hachadourian is a New Jersey native, but one of his earliest memories that sparked his love for horticulture is visiting the New York Botanical Garden with his family as a 5-year-old.

The idea of the “On Broadway” theme was to have the orchid show replicate the feeling of going to a Broadway Show, as opposed to a close replication of famous theater images or sets.

“We wanted to capture the emotion of the theater experience,’ Hachadourian said. “Rather than something more literal like the mask from Phantom of the Opera.“You go in knowing you’re going to see something amazing.”

The idea to go with a Broadway theme had been in discussion at the Botanical Garden for a few years and when they decided 2011 was the year to start, they right away reached out to Hodges and Pask.

“They approached us and all we had to do was figure out how to make it work,” said Hodges, who believes the project was very different from anything he had ever worked on in his career. “The goal, they decided, was to have ‘you look at the orchids the same way you look at theater.”

The Orchid Show runs until Monday, April 25 and is open both during the day and at night and will be hosting live Broadway Cabaret performances along with the show during the weekends.

The Garden’s library is also running an accompanying exhibit on the work of Broadway cartoonist Al Hirshfeld.

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