New York Theater: CURTAIN UP! FESTIVAL (Times Square)

Post image for New York Theater: CURTAIN UP! FESTIVAL (Times Square)

by Gregory Bernard on September 13, 2021

in Theater-New York

Festival includes performances & appearances from
18 Returning Broadway Musicals, 5 Broadway Plays and Special Guests
All Live and Free in Times Square Sept 17-19, 2021

Throughout the celebratory weekend, Broadway fans will have the unique opportunity to join with a wide variety of interactive experiences and intimate concerts peppered throughout the festival, including Broadway sing a-long’s, The Sing for Hope Piano, variety shows, after dark events and special Broadway Podcast Network recordings. Details for Curtain Up! can be found at Playbill.

CURTAIN UP! FESTIVAL SCHEDULE OF EVENTS 

The three-day celebration will include the following events below. For a full, detailed listing of the events taking place, please also visit Playbill.com/CurtainUp. (Performers are subject to change.)

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER  17

Event: Wake Up, Broadway!
Time: 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Location: Playbill Piano Bar (Location in Times Square bet, 45th and 46th Streets)

Join co-hosts, Ayanna Prescod and Christian Lewis of What’s Up Broadway? a BPN original podcast delivering the latest news, interviews, and chatter from Broadway and beyond, as they welcome esteemed guests from BPN and the Broadway community.  Prescod, our very own “Gossip Girl”, is omniscient on everything buzzworthy happening on the Great White Way, don’t miss this informative hour.

Event: Official Curtain Up! Kick-Off
Time: 12:00-1:00 PM
Location: Mainstage on Duffy Square

Playbill, The Broadway League and The Times Square Alliance will Kick-Off Curtain Up! features performances by Broadway biggies Brian Stokes Mitchell and Jessica Vosk, with music director John McDaniel. Other participants include U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer; Commissioner Anne Del Castillo (New York City Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment); Alex Birsh (Vice President/Chief Operating Officer, Playbill); Charlotte St. Martin (President, The Broadway League); Tom Harris (President, Times Square Alliance) will kick off Broadway’s return in this opening ceremony with a celebratory countdown to the official start of the Curtain Up! Festival. The event will ignite excitement on the mainstage and include a celebratory countdown to the official event start!

Event: Divas of Broadway Sing-Along
Time: 1:00-1:30 PM
Location: Playbill Piano Bar (Location in Times Square bet, 45th and 46th Streets)

Join 2021 Richard Rodger Awards Winner Brandon James Gwinn (pianist at the world-renowned Marie’s Crisis and producer of Trixie Mattel’s albums) as he plays some of the greatest hits from the divas of Broadway!

Panel: “Dear White People” Discussion
Time: 1:30-2:30 PM
Location: Mainstage on Duffy Square

Presented by Netflix, join celebrities as they speak in conversation with stars from the Netflix Series “Dear White People”, discussing the crossover of theatre to TV/Film and the remarkable steps towards diversifying the arts for BIPOC members of the community.

Event: New Broadway Hits Sing-Along
Time: 2:30-3:00 PM
Location: Playbill Piano Bar (Location in Times Square bet, 45th and 46th Streets)

Join 2021 Richard Rodgers Awards Winner Brandon James Gwinn (pianist at the world-renowned Marie’s Crisis and producer of Trixie Mattel’s albums) as he plays some of pop and contemporary hits from Broadway!

Event: Sing-Along with Joe Iconis
Time: 3:00-3:30 PM
Location: Playbill Piano Bar (Location in Times Square bet, 45th and 46th Streets)

Join Joe Iconis (Composer, Be More Chill) as he plays through some of his best known (and super fun) songs on the Sing For Hope Piano!

