Times Square filled with music Sunday as the new Broadway season kicked off with the 20th "Broadway On Broadway" concert. NY1's Frank DiLella filed the following report.
Theater folks were dancing and singing in the street on Sunday as the free concert "Broadway On Broadway" kicked off the new theater season. Performers from upcoming musicals like "Motown" and the 2012 revival of "Annie" were on hand, along with stars from other shows.
The event has been produced by The Broadway League and the Times Square Alliance since 1992.
"This was created 20 years ago to celebrate the Democratic National Convention in New York City, and it was the first time they'd ever closed down Times Square, other than for New Year's Eve. And it was so successful, with 50,000 people showing up," said Charlotte St. Martin, the executive director of The Broadway League.
TV personality Kathie Lee Gifford was the emcee. She was also representing her latest project, a new musical called "Scandalous," for which she wrote the book and lyrics. "Scandalous" tells about the life and times of the late evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson.
"We just finished our first week of rehearsals. I'm in rewrite hell but I'm happy. Go figure, said Gifford.
At the start of the event, Mayor Michael Bloomberg unveiled the "Spotlight On Broadway" Initiative, a new series that celebrates the luminaries and history of the Great White Way.
Tony Award winners Chita Rivera and Tommy Tune were among those honored on Sunday for their contribution to the New York theater community.
"I think it's 55 years now that I've been working in the theater and it all started here on Broadway," said Tune.
"I'm really honored. I mean, it's New York, it's my home, it's the mayor. There are never enough words, really," said Rivera.
For more information on The Spotlight on Broadway series, visit www.spotlightonbroadway.com.