Theater: NY POPSUP (Various Locations in New York)

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by Gregory Bernard on March 18, 2021

in Theater-New York

NY’s Governor Cuomo has announced the long-awaited return of live indoor performance across New York State beginning April 2, 2021 with the reopening of a significant number of Flexible Venues (“Flex Venues”) as part of an ongoing systematic effort to help jumpstart New York’s struggling live entertainment sector. NY PopsUp, the new festival of pop-up events overseen by producers Scott Rudin and Jane Rosenthal, was established to help revitalize the spirit and emotional well-being of New York citizens through the energy of live performance set over 100 days throughout New York City and State. More info at NY PopsUp.

These Flex Venues — established performance spaces that are able to be adapted for social distancing guidelines – include such important culture hubs as The Apollo, Park Avenue Armory, St. Ann’s Warehouse, The SHED, Harlem Stage, La MaMa, National Black theatre, and The Glimmerglass Festival’s Alice Busch Opera Theater. In April, select Broadway theaters, beginning with the Music Box on 45th Street, will open their doors to audiences for the first time since March 12, 2020, with a series of special NY PopsUp programs, and will put in motion safety protocols that will eventually be employed for Broadway’s return. 

Following the year-long shutdown, these coming performances will mark a major moment in New York’s recovery efforts, signaling that the arts in New York are coming back in force. And especially, these events will also mark a significant step in the long process of getting tens-of-thousands of arts professionals around New York State back to work.

NY PopsUp is an unprecedented and expansive festival featuring hundreds of pop-up performances (many of which are free of charge and all open to the public) that will intersect with the daily lives of New Yorkers. The programming for NY PopsUp is curated by the interdisciplinary artist Zack Winokur, in partnership with a hand-selected council of artistic advisors who represent the diversity of New York’s dynamic performing arts scene and artistic communities.

NY PopsUp launched on Saturday, February 20 and will run through Labor Day. The Festival will reach its climax with the 20th Anniversary of the Tribeca Film Festival and The Festival at Little Island at Pier 55, bringing the total number of performances to more than 1,000. NY PopsUp is being coordinated in lock step with state public health officials and will strictly adhere to Department of Health (DOH) COVID-19 protocols.

Please note that, given the impromptu nature and surprise element of the pop-up format, not all performances will be announced in advance. Please follow @NYPopsUp on Twitter and Instagram for the latest.

The public will encounter a range of artists representing all areas of performance – from theater to dance, from poetry to comedy, from pop music to opera, and so much more. Among the confirmed artists are Hugh JackmanRenée FlemingAmy Schumer, Alec BaldwinChris RockMatthew BroderickSarah Jessica ParkerIsabel LeonardNico MuhlyJoyce DiDonatoJohn Early and Kate BerlantPatti SmithMandy PatinkinRaja Feather KellyJ’Nai BridgesKenan ThompsonGavin CreelGarth FaganLarry OwensQ-TipBilly Porter, Conrad TaoBobbi Jene Smith and Or SchraiberTina LandauRhiannon GiddensAparna NancherlaAnthony RodriguezJonathan GroffSavion GloverDormeshia Sumbry-EdwardsChris CelizChristine GoerkeKelli O’HaraDev HynesPhoebe RobinsonSara MearnsGeorge SaundersCaleb TeicherDanielle BrooksJeremy DenkIdina Menzel, Sondra RadvanovskyGaby MorenoDavóne TinesJerrod CarmichaelTaylor MacSutton FosterJessie Mueller, and Courtney ToPanga Washington, among many others. The events themselves will ignite imaginative collisions of different artforms.


NY PopsUp, the Tribeca Film Festival, and The Festival at Little Island will together bring a total of more than 1,000 performances to New York State between February 20 and Labor Day, signaling an event unmatched in scale and unrivaled in scope.

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