Event: The Playbill Variety Show
Time: 3:30-4:30 PM
Location: Mainstage on Duffy Square

Playbill is curating an hour of Broadway news updates, stories, interviews, and surprise performances in the middle of Times Square. Join Playbill’s Creative Director, Bryan Campione as he. invites stars and more to the stage for a fun celebration of theatre, Broadway and Curtain Up!. Guests include: Joshua Henry (Carousel, Shuffle Along, Violet, Porgy and Bess, American Idiot, The Scottsboro Boys, In The Heights); Tom Viola – Executive Director of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS; The Actors Fund; Frank DiLella – Emmy Award Winning Host of Spectrum News NY 1’s “On Stage”; Viral Sensation T.3 (America’s Got Talent) and more!

Event: WICKED Sing-Along
Time: 4:30-5:00 PM
Location: Playbill Piano Bar (Location in Times Square bet, 45th and 46th Streets)

We couldn’t be happier to have pianist Paul Loesel play thrillifying songs from the Broadway sensation, WICKED! Audiences can sing-along to their favorite songs in the heart of Times Square on the Sing For Hope Piano!

Concert: Jimmy Awards® Reunion Concert!
Time: 5:30-6:30 PM
Location: Mainstage on Duffy Square

Hosted by Broadway’s Jelani Alladin, this event brings together alumni of the famed Jimmy Awards®/National High School Musical Theatre Awards® program in a free, outdoor concert with live music. Join us for a chance to catch up with some of the Jimmy Awards alums who have graduated to roles on Broadway and National Tours. They’ll each have a moment in the spotlight with solo numbers from classic and contemporary Broadway shows, and they’ll join-together for a grand finale. The concert will feature the two top winners from the virtual 2021 Jimmy Awards making their New York performance debuts. For more information on The Jimmy Awards program, visit www.JimmyAwards.com.       

Event: Curtain Up After Dark
Time: 6:30-7:30 PM
Location: Playbill Piano Bar (Location in Times Square bet, 45th and 46th Streets)

Join Broadway guest performers as they take to the stage and perform their favorite tunes under the setting sun and the lights of Times Square. Performers will be announced soon.

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 18

Event: “The Broadway Morning Warm-Up”
Time: 10:30-11:15 AM
Location: Mainstage on Duffy Square

Join Broadway Arts Community, a performing arts training & James T. Lane, Jessica Lee Goldyn, Tyler Hanes mentorship company, as they “get the celebration started” Saturday morning! Together with BAC co-founders & mentors Chryssie Whitehead and Alexis Carra, special BAC guests, and BAC students will warm you up for an incredible day of all-things Broadway!

Event: Wake Up, Broadway!
Time: 11:30 AM – 12:15 PM
Location: Playbill Piano Bar (Location in Times Square bet, 45th and 46th Streets)

Join co-hosts, Ayanna Prescod and Christian Lewis of What’s Up Broadway? a BPN original podcast delivering the latest news, interviews, and chatter from Broadway and beyond, as they welcome esteemed guests from BPN and the Broadway community.  Prescod, our very own “Gossip Girl”, is omniscient on everything buzzworthy happening on the Great White Way, don’t miss this informative hour.

Panel: Black to Broadway – It’s “Play” Time!
Time: 12:15-1:45 PM
Location: Mainstage on Duffy Square

As Broadway performances resume following the global pandemic and social reckoning that have taken place over the past 18 months, no less than seven new productions of plays by Black writers are slated to open this fall—including four by Black women. Join us for an entertaining and informative live conversation in the heart of the Broadway Theatre District that will give the theatergoing public a chance to get to know some of the writers, directors, and performers who are bringing these works to Broadway stages. These works represent a broad spectrum of production styles and voices, and the event will spotlight what makes each one uniquely relevant and entertaining. Harriette Cole, the nationally renowned lifestylist, and branding coach and DREAMLEAPERS founder, will introduce the speakers and lead the discussion.

The event is part of The Broadway League’s ongoing Black to Broadway initiative to inspire, engage and build awareness among the Black community with Broadway.

Event: Broadway Sing-Along’s
Time: 2:00-4:45 PM
Location: Playbill Piano Bar (Location in Times Square bet, 45th and 46th Streets)

Times Square Guests can spend an hour or two at the Sing For Hope Piano with special guests pianists and a Broadway star or two.

