MANHATTAN (PIX11) — Broadway‘s most popular musicals have descended on Bryant Park — for free — for the first time since the pandemic.

Not even the summer scorcher on Thursday stopped hundreds of parkgoers of all ages from showing up in droves for a taste of Broadway. Instead of flashing lights, it was more of a casual scene.

The performance was the first installment of a four-week series presented by Light FM and iHeart Radio Broadway, and the performers didn’t miss a beat.

The day also held a special meaning for the cast of the “Lion King.” The show is celebrating its 25th year and it’s one of Broadway’s longest-running productions. Jelani Remy, who plays Simba, belted out some of the show’s iconic songs.

The lunchtime theater event runs every Thursday from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 through Aug. 25. For more information, visit