The countdown is on for the Curtain Up Broadway Festival, a free three-day event set to kick-off in Times Square September 30. With performances, sing-alongs, a block party, and more, theatre fans in NYC will have opportunities to see some of their favorite Broadway stars and shows perform in the heart of the theatre district throughout the weekend. Find out when you can see your favorites in the schedule below.
For more details, including a map of the festival’s activities, visit Playbill.com/CurtainUp.
Friday, September 30
2:00–3:00 PM – Official Curtain Up Kick-Off at the Main Stage
Hosted by John–Andrew Morrison and James Jackson, Jr., cast members from the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning A Strange Loop, Curtain Up Broadway Festival kicks-off with guest speakers from Playbill, The Broadway League, Times Square Alliance, The NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, and title sponsor Prudential. Performances will be part of the event by Broadway stars Norm Lewis (The Phantom of the Opera), Brittney Johnson (Wicked), and Kerry Butler (Beetlejuice), under the direction of music director James Sampliner. The event will ignite excitement on the main stage and include a celebratory countdown to the official event start.
3:00-3:30 PM – Chicago Sing-Along at the Broadway Dueling Pianos Stage
Hotcha! We’re playin’ songs fast and loose from the musical Chicago, currently celebrating 25 years on Broadway! Audiences can sing along to their favorite songs and “all that jazz” in the heart of Times Square led by pianist Scott Cady and Broadway cast member Haley Swindal.
3:45-4:15 PM – Wicked Sing-Along at the Broadway Dueling Pianos Stage
We couldn’t be happier to have pianist Paul Loesel and Broadway cast member Jesse JP Johnson lead a Wicked sing along. Audiences can sing along to the show’s thrillifying songs in the heart of Times Square.
4:30-5:00 PM – Little Shop of Horrors Sing-Along at the Broadway Dueling Pianos Stage
Join special guests from the three-time ‘Best Revival’ Award-winning production of Little Shop of Horrors as they lead audiences in a sing along of songs from the show!
5:00-6:30 PM – The Broadway Block Party at the Main Stage
Join Prudential, Playbill, and the Times Square Alliance as they celebrate the kick-off to Curtain Up Broadway Festival. Times Square will “ignite the night” with The Broadway Block Party, a large-scale street celebration that invites revelers to dance and sing to classic and contemporary Broadway songs and performances in the heart of New York City: Times Square. Guests will experience a celebration like no other while entertained by Broadway DJ Mike Borowski, guest performers Christine Dwyer (Wicked), Matt DeAngelis (Waitress), Apollo Levine (MJ), Tracee Beazer (Frozen), Raymond J Lee (Groundhog Day), and Lee Siegel (Paradise Square). Hosted by Bryan Campione, the party will feature additional music support from Dean DiMarzo.
6:30-8:00 PM – Broadway Sings: The Golden Age of Broadway at the Broadway Dueling Pianos Stage
Presented by Prudential, Curtain Up After Dark welcomes Broadway Sings: The Golden Age of Broadway. Join the Broadway Sings band and Broadway performers T. Oliver Reid (Hadestown), Conrad Ricamora (The King and I), Jessica Keenan Wynn (Beautiful), Morgan James (Motown the Musical), Jeanna de Waal (Diana), Corey Mach (Kinky Boots), Mary Kate Morrissey (Mean Girls), and Allison Semmes (Motown), and band members Kartes, Colin Dean, Hiroyuki Matsuura, Yayoi Ikawa, Clyde Daley, Matthew Jermiason, and Noah Vece as they present a concert filled with Broadway songs under the golden, setting sun. With hit Broadway songs “jazzed up,” audience members will help choose the next song using their mobile devices.
Saturday, October 1
10:30-11:15 AM – Ailey’s Revelations dance workshop at the Main Stage
Everyone can dance with Ailey! Join the processional through Duffy Square as Ailey’s West African drummers and dancers lead New Yorkers of all ages to the Curtain Up main stage, where you’ll learn modified excerpts of Alvin Ailey’s masterwork, Revelations. Participants are asked to wear comfy clothing.
11:15-11:45 AM – Kinky Boots Sing-Along at the Broadway Dueling Pianos Stage
Bring your glam, glimmer, and vocal energy to Times Square to sing along with a cast member from Kinky Boots to celebrate Broadway’s fan favorites songs, including music from the Kinky Boots score hosted by cast member Ryah Nixon and pianist Steven Cuevas.
12:30-2:00 PM – Belt It Out on Broadway Dueling Pianos presented by Prudential at the Broadway Dueling Pianos Stage
Join Prudential all weekend at Belt It Out On Broadway, a series of Dueling Piano show-downs held right in Times Square. From specially themed programs featuring Broadway stars to spirited sing-alongs, where audience members choose the tunes, rollicking good fun will be yours for the asking. This session will star pianists Michael McAssey and Rachel Kaufman.
