Light the lights—the Curtain Up Broadway Festival has set a 2022 return! Set to be held in Times Square September 30–October 2, the free event will feature performances, a block party, and more, all culminating in a finale concert broadcast live on WABC featuring a host of Broadway favorites. A collaboration between Playbill, The Broadway League, and the Times Square Alliance, Curtain Up Broadway Festival is sponsored by Prudential Financial.
Throughout the weekend, theatre fans will be able to visit a variety of interactive experiences, events, and intimate concerts, including sing-alongs, The Sing For Hope Piano, Playbill: The Game Show Live, an Alvin Ailey dance workshop and more.
The event kicks off September 30 at 2 PM with a mainstage event featuring special guests Norm Lewis and music director James Sampliner. Following at 5 PM in Duffy Square is The Broadway Block Party, with theatre fans invited to dance and sing to a mix of contemporary and classic Broadway showtunes with live DJ sets and guest performances.
Once the sun goes down, it's Curtain Up After Dark, which will feature Broadway favorites T. Oliver Reid, Conrad Ricamora, Jeanna de Waal, Morgan James, Corey Mach, and more, backed by the Broadway Sings Band, in Broadway Sings: The Golden Age of Broadway at 6:30 PM. The October 1 concert, Rockers On Broadway: Live in Times Square and Benefiting The PATH Fund, will feature Donnie Kehr and his band with special guests including Rob Evan, N'Kenge, Max Sangerman, Jeremy Schoenfeld, Sam Behr, and more.
The festival will culminate with a finale concert October 2 at 11 AM in Duffy Square, under the direction of Sammi Cannold (Evita at New York City Center), music direction of Daryl Waters (The Cher Show, Shuffle Along...) and direction for telecast by Michael J Moritz, Jr. Set to be broadcast live on WABC, the performance will spotlight marquee talent from Broadway productions and celebrate the new season, with participating shows to be announced.
"Curtain Up Broadway Festival is a celebration of Broadway and the great city of New York, and it is a perfect way to kick off a brand-new season packed with an incredible array of new shows," says Broadway League President Charlotte St. Martin. "With 17 Broadway shows already scheduled to open through December and at least that amount scheduled to open in the spring, we are in for a season jam packed with something for everyone. Broadway’s return brings a newfound vibrancy to the city and its heart, Times Square, and the Curtain Up! LIVE from Broadway finale concert on Sunday, October 2, featuring some new shows, some long-running shows, and recent Tony-winning shows, is the perfect opportunity to honor that. WABC is broadcasting the event live and reminding us ‘there’s a little bit of Broadway in everyone!’"
"We at Playbill are extremely excited to help bring Curtain Up Broadway Festival to Times Square once again with our friends and partners at Prudential, the Times Square Alliance, and The Broadway League," says Playbill Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer Alex Birsh. "It has been invigorating to see Broadway thrive upon its return, and we look forward to celebrating the upcoming success of the 2022-23 Broadway season with our three-day extravaganza in the heart of the Theatre District. For three incredible days, Times Square takes center stage featuring an array of Broadway talent and spirited fans who will join together to revel in the artistry and influence of musical theatre and plays."<
"At Prudential, we recognize that Broadway is a vital cultural and economic driver with global reach. After the pandemic pause, Broadway’s comeback is more important than ever," adds Prudential Chief Marketing Officer Susan Somersille Johnson. "Prudential has always rallied to help people and communities, and we are committed to being an unwavering rock of support to keep the lights of Broadway shining bright and bring the magic of the arts to everyone."
"Broadway has been back for just over a year now, and we have seen its impact on Times Square and the city, which is a perfect opportunity for us to celebrate with our partners at Playbill, The Broadway League, and Prudential with Curtain Up Broadway Festival," shares Times Square Alliance President Tom Harris. "We are regularly seeing over 400,000 people in Times Square, and we know that includes audiences, artists, and backstage folk making their way to shows throughout Times Square, and we encourage them all to enjoy our amazing restaurants, hotels, retailers, and other live entertainment venues."
"We’re thrilled to join The Broadway League, Playbill, and the Times Square Alliance to celebrate the talent and shows that make NYC the creative capital of the world," says Commissioner of the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment Anne del Castillo. "The Curtain Up Broadway Festival is a joyous event taking place in the heart of NYC, Times Square, over three days, and is bookended by our signature Broadway in the Boros series, which kicks off in Brooklyn on September 16 and ends on Staten Island on October 14."
"The Recording Industry’s Music Performance Trust Fund is proud to support Curtain Up Broadway Festival, a wonderfully unique three-day celebration of Broadway’s triumphant return," says Dan Beck, Trustee of the Music Performance Trust Fund. "There is nothing more fun than free, live concerts featuring the music and performers from so many current and new musicals. Welcome back!”
Visit Playbill.com/CurtainUp for a full schedule.
Take a look at the 2021 Curtain Up Festival: