More details have been revealed for Playbill, The Broadway League, and the Times Square Alliance's third annual Curtain Up Broadway Festival—a three-day outdoor experience in Times Square presented by Prudential Financial with additional support from the NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, Music Performance Trust Fund, The Film Fund, Open Jar Studios, and Hotel Edison. The event, set to run September 8–10, will include interactive events and performances that are all live, free, and open to the public in the heart of New York City: Times Square.
Newly joining the roster of performances is a return of ¡Viva! Broadway, to honor Hispanic Heritage Month. The special concert, subtitled Aquí y Allá (Here and There), will be held September 9 from 5-6:30 PM in Duffy Square. Conceived and directed by Luis Salgado, the concert will celebrate history from the inspiration of early songwriters to the authentic voices and stories of Broadway today. Jaime Lozano is music directing, and Eric Ulloa is writing.
Also joining the weekend's line-up is Will & Grace star Eric McCormack, currently appearing on Broadway in The Cottage. McCormack will host the finale concert Curtain Up! LIVE From Broadway, set for Duffy Square September 10 from 11 AM–12:30 PM rain or shine. With live performances and special guest appearances from the season's Broadway shows, the event will be broadcast live on WABC. As previously announced, the concert will feature musical direction by Andrew Resnick with live music provided by The Music Performance Trust Fund and The Film Fund, and is written by Eric Ulloa. The WABC finale broadcast is directed by Michael J. Moritz Jr. Foresight Theatrical's Devon Miller is serving as general manager.
And Chita Rivera fans, get ready! The three-time Tony recipient and true Broadway legend will be honored September 8 at 5 PM on the Duffy Square Mainstage with All That Jazz. On hand to perform will be Laura Benanti, George Dvorsky, Andy Karl, Alexis Michelle, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Jessie Mueller, Bebe Neuwirth, Orfeh, and John Riddle—and Rivera will be on hand, too!
The Curtain Up Broadway Festival will kick off September 8 at 2:30 PM with guest speakers from Playbill, The Broadway League, Times Square Alliance, and Prudential Financial, with Broadway guest hosts, performances, and special guests from The NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, Hotel Edison, Open Jar Studios, and The Entertainment Community Fund. Here Lies Love's Arielle Jacobs and Melody Butiu will host the event, featuring performances from Colin Donnell (The Shark is Broken), Patti Murin (Frozen), Eric Krop (Godspell), and Jelani Remy (Back to the Future). Jonathan Ivie is music directing, leading a band comprising Steve Millhouse, Andrew Zinsmeister, and Jon Weber.
The Prudential Stages on Broadway (brought to you by Playbill contest), hosted by Brittney Johnson (who made history as the first Black actor to play the role of Glinda in the Broadway production of Wicked), will take place September 9, giving aspiring artists across the country the opportunity to capitalize on their “Now What?” moment. The winning artists will have the opportunity to network with theatre professionals—like host Johnson and contest judges Tara Rubin and Allen René Louis—and could walk away with a monetary prize of up to $10,000 plus financial coaching from a Prudential advisor. The finalists set to perform for the chance to become the grand prize winner are Brianna Kaleen, Chris Richie, Zalah Vallien, and Alli Sutton, and James Sampliner is music directing.. Learn more about the finalists and the inspiring journeys that brought them to this latest stage here.
Additional events include: Broadway Sing-Alongs throughout the festival on the "Belt It Out On Broadway" stage, Curtain Up After Dark events featuring Broadway Sings and Rockers on Broadway, Ailey’s Revelations dance workshop, multiple Dueling Piano events on the "Belt It Out on Broadway" stage, Broadway Block Parties presented by the NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, and more to be announced.
“What better way to kick off a new Broadway season than to celebrate the Curtain Up Broadway Festival in Times Square," says Broadway League President Charlotte St. Martin in a statement. "This incredible three-day festival will host special concerts, sing-alongs, and workshops, just to name a few of the many exciting events planned. Last season, Broadway had a total attendance of 12.3 million indicating just how much live theatre means to so many and its pivotal role in NYC’s economic development. We’ll wrap up the weekend with the Curtain Up! LIVE From Broadway finale concert on Sunday, September 10th and thank WABC for returning to live broadcast the star-studded show.”
"We at Playbill are extremely excited to help bring the 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 Chief Operating Officer and Vice President Alex Birsh. “It brings us so much excitement to welcome all patrons of Times Square to celebrate Broadway in such a fabulous way. Join us in the fun as we celebrate Broadway’s new season during our three days in Times Square, culminating in our finale concert on Sunday.”
“At Prudential, we recognize that Broadway and local theatres help drive inclusion and expand access to the arts for millions of people in New York City and across the globe,” adds Susan Somersille Johnson, Prudential’s Chief Marketing Officer. “We are proud to be partnering once again with Playbill, The Broadway League, and the Times Square Alliance to help stimulate the local economy and positively impact the industry while giving aspiring and emerging artists the opportunity to capitalize on their 'Now What?' moments.”
“Broadway is the beating heart of Times Square and New York City, and we are thrilled to join our great partners at The Broadway League, Playbill, and Prudential to kick off the new season with Curtain Up Broadway Festival,” says Tom Harris, President of the Times Square Alliance. “We continue to see regularly over 400,000 people pass through Times Square each day, and our hope is that throughout the three-day festival we will see Broadway fans from near and far enjoying this free programming in the heart of Times Square.”
“We are so proud to support live theatre in NYC by once again partnering with Playbill, The Broadway League, and the Times Square Alliance to present the Curtain Up! Broadway Festival," adds Commissioner of the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment Pat Swinney Kaufman. “This year our involvement will include a special presentation of the Broadway Block Party, which will provide festival goers multiple opportunities to dance and sing throughout the weekend in NYC's iconic center of cultural activity, Times Square."
Says Music Performance Trust Fund Trustee Dan Beck: “Thanks to The Film Fund’s Trustee, Bob Jaffe for joining with the recording industry’s Music Performance Trust Fund in supporting the musicians who make Curtain Up! and all Broadway musicals such a treasured New York experience.”
Join the conversation about Curtain Up Broadway Festival by following @Playbill, @TimesSquareNYC, and @BroadwayLeague and using #CurtainUpBway.
For a full, detailed listing of events taking place, visit Playbill.com/CurtainUp.
Take a look at the 2022 Curtain Up Festival: