MANHATTAN, N.Y. – Broadway isn’t only back in theaters — it’s made its return to Bryant Park, too.
The free show drew in hundreds of people to the park’s lawn on Thursday.
Ryan Katon-Donegal said he enjoys both the outdoor and traditional indoor shows. This is his fifth time at the Bryant Park performances.
“Not everyone can afford to see it because the tickets are so expensive, so to have it out here in the park, I think it’s a great opportunity,” Katon-Donegal said.
106.7 Lite FM radio hosts Cubby Bryant and Christine Nagy hosted the event.
“We’re out of the house,” Bryant said. “It’s odd.”
“Yeah, that hasn’t happened for a couple of years,” Nagy joked. “Super exciting, of course, Lite FM is here to welcome back Broadway. We are so thrilled to welcome back theatre. We’ve got 13 shows here today. It’s amazing.”
Broadway in Bryant Park has been happening for 21 years, but was canceled last year because of COVID-19. It was a big loss — the shows used to be weekly.
“Well, we’ve missed all of this year just about, so why not cram a bunch in one day only? And that’s today,” Bryant said. “We’re just so happy about it.”
Some of the performances included Lion King and Mrs. Doubtfire.
Fan-favorite Rob McClure will play the title role in Mrs. Doubtfire, and said he never anticipated how emotional the return would be.
“It’s been 18 months of grieving, grieving lives, grieving loss, grieving the loss of our show, grieving the loss of doing the thing we feel like we were born to do,” McClure said.
The show had three previews before the March 2020 shutdown.
McClure said do not expect a Robin Williams impression from him, though.
“It will never be what Robin Williams is and was and the legacy he left us,” McClure added. “He is a master. There is no bigger fan of him than I, but what I am setting out to do is I hope to make the audience feel the way I remember him making me feel.”
Previews begin on Oct. 21 at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre with opening night on Dec. 5.