Broadway Returns With Star-Studded, Pop-Up Performance and Online Play Revivals

NBC Universal, Inc.

Broadway theaters may be dark, but performers are bringing life back to New York City in a few new ways.

Theater stars like Andrew Rannells, Norm Lewis and Bernadette Peters took to Times Square on Wednesday for a pop-up performance of "Sunday" from Stephen Sondheim's "Sunday in the Park with George." They socially distanced on the red steps of Duffy Square and belted the song through face shields.

"It was just important to remind folks that we're still here and that we're trying to figure out the safest and smartest way back," said Rannells.

Peters, who starred in the shows original production in 1984, says the song has a special meaning for her and added that she hopes the performance will also help heal those who got to see it.

NYCNext, the organizer of the performance, said Wednesday's show was just the first of many. It hopes performances like this will offer hope for actors left jobless and Broadway patrons alike.

"Someone just asked me recently, 'what do you see for the hope of New York?'" said Lewis. "It's all about community and this is proving it right here."

Fortunately, theater fans don't have to be in the Big Apple to enjoy new performances. There will be plenty of online productions of some of classic plays this fall with some starry self-isolating actors, including Matthew Broderick, Morgan Freeman, Patti LuPone, Laura Linney and David Alan Grier.

Producer Jeffrey Richards on Wednesday unveiled a weekly play run of livestreamed works to benefit The Actors Fund. They will stream on Broadway’s Best Shows and ticket buyers can access the events through TodayTix starting at $5. The series will last seven weeks.

The push begins Oct. 14 with Gore Vidal's “The Best Man” starring Matthew Broderick, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Zachary Quinto, Phylicia Rashad, Vanessa Williams, Reed Birney, Stacy Keach and Elizabeth Ashley.

On Oct. 20, a production of Kenneth Lonergan’s “This Is Our Youth" will star Lucas Hedges, Paul Mescal and Grace Van Patten. David Mamet’s ”Race" is up on Oct. 29, starring David Alan Grier and Ed O’Neill.

Mamet’s “Boston Marriage” is slated for Nov. 12 with Patti LuPone and Rebecca Pidgeon. A revival of Anton Chekhov’s “Uncle Vanya” an adapted by Neil LaBute follows on Nov. 19 with Alan Cumming, Samira Wiley, Constance Wu and Ellen Burstyn.

On Dec. 3, the original Broadway cast of Donald Margulies’ “Time Stands Still” reunites with Eric Bogosian, Brian d’Arcy James, Laura Linney and Alicia Silverstone. The last effort is Robert O’Hara’s “Barbecue” on Dec. 10 with Carrie Coon, Colman Domingo, S. Epatha Merkerson, Laurie Metcalf, David Morse and Kristine Nielsen.

Copyright NBC New York/Associated Press
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