Originally published at: Introducing the First Annual BROADWAY LIVE CINEMA FESTIVAL -
NEW YORK, NY) – In celebration of the highly-anticipated re-opening of Broadway theaters this fall, the Broadway Live Cinema Festival launches as a four-week film and live performance event honoring Broadway and movie musicals. The inaugural festival runs from July 15th through August 8th at the AMC Empire 25 Theater in Times Square, and will feature the award-winning classic films Chicago, West Side Story, The Wizard of Oz, Little Shop of Horrors and the acclaimed new release In The Heights. Each film will be presented as an immersive theatrical experience, where live performances by Broadway stars will be integrated into the classic Hollywood movie musicals. After the live cinema performance, audiences will be treated to exclusive access to 54 Below at the AMC Rooftop, where they can enjoy the outdoor after-party with top line talent curated by Feinstein’s/54 Below. The full lineup of performers will be announced at a later date.
“We at AMC are thrilled to be lighting up New York with The Broadway Live Cinema Festival, at the iconic AMC Empire 25,” said Elizabeth Frank, Executive Vice President, Worldwide Programming & Chief Content Officer, AMC Theatres. “This first-of-its-kind film festival featuring Broadway films will bring together American movie-going and theatre-going audiences for a fun and innovative experience that joins the magic of the big screen with the power of live performance.”
Broadway Live Cinema Festival’s footprint at AMC extends throughout the 4th floor of the theater – including a large lobby, replete with photo-ops on the red-carpet, and an adjacent 4,500 square foot outdoor rooftop, all of which are designed to enhance the fully immersive experience. 54 Below at the AMC Rooftop will feature separate star-studded presentations including performances, panels, star Q & A’s, and cabaret shows, that can be enjoyed following the film showing – all set against the majestic backdrop of the Times Square cityscape. Known for their unforgettable New York nightlife experiences, Feinstein’s/54 Below regularly attracts the brightest talent from Broadway and beyond, such as André DeShields, Ben Platt, Jennifer Holliday, Laura Benanti, Tony Danza, Lea Salonga, Norm Lewis, Lindsay Mendes, Bebe Neuwirth, and so many more.
The 2021 festival offerings are:
- In The Heights (2021), directed by Jon M. Chu
- Chicago (2002), the Oscar-winning Best Picture, directed by Rob Marshall
- Little Shop of Horrors (1986), the Oscar-nominated film directed by Frank Oz
- West Side Story (1961), directed by Robert Wise & Jerome Robbins
- The Wizard of Oz (1939), the Oscar-winning film directed by Victor Fleming
The in-cinema performance offerings of the inaugural festival will be directed by Tony Award nominee Kristin Hanggi (Rock of Ages, Bare) with musical direction by Tony Award winner Jason Michael Webb (Choir Boy). Each performance will feature unique choreography by some of Broadway’s most exciting talent, including Sunny Hitt (The Tempest), Luis Salgado (On Your Feet!, In The Heights), and additional choreographers to be announced. The creative team also features Production Design by Anita La Scala & Rob Bissinger (Magic Mike Live, Big Apple Circus), Projection Design by Tony Award Nominee Lucy Mackinnon (Jagged Little Pill), Sound Design by Matt Kraus (Kristin Chenoweth: My Love Letter To Broadway, “The Tonight Show”), and Lighting Design by Drama Desk Award Winner Amith Chandrashaker (Boesman and Lena, The Lucky Ones). The Casting Director is Stewart/Whitley (Hadestown, “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist” on NBC).
The Broadway Live Cinema Festival is produced by renowned playwright, director and producer Daniel Wise, Zvi Septimus, and Tony Award winner Jeff Croiter, in association with AMC Theaters. Feinstein’s/54 Below serves as a Partner and Rooftop Lounge Programmer (curated by Jennifer Ashley Tepper). The Executive Producer is MEP, who also provides General Management.
“This festival is a big, joy-filled, summer party, welcoming New York back to Broadway and the movies! This past year, we have lived through a collective trauma, and as we emerge, we recognize the power storytelling has to restore the spirit,” says Tony Award-nominated festival director Kristin Hanggi. “That is why we come together, sit in the dark, and listen to stories: because these art forms have the power to heal, uplift, and connect. Stories unify us. And so, this festival’s focus is on community: the community of Broadway, of New York, and of what it is to be human. This is an opportunity for us to celebrate the history of Broadway and cinema, as well as create a new, immersive hybrid art form as we honor where we’ve come from and look to where we want to go.”
“Social distancing makes the heart grow fonder,” says Producing Artistic Director of the festival Daniel Wise. “After a year pent up in isolation-streaming there’s a longing for real human bonding that live theatre brings. This watershed moment for both Broadway and Hollywood is an auspicious time to reintroduce the stage back into the movie theater to share our stories together as a community. See you when the stars come out…!”
Following this New York City launch, the Broadway Live Cinema Festival is set to expand, with recurring programming to run at multiple AMC Theaters across the nation.
Festival tickets will go on sale the week of June 7th. Tickets, packages, and experiences range from $24 to $109.
The Festival will follow CDC, state, and local COVID-19 protocols, including use of AMC’s Enhanced Safe & Clean practices.