The third-annual Curtain Up Broadway Festival will return to Times Square this weekend to bring the razzle-dazzle of the Great White Way to the streets through free performances and interactive events.
The Times Square Alliance, Playbill, and the Broadway League will kick off the festival starting Friday, Sept. 8 at 2:30 p.m., with guest speakers and hosts, special performances, and more at Duffy Square. The festival will continue between 45th and 47th Streets.
Tom Harris, president of the Times Square Alliance, stated that the Curtain Up Broadway Festival — launched in September 2021, as Broadway reopened from pandemic closures — is a thrilling way to kick off the new Broadway season and the revitalization of Times Square.
“We continue to see regularly over 400,000 people pass through Times Square each day,” Harris said. “Our hope is that throughout the three-day festival, we will see Broadway fans from near and far enjoying this free programming in the heart of Times Square.”
The Curtain Up Main Stage will host the biggest performances of the weekend including the official kick-off celebration, Broadway block parties, competitions, a concert celebrating the Latin and Hispanic theater community, and the finale concert featuring more than 20 current and upcoming shows.
The festival will bring dozens of guest hosts, speakers, and performers. Attendees can join in on intimate sing-along concerts ranging from acoustic to Sondheim to “Wicked,” Dueling Piano show downs, a Chita Rivera celebration with a performance by Chita herself, a West African dance workshop, and rock-n-roll jams.
An aspiring artist also has the chance to win up to $10,000 and financial advice from a Prudential advisor in a “Now What?” singing contest judged by theatre professionals including Tara Rubin and Allen René Louis. Brittney Johnson, the Broadway star who plays the title role of Glinda in “Wicked,” will host the contest.
For the full schedule and lineup, visit timessquarenyc.org/curtain-up. All events are free, open to the public, and scheduled to take place, rain or shine.