If you enjoyed our TOP 50 TONY AWARDS COUNTDOWN last month, there is more showstopping Broadway favorites coming up. As many of you know within the next 39 DAYS, it’s ready gonna be Thanksgiving as we ring in the holiday season. You know what that means?!!!
LET’S HAVE A PARADE!!! November 25th, 2021 will be Thanksgiving Morning where we get to wake up to celebrating New York’s legendary MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET. We of course are talking about The 2021 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. This year’s parade promises to be spectacular as it will be the first parade in 2 years to have spectators in-person. In case anyone may not know, last year’s event was cancelled for experiencing LIVE IN PERSON due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it was done as a combination of a pre-recorded and live event on NBC and CBS without the crowds and not that many participants.
With the world starting to make its way back to normal, this year’s edition promises to make up for all that lost time. The parade will include all of its notable moments including…..
The Giant Balloons,
High Energy Clowns,
Spectacular Marching Bands,
some of the biggest names in show business (Film, TV, and Music),
so much more.
However, the big highlighted moment when its comes to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade for us is……. THE BROADWAY PERFORMANCES!!! If you’ve seen the NBC telecasts, they are performed in front of the Macy’s store in Herald Square on 34th Street. Meanwhile the CBS telecast features the performances pre-recorded on location somewhere in NYC or at their Broadway Theater.
With the Broadway acts, we are pleased to announce beginning October 26th, 2021 on the 30 DAY mark…. we at New York Broadway Tours will be presenting our TOP 30 BROADWAY AT MACY’S COUNTDOWN.
Every morning leading to the parade, we will be sharing with you our favorite showstopping performances from Broadway’s biggest night of the year from both previous NBC and CBS telecasts of the parade. It will feature many of your favorite shows. Get ready to sing along, share your reactions, and excitement. We also will be giving some fun facts about the history of many of these unforgettable Musicals we all love.
The Parade will air traditionally both on NBC (in front of that famous Macy’s Store in Herald Square on 34th Street) and on CBS (live from Times Square).
Let’s celebrate the return of coming together once more and of course Broadway being back!!!!
NYBT’s head founder, creator, and tour guide Amada Anderson took part on a brand new podcast which was released yesterday…. It’s entitled IT’S HAPPENIN’ IN THE HAVEN. She shares her inspirational and motivational story coming to the Big Apple, her early beginnings, and the inspiration how she founded us…… New York Broadway Tours. They also talk about how she’s been able to balance being a tour guide, motherhood, and keeping herself active throughout the pandemic
In addition to us, Amada also started a 2nd Tour guide company up in Florida during the pandemic entitled Winter Haven Food Tours.
Amada will continue to rotate doing BOTH tours here in the Big Apple and in Florida.
HOW’S IT GOING BROADWAY FANS?! The celebration of Live Theater’s return continues. We are only 10 DAYS till Broadway’s biggest Night of the year – The 74th Annual Tony Awards. This is the moment we are about to reach our TOP 10 portion of our TOP 50 TONY AWARDS COUNTDOWN. We have an incredible lineup of legendary performances from previous telecasts in this lineup.
At # 10 on our countdown, we take you downtown to New York City’s bohemian lifestyle in the Alphabet City part of the East Village filled with struggling artists, drag queens, drug dealers, and people dying from serious diseases including HIV/AIDS in the late 80’s. This is Rent. An updated version of Puccini’s opera La Boheme, the show features a score and book by the late Jonathan Larson along with Billy Aronson.
From the 1996 telecast, here is the original Broadway cast performing a medley of 2 of the show’s anthems SEASONS OF LOVE & LA VIE BOHEME.
