3-day festival celebrates Broadway’s triumphant return

3-day festival celebrates Broadway’s triumphant return


Get ready to give your regards to Broadway: Curtain Up, a three-day festival celebrating the return and revival of theater heads back to Times Square at the end of the month.

This free, live and interactive celebration of one of New York City’s most beloved attractions — by tourists and New Yorkers alike — kicks off on Sept. 30. More than 15 events are scheduled to take place on two stages around Times Square: Duffy Square, at 46th St. and Seventh Ave., and on Broadway between 45th and 48th Sts.

Curtain Up Broadway Festival, September 2021

Theater enthusiasts will be able to participate in “Chicago” and “Wicked” sing-alongs; dance with Alvin Ailey’s dancers in the “Revelation” workshop; enjoy dueling piano showdowns in one of the world’s most famous intersections; and watch the first-ever “Playbill: The Game Show,” where theater’s brightest stars will prove how much they know about Broadway.

The festival will also feature appearances by a standing ovation-worthy list of stars of the New York stage, including Norm Lewis, Rob Evan, N’Kenge, Jeanna de Waal, T. Oliver Reid, Conrad Ricamora, Morgan James and many more.

“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,” said Charlotte St. Martin, president of The Broadway League, the national trade association for the Broadway theater industry.

Norm Lewis at Curtain Up Broadway Festival, September 2021

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According to St. Martin, the glorious return of an industry that was severely affected by the pandemic is bringing a “newfound vibrancy to the city and its heart,” with more than 30 shows scheduled to bring their magic to theater lovers this season.

“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,” she said.

The Broadway celebration extravaganza is set to start on Friday, Sept. 30, at 2 p.m. At 5 p.m. the Broadway Block Party will invite participants to dance and sing to beloved Broadway classics in the heart of Manhattan.

Michael Urie at Curtain Up Broadway Festival, September 2021

On Saturday, a full day of events — including the game show, the dance workshop and a star-studded concert — will keep revelers entertained from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The festivities’ grand finale — “Curtain Up! LIVE from Broadway” — will spotlight talent from Broadway’s new season. Superstar director Sammi Cannold, who was named by Forbes in 2019 as one of its “30 Under30″ leaders in Hollywood and Entertainment, will serve as creative director. Tony Award winner Daryl Waters is taking over the show’s musical direction. The Broadway League will announce all participant shows at a later date.

The show will also air live on WABC-TV, organizers said.

For a full list of events, visit Playbill.com/CurtainUp.

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