Event: The Golden Age of Broadway Sing-Along
Time: 2:00-2:30 PM
Location: Playbill Piano Bar (Location in Times Square bet, 45th and 46th Streets)

Join Playbill’s own Logan Culwell-Block as he plays songs of the past, that still have an imprint on Broadway fans and audiences on the Sing For Hope Piano!

Event: Sing-Along with Rob Rokicki
Time: 2:30-3:00 PM
Location: Playbill Piano Bar (Location in Times Square bet, 45th and 46th Streets)

Join Rob Rokicki (Composer, The Lighting Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical) on the Sing For Hope Piano, as he plays songs fans of his music can sing-along to!

Event: The Playbill Variety Show
Time: 3:00-3:45 PM
Location: Mainstage on Duffy Square

Playbill is curating an hour of Broadway news updates, stories, interviews, and surprise performances in the middle of Times Square! Join Playbill’s Creative Director, Bryan Campione as he invites stars and more to the stage for a fun celebration of theatre, Broadway and Curtain Up!  A special AAPI conversation and performance will helm this event, hosted by JoAnn M. Hunter and produced by Valerie Lau-Kee with special Broadway surprise guests!

Concert: ¡Viva! Broadway When We See Ourselves
Time: 5:00-6:30 PM
Location: Mainstage on Duffy Square

A musical celebration of the joy, diversity, and extensive contributions of the Latin and Hispanic Broadway! We are celebrating the beginning of the 2021 National Hispanic Heritage Month and welcoming the return of live Broadway performances. The free concert will lift-up the incredible history Broadway Latinx artists have shared throughout the decades and invite audiences to join us in the continued work that lies ahead.

The event will celebrate some of the most familiar names of Latinx representation on Broadway such as Daphne Rubin-Vega, Robin de Jesús, Bianca Marroquín, Ana Villafañe, and more, and elevate the talented ensemble members who always lead the way. The creative team includes Luis Salgado (director and choreographer), Gabriela Garcia (associate director/choreographer), Eric Ulloa (writer), Jaime Lozano (musical direction) and Sergio Trujillo (creative consultant).

Viva Broadway is a national Broadway League audience development partnership with the Hispanic community that helps bridge the world of Broadway with Latinx audiences around the country. This long-term initiative aims to celebrate Latinx talent and increase awareness of and engagement with Broadway. More info at Viva.Broadway.org

Event: Curtain Up After Dark
Time: 6:30-7:30 PM
Location: Playbill Piano Bar (Location in Times Square bet, 45th and 46th Streets)

Join Broadway guest performers as they take to the stage and perform their favorite tunes under the setting sun and the lights of Times Square. Performers will be announced shortly.

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 19

Event: Wake Up, Broadway!
Time: 8:30-10:00 AM
Location: Playbill Piano Bar (Location in Times Square bet, 45th and 46th Streets)

Join co-hosts, Ayanna Prescod and Christian Lewis of What’s Up Broadway? a BPN original podcast delivering the latest news, interviews, and chatter from Broadway and beyond, as they welcome esteemed guests from BPN and the Broadway community.  Prescod, our very own “Gossip Girl”, is omniscient on everything buzzworthy happening on the Great White Way, don’t miss this informative hour.

Concert: Curtain Up: This is Broadway!
Time: 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Location: Mainstage on Duffy Square

A grand, outdoor event that marks the culmination of the Curtain Up! Festival, this concert will spotlight marquee talent from returning and new Broadway productions, showcasing Broadway to the world, trumpeting the message that BROADWAY IS BACK!  This concert will celebrate all of Broadway and the re-opening of New York City.  Current shows and performers participating include: Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of The Temptations, Aladdin, Caroline, or Change, Chicago, Come From Away, Company, Dear Evan Hansen, Diana the Musical, Girl from the North County, Hadestown, Jagged Little Pill, The Lion King, Mrs Doubtfire, The Phantom of the Opera, Six, Tina- The Tina Turner Musical, Waitress, Wicked and the following plays:  Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Lackawanna Blues, Pass Over, Thoughts of a Colored Man, and To Kill A Mockingbird.  Additional special guests will be announced soon.

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