1:00-1:30 PM – Playbill: The Game Show LIVE! at the Main Stage
Join us in Times Square as Broadway stars take part in the first-ever live Playbill: The Game Show, where theatre’s brightest stars prove how much they know about Broadway! Written by Aaron Fuksa and produced by Roberto Araujo, watch as Broadway participants Julia Murney (Wicked), Nic Rouleau (The Book of Mormon), and Shereen Pimentel (West Side Story) test their knowledge of all-things Broadway in a fun and fast-paced game, hosted by Christopher Sieber (Company) with Nicholas Connell on piano.
3:00-3:45 PM – Audible Theater presents Jason Gotay at the Main Stage
Jason Gotay takes the stage and sings selections from his Audible Original, Where You’ll Find Me, a musical narrative that honors the strong and dynamic women in his life with musicians Garrett Taylor (keys/music direction), Matt Hinkley (guitar), Alan Stevens Hewitt (bass), and Jeremy Yaddaw (drums). Gotay’s show coincides with the Curtain Up Broadway Festival and is playing at the Minetta Lane Theatre September 30—October 2. The Audible Theater performance, recorded live, will be available to stream on Audible later this year.
4:00-5:00 PM – Belt It Out on Broadway Dueling Pianos presented by Prudential at the Broadway Dueling Pianos Stage
Join Prudential all weekend at Belt It Out On Broadway, a series of Dueling Piano show-downs held right in Times Square. From specially themed programs featuring Broadway stars to spirited sing-alongs where audience members choose the tunes, rollicking good fun will be yours for the asking. This session will star pianists Michael McAssey and Drew Wutke.
5:00-6:30 PM – One Night Only, A Benefit Concert for The Entertainment Community Fund at the Main Stage
Join stage stars and celebrities for a one-night-only celebration of Broadway, benefiting the Entertainment Community Fund. Directed by Bryan Campione and Corey Mach with musical direction by Joshua Stephen Kartes, the concert will invite audiences in Times Square and online to share in song and celebration, all while raising money to support the Fund’s mission of fostering stability and resiliency and providing a safety net for performing arts and entertainment professionals over their lifespan. Hosted by Natalie Joy Johnson (Kinky Boots), special guests include Ann Harada (Into the Woods), Antwayn Hopper (A Strange Loop), Bobby Conte (Company), Carolee Carmello (1776), Christine Dwyer (Wicked), Christopher Sieber (Company), Corey Mach (Kinky Boots), Ginna Claire Mason (Wicked), Jarrod Spector (Beautiful), Javier Ignacio (Company), Jay Armstrong Johnson (The Phantom of the Opera), Jelani Remy (The Lion King), Jessica Hendy (Cats), Kelli Barrett (Getting The Band Back Together), Mary Kate Morrissey (Mean Girls), Santino Fontana (Tootsie), TikTok vocal sensation T.3, Jim Hogan (Kimberly Akimbo), Liam Fennecken (School of Rock), and Brendan Jacob Smith (The Simon & Garfunkel Story), along with with representatives from The Entertainment Community Fund and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. The One Night Only band includes Kartes, Yayoi Ikawa, Hiroyuki Matsuura, Colin Dean, Andy Buslovich, Rachel Lanskey, Erikka Walsh (Once), Nick Anton, Clyde Daley, Matthew Jermiason, and Amy Griffiths. Background vocalists include Charles Mayhew Miller, Jillian Kates, Kailey Boyle, and Matthew Henry Pitts.
6:30PM-8:00 PM – Rockers On Broadway: Live in Times Square at the Broadway Dueling Pianos Stage
Presented by Prudential, Curtain Up After Dark welcomes Rockers On Broadway: Live in Times Square, benefiting The PATH Fund. Join Broadway’s Donnie Kehr and his band as they rock the stage with Broadway and contemporary rock-n-roll hits, alongside special guests including Rob Evan (Jekyll & Hyde), N’Kenge (Caroline, Or Change), Michael Longoria (Jersey Boys), Jen Perry (Kinky Boots), Lauren Pritchard (Spring Awakening), Max Sangerman (Smokey Joe’s Café), Bligh Voth (The Band’s Visit), Jeremy Schonfeld, and Sam Behr, with additional support from managing director Cori Gardner. The concert’s band members include Kehr, Gary Bristol, Gary Seligson, Hidayat Honari, John Putnam, Behr, and Jay Leslie. Audiences can get in on the action and choose songs during the show by donating to The PATH Fund on their mobile devices.
Sunday, October 2
10:30 AM-1:00 PM – Curtain Up! LIVE from Broadway Concert at the Main Stage
Hosted by Amber Ruffin and Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Curtain Up! LIVE from Broadway will spotlight marquee talent and showcase Broadway musicals and plays, marking the culmination of the Curtain Up Broadway Festival. This concert will also air live on WABC, and is directed by Sammi Cannold, with music direction by Daryl Waters.
1:00-3:00 PM – Belt It Out on Broadway Dueling Pianos presented by Prudential at the Broadway Dueling Pianos Stage
Join Prudential all weekend at Belt It Out On Broadway, a series of Dueling Piano show-downs held right in Times Square. From specially themed programs featuring Broadway stars to spirited sing-alongs where audience members choose the tunes, rollicking good fun will be yours for the asking. This session will star pianist Drew Wutke and Franca Vercelloni.