Multimedia: WE WILL BE BACK Pop-Up Performance in Times Square – André De Shields, BD Wong, Chita Rivera, Matthew Broderick, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Joel Grey, Derrick Baskin, Charl Brown, Nikki M. James, Kelvin Moon Loh, Joél Pérez, Peppermint, Lillias White, Tamara Tunie, Solea Pfeiffer, Sahr Ngaujah, Orville Mendoza, Karla Garcia, Jackie Cox, Broadway Inspirational Voices and more

The theater community reunited on March 12, 2021 in Times Square exactly one year to the day since Broadway shut-down for “We Will Be Back,” a special live pop-up experience and commemoration of Broadway’s “lost year.” Photo by Lia Chang

The theater community reunited on March 12, 2021 in Times Square exactly one year to the day since Broadway shut-down for “We Will Be Back,” a special live pop-up experience and commemoration of Broadway’s “lost year.”

André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

Broadway stars André De Shields, BD Wong, Chita Rivera, Matthew Broderick, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Joel Grey, Derrick Baskin, Charl Brown,  Kelvin Moon Loh, Joél Pérez, Peppermint, Lillias White, Nikki M. James, Solea Pfeiffer, Tamara Tunie, Sahr Ngaujah, Doug Wright, Jerry Mitchell, Robyn Hurder, Karla Garcia, Orville Mendoza, Jackie Cox, Michael McElroy and the Broadway Inspirational Voices and more were on hand for the joyful and inspiring event featuring song, dance, costumes, musicians and more in Times Square, the heart of New York City.

The event aimed to provide a sense of hope as the industry and city move forward from the challenges brought on by the past year, by shining a spotlight on the arts workers who suffered during the theatre’s darkest hours as well as celebrating the sense of community and diversity within the arts environment that mirrors that of New York City itself.

Matthew Broderick and Tom Viola. Photo by Lia Chang

While the arts community has many months ahead before uniting in theatres once again, “We Will Be Back” provided the opportunity to safely and ceremoniously come together on Broadway, live and in-person, for a special one-time-only performance representing a myriad of arts and culture workers, unions, and individuals that comprise the Broadway community.

Derrick Baskin and Brian Stokes Mitchell. Photo by Lia Chang

The event is sponsored by Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Kaleidoscope Entertainment, NYCNext, and the Times Square Alliance, executive produced by Blake Ross and directed and produced by Holly-Anne Devlin of Kaleidoscope, with musical direction by Jacob Yates and choreography by Kellen Stancil.

WE WILL BE BACK Producer and Director Holly-Anne Devlin and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

Below is my photo and video coverage of the performances and speeches by Producer and Director Holly-Anne Devlin, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS Executive Director Tom Viola, Tamara Tunie, BD Wong, Nikkole Salter, Joel Grey, Chita Rivera and André De Shields.

Performance:
“On Broadway” (Presented with support of author George Benson) is performed by Derrick Baskin, Charl Brown, Kelvin Moon Loh, and Joél Pérez and is arranged by Jacob Yates. Watch below:

Derek Baskin and Joél Pérez. Photo by Lia Chang
Joél Pérez. Photo by Lia Chang
Joél Pérez and Derrick Baskin. Photo by Lia Chang
Joél Pérez and Derrick Baskin. Photo by Lia Chang
Joél Pérez. Photo by Lia Chang
Charl Brown and Kelvin Moon Loh. Photo by Lia Chang
Charl Brown and Kelvin Moon Loh. Photo by Lia Chang

Video: Brian Stokes Mitchell Introduces ‘ON BROADWAY’ Featuring Kelvin Moon Loh, Derrick Baskin, Charl Brown, Joél Pérez at WE WILL BE BACK 

Performance:
“Home” (From “The Wiz” Presented with support of Michael Smalls, son of author Charlie Smalls) is performed by Lilias White, Nikki M. James, Peppermint, and Solea Pfeiffer and is arranged by Jacob Yates. Watch below:

Peppermint, Lillias White, Derrick Baskin and the WE WILL BE BACK Dancers. Photo by Lia Chang
Lillias White. Photo by Lia Chang
Nikki M. James. Photo by Lia Chang
Peppermint. Photo by Lia Chang
Solea Pfeiffer. Photo by Lia Chang