RENT was first conceived in the 80’s when a young aspiring composer by the name of Jonathan Larson met up with writer Billy Aronson who wanted to create an updated version of Puccini’s opera LA BOHEME set in present day New York City. Originally the story was set in SoHo but Larson knew that the show should be set in the area he was living at the time… New York’s East Village in the gritty area at the time of Bohemian Alphabet City. They began working on the project with Jonathan helping him out doing most of the work. From there, Larson and Aronson made a deal that if the show becomes a massive hit, Aronson would also share some of the credit. From there, Jonathan went to work on the show for many years while still working as a waiter at the Moondance Diner in SoHO. Larson was inspired by what was happening including his friends dying from serious conditions including AIDS which no one knew about at the time. He recorded many hours of cassette tapes and sent them out to numerous Theaters. Some approved and several rejected it. However his life changed when he came across a new Off Broadway house that just moved into the village at the time…. the New York Theatre Workshop. He got more information about the place before sending his demos to Jim Nicola (the artistic director) who replied really fast and accepted the piece. Nicola decided to give this new original rock musical a try. It went through many years of readings, workshops, and revamping before officially planning to launch a full scale production in 1996. Under the direction of Michael Grief, the team went to work on making the show a reality on stage.
Unfortunately for RENT’s road to the stage was very bittersweet and Jonathan Larson never lived to see RENT in it’s worldwide success. In the wee hours of the show’s first public preview performance at the New York Theatre Workshop, he unexpectedly died of an aortic aneurysm. Due to the emotional loss of their friend, the cast and creative team came together and decided to cancel the first preview to the public and instead invited all of Jonathan’s friends and family for a special memorial edition of the show. At the end of the show, there was a moment of silence and what broke it was a person in the audience cried out THANK YOU JONATHAN LARSON before erupting into a standing ovation.
RENT originally premiered downtown in a sold out run at the New York Theatre Workshop the next day before transferring to Broadway’s Nederlander Theatre playing a total of 5,124 performances. Under the direction of Michael Grief, the original cast featured…
The show went on to win 4 Tony Awards including Best Musical and Best Score (for Jonathan Larson received by his sister Julie Larson). It also became one of the few musicals ever to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
The show also brought more younger Theatergoers into the world of Theater. It also went on to play on 6 continents and translated into every major language.
Rent was later revamped as an Off Broadway revival in 2011 playing New World Stages for only 482 performances. The original revival cast featured…
FUN FACT: 90% of FOX’s RENT LIVE was actually pre-tapped. During the dress rehearsal, Brennin Hunt injured his foot during the end of WHAT YOU OWN. Despite his injury, the show still went on. However luckily the crew were prepared and used the archival dress rehearsal footage for most of the airing. During the actually technically live, the cast performed the 90% as a concert with Hunt in a wheelchair. The only parts where the show went live on the air was the entire final scene of the show and the encore of SEASONS OF LOVE (featuring the live TV production cast performing alongside the original Broadway cast). However, it received so much criticism from viewers and critics saying they should have used an understudy.
In addition, RENT opened the door for many of Broadway’s current acclaimed Tony Award winning and nominated writers including…
Today, RENT is still performed on tour across America, in schools, community, and regional theaters everywhere.
If you want to learn more about RENT and it’s road to Broadway. Be sure to join us on our INSPIRATION OF RENT WALKING TOUR where we’ll take you to some of the key locations in the East Village where Jonathan got RENT on its feet as well as places he was inspired by that he wrote about for the show.
Doesn’t this musical make you want to celebrate life?
On this new episode of Backstage with New York Broadway Tours, Amada had the pleasure to interview her school friend Lynne Abeles who is currently on Broadway as the Spanish Lady/Carlotta understudy. After seeing the show Amada meets with her backstage and then they enjoy tea and snacks at the famous Broadway cookie joint Schmackary’s. Hear what she shares about her experience working on Broadway as Carlotta and how she trained for the part. Also, the footage stopped taping but a huge CONGRATULATIONS to Lynne and her soon to be married bliss!!!! We caught the engagement ring on the video and she didn’t announce it yet. We wish you all the BEST Lynne! XOXOX