Four Broadway stars are performing free pop-up concerts next week

Four Broadway stars will perform free pop-up concerts across Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn next week in a series called Broadway Forever.

Performers include 2022 Tony Award Nominee Shoshana Bean (Wicked, Waitress, Mr. Saturday Night), 2022 Tony Award Winner Matt Doyle (Company, Spring Awakening), Ashley de la Rosa (Hamilton, Mean Girls, Rent) and Jelani Remy (The Lion King, Ain’t Too Proud). Each 90-minute performance will also feature a surprise opening act from the local community.

Here’s the full schedule:

  • Tuesday, August 23, 3:30pm at Cooper Square Plaza (Lower Manhattan)
    Shoshana Bean, Tony nominee for Mr. Saturday Night will perform
  • Wednesday, August 24, 3:30pm at Diversity Plaza (Queens)
    Jelani Remy, current star of The Lion King will perform
  • Thursday, August 25, 3:30pm at Quisqueya Plaza (Upper Manhattan)
    Ashley de la Rosa, from Hamilton, Rent and Mean Girls will perform 
  • Friday, August 26, 3:30pm at Albee Square (Downtown Brooklyn)
    Matt Doyle, Tony winner for Company will perform
Headshots of each performer (from left-right): Matt Doyle, Shoshana Bean, Ashley de la Rosa, and Jelani Remy
Photograph: Courtesy of Broadway Forever | Performers include (from left-right): Matt Doyle, Shoshana Bean, Ashley de la Rosa, and Jelani Remy

Shoshana Bean told Time Out that she’s excited for the public concert series and “any opportunity to share art, to share music.” 

“It’s just so lovely to have a surprise experience of music, unexpected in a way, so I think that’s ultimately what we’re doing,” she said. “Any opportunity to connect and remind each other why this is the greatest city for this kind of stuff.”

That’s exactly the message event organizer NY Forever is trying to convey. NY Forever, a local nonprofit organization, hopes the series will honor performers and their tireless contributions to the essence of New York City. That message is especially important to the group as Broadway was one of the first industries impacted when the COVID-19 pandemic hit New York City in March 2020. 

We wanted to breathe Broadway back into the boroughs.

“We wanted to find a way to both celebrate what makes New York distinct and unique but then provide something to people across the boroughs,” Richard Mumby, founding board member of NY Forever, said. “We wanted to breathe Broadway back into the boroughs.” 

Broadway—and the arts in general—make a significant contribution to the city’s economy. New York’s arts and culture sector generates $120 billion and half a million jobs for the state. Broadway alone contributes $14.7 billion to the economy of New York City and supports over 96,000 jobs. Amid the pandemic, New York lost 50% of its performing arts jobs, more than any industry. This concert series is intended to spotlight the crucial work of the performing arts. 

The Broadway Forever initiative also includes a series of mini-documentaries starring members of the theater community, including A Strange Loop actress and 2022 Tony Award nominee L Morgan Lee. You can see those starting on Monday on NY Forever’s Instagram

NY Forever teamed up with City National Bank and is working in partnership with the New York City Department of Transportation to make the series possible. 

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