Video: ‘HOME’ Featuring Lillias White, Nikki M. James, Miss Peppermint and Solea Pfeiffer at WE WILL BE BACK 

Speeches by Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS Executive Director Tom Viola and Tamara Tunie

Tamara Tunie. Photo by Lia Chang

Performance:
“We Will Be Back” (Music, Lyrics and Musical Direction by Allen René Louis): Featuring Broadway Inspirational Voices: Danielle Chambers, Casey Erin Clark, Allyson Kaye Daniel, Laura Dean, Angela DeCicco, Chris Dilley, Lucia Giannetta, Angela Grovey, Kimberly JaJuan, Zonya Love, Jason McCollum, John Eric Parker, Kris Roberts, Desiree Rodriguez, Ben Roseberry, Will Stone, Anne Fraser Thomas, Danielle K. Thomas, Virginia A Woodruff, and Christopher Zelno. Watch below:

Broadway Inspirational Voices. Photo by Lia Chang
Virginia Woodruff and the Broadway Inspirational Voices. Photo by Lia Chang
Broadway Inspirational Voices. Photo by Lia Chang

Video: Tamara Tunie Introduces Broadway Inspirational Voices’ Performance of Allen René Louis’ ‘We Will Be Back’ at Broadway Reunion Celebration in Times Square 

Speeches by BD Wong, Nikkole Salter, Joel Grey, Chita Rivera, André De Shields

BD Wong. Photo by Lia Chang
BD Wong. Photo by Lia Chang

BD Wong discussed advocacy organizations Be An Arts Hero and the Costume Industry Coalition. Nikkole Salter, representing The Dramatists Guild of America, shared a portion of her letter for arts relief to President Biden and Vice President Harris that Arts workers are essential to America. Watch below:

Costumes from Ain’t Too Proud, Moulin Rouge! The Musical, Six, Phantom of the Opera, and Wicked displayed in and around the performers were built by members of the Costume Industry Coalition, which represents 55 small businesses that make, supply and care for Broadway costumes.

Costumes from WICKED. Photo by Lia Chang
Costumes from SIX. Photo by Lia Chang
Costumes from PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. Photo by Lia Chang
Costumes from MOULIN ROUGE! THE MUSICAL. Photo by Lia Chang
Costume from AIN’T TOO PROUD. Photo by Lia Chang
Joel Grey. Photo by Lia Chang
Chita Rivera and Joel Grey. Photo by Lia Chang
Chita Rivera and Joel Grey. Photo by Lia Chang
Chita Rivera and Joel Grey. Photo by Lia Chang
Chita Rivera. Photo by Lia Chang
Chita Rivera and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Chita Rivera and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

Performance:
“Magic to Do” (Written by Stephen Schwartz and performed with his support) is arranged by Tom Kitt and performed by André De Shields, Brandon Nase, Heath Saunders, Kathryn Gallagher, Ryann Redmond, Charl Brown, Bre Jackson, Michael Fatica, Anna Uzele, Olivia Valli, Gerry McIntyre, Kris Coleman, Orville Mendoza, and featuring Jackie Cox, with supporting vocals by Broadway Inspirational Voices.

André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Kathryn Gallagher, Brandon Nase, Bre Jackson. Photo by Lia Chang
Michael Fatica. Photo by Lia Chang
Orville Mendoza. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields, Karla Garcia. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields, Karla Garcia, Brandon Case. Photo by Lia Chang
Ryann Redmond, André De Shields, Kathryn Gallagher, Brandon Nase. Photo by Lia Chang
Jackie Cox. Photo by Lia Chang
Ryann Redmond, André De Shields, Kathryn Gallagher, Brandon Nase, Bre Jackson. Photo by Lia Chang
Ryann Redmond, André De Shields, Kathryn Gallagher, Brandon Nase, Bre Jackson.. Photo by Lia Chang
Ryann Redmond, André De Shields, Kathryn Gallagher, Brandon Nase, Bre Jackson. Photo by Lia Chang

Dancers led by choreographer Kellen Stancil feature Julius Anthony Rubio, Keely Bierne, Karla Garcia, Tyler Eisenreich, Lloyd Boyd, Ryan Worsing, Rosie Fiedelman, Samantha Farrow, Michael Graceffa, and Whitney Cooper.

