Theater community reunites for pop-up show in Times Square exactly one year after Broadway went dark due to pandemic

“We Will Be Back,” which occurred on Friday, intended to support the arts and shine a spotlight on the countless individuals that work in the Broadway market.

“We contribute $19 billion to the New York state economy alone, and we haven’t been given any funding,” Holly-Anne Devlin, director and manufacturer of “We Will Be Back,” informed CNN. “This is really to show people that we’re here and we need support, and we have love for our city.”

All 41 Broadway theaters have actually been closed because March 12, 2020. While Broadway has actually gone dark prior to such as after the 9/11 terrorist attacks or due to strikes, the suspension of programs due to the Covid-19 pandemic has actually been the longest shutdown in its history, costing many tasks and countless dollars.

With the aid of sponsors, consisting of Broadway Cares/Equity Combats AIDS, Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment, NYCNext and the Times Square Alliance, Devlin stated she and Executive Manufacturer Blake Ross raised $32,500, which approached paying arts employees who added to the occasion, consisting of the entertainers, artists, front of home employees and outfit market union employees.

The cash raised likewise assisted spend for pre-production preparations, consisting of studio time to pre-record music, style work for the signboards in Times Square and purchase PPE for all entertainers, Devlin stated.

Different contributions likewise assisted the production come to life. For instance, Devlin stated American designer Christian Siriano contributed 125 custom-made made masks created particularly for the pop-up program.

Devlin stated she spent seven to eight weeks preparing for the production, and performers had approximately one to two weeks to get ready.

The event consisted of four musical numbers and featured appearances from numerous Broadway stars, including André De Shields, Chita Rivera, BD Wong and Matthew Broderick.

“We’re up against this hidden virus, and to be able to actually sing out loud and see the joy that it brings to people again after so long … this reunion of sorts and this celebration of what is to come is something that will stick with the rest of my life,” Tony Award nominee Charl Brown, who sang the opening number for Friday’s performance, told CNN.

Brown stated the performance’s location was also significant, calling Times Square “the place of dreams, the place where every young kid who dreams of being on Broadway thinks of.”

People walk in the Theater District in Manhattan as theaters remain shuttered due to Covid-19 pandemic on May 13, 2020 in New York City.

“New York will very soon be a safe place to come back to and enjoy the arts and entertainment,” Brown said. “And we can’t do it without people coming here to see us.”

Broadway will most likely not be opening again in theaters for several more months, Devlin said. However, entertainers prepare to continue these pop-up reveals to advise the general public that completion is near, and they will be back quickly.

CNN’s Alicia Lee added to the report.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.