Karla Garcia and the WE WILL BE BACK DANCE COMPANY. Photo by Lia Chang
Karla Garcia and the WE WILL BE BACK Dancers. Photo by Lia Chang
WE WILL BE BACK Dancers. Photo by Lia Chang
Karla Garcia and the WE WILL BE BACK Dancers. Photo by Lia Chang
WE WILL BE BACK Dancers. Photo by Lia Chang
Karla Garcia and the WE WILL BE BACK Dancers. Photo by Lia Chang
Karla Garcia and the WE WILL BE BACK Dancers. Photo by Lia Chang
Karla Garcia and the WE WILL BE BACK Dancers. Photo by Lia Chang

Featured musicians led by Jacob Yates included Aurelien Budyne and Justin Vance. And background vocalists feature Cameron Hill, Mia Gerachis, Melissa Rose Hirsch, Shaunice Alexander and Kim Blank, Ben Toomer, Josh Tolle, John Batt, Anthony Murphy and Julian Decker.

Michael Fatica, Orville Mendoza, Bre Jackson and Gerry McIntyre. Photo by Lia Chang

Video: Chita Rivera, Joel Grey and ‘MAGIC TO DO’ with André De Shields, Jackie Cox and the WE WILL BE BACK Company 

As the pop-up performance ended, André De Shields, Lillias White & Sahr Ngaujah sang ”New York, New York” at WE WILL BE BACK in Times Square.

Sahr Ngaujah, Lillias White, and André De Shields sing ‘NEW YORK, NEW YORK’. Photo by Lia Chang

“We Will Be Back” includes contributions from the variety of institutions and organizations that make Broadway what it is, including: Broadway Inspirational Voices, RRR Creative, Dominick Costa (Merchant’s Hospitality), Judi Wilfore (leading front of house, ushers, company managers and concessions efforts), Be An Arts Hero, Black Theatre United, The Costume Industry Coalition, Broadway For Racial Justice, The Dramatists Guild, Black Theatre Coalition, Local 802, The Casting Society of America, The New York Drama Critics Circle, Local 764, ATPAM, Open Jar Studios, Stars in the House, New York Drama Critics and The Marriott Marquis. Special thanks to Times Square champions, Senator Brad Hoylman, Erik Bottcher, District Leader Marisa Redanty, and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer.

Allen René Louis, Marcus Paul James, André De Shields and Debbie McIntyre. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields and Eric Lockley. Photo by Lia Chang
Erick Lockley and Nikkole Salter. Photo by Lia Chang
John Eric Parker, Tom Viola and Nikki M. James. Photo by Lia Chang
John Eric Parker, Tom Viola and Nikki M. James. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields and Julie James. Photo by Lia Chang
Virginia Woodruff and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Marcus Paul James, Lillias White,Allen René Louis and Virginia Woodruff. Photo by Lia Chang

The event organizers are collectively responsible for producing dozens of events all over the city during the pandemic including pop ups in the five boroughs and October’s Times Square Event featuring Bernadette Peters and 50 fellow artists singing on the red steps over TKTS in Times Square’s Father Duffy Square.

André De Shields and Jackie Cox. Photo by Lia Chang

“We Will Be Back” was supported by New Tradition Media, Clear Channel Outdoor, Our Man In Havana, and Treadwell Park. Masks are designed and donated by Christian Siriano and accessories are donated by H&M.

Theatermania: We Will Be Back: Springtime for Broadway After the COVID Winter

NYtimes: ‘We’ll Be Back,’ Broadway Says, on Shutdown Anniversary

Broadwayworld: Photo Coverage: Go Inside ‘We Will Be Back’- A Broadway Celebration in Times Square!

Playbill: Watch as the Broadway Community Reunites in Times Square, 1 Year Later, for We Will Be Back 

Vulture: Chita Rivera, André De Shields, Joel Grey, and More Did a Pop-Up Broadway Show on Friday

André De Shields and Lia Chang. Photo by Eric Lockley

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia has appeared in the filmsWolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. 

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2020 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

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