One of the biggest challenges for aspiring theatre performers in New York City is simply getting in front of a live audience and being seen.
To that end Shawn Kent, founder and CEO of the entertainment company Engage Art Presents, created Broadway Tonight!, a new cabaret at the west end of 42nd Street in Manhattan at Treehaus MiMa, in February 2017. The biweekly showcase offers performances by rising Broadway singers and actors. Shows are scheduled for alternate Mondays in the performing space at the the West Side Manhattan gourmet food market, also called Treehaus MiMa.
“Audiences crave closeness to artists,” Kent told Playbill. ”And with artists having overcome so much to succeed, its seems a perfect match to combine performance with heartfelt stories about what it takes to make it. That, along with, laughter, games and fun, Broadway Tonight! aims to support and grow interest in theatre.”
To do that, the actors perform in a 90-minute late-night-show format: performing, sharing stories, and otherwise engaging with audiences, “to give a unique understanding of life on stage and secret stories of life off stage.” The next show is scheduled for 7:30 PM June 26, with subsequent performances set for July 10, July 24 and August 7.
Featured talent June 26 includes Kimber Sprawl (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical), Adam Hyndman (Aladdin), and one more name to be announced. The event is hosted by Jelani Remy (Simba in The Lion King) and Jesse Corbin (Off-Broadway’s The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe).
Kent said that while the showcase is currently exclusive to midtown west, he aims to expand the concept to clubs around New York.
Treehaus MiMa is located on 42nd Street near Tenth Avenue. Tickets are free but must be ordered in advance at Broadway-tonight.com. Ticket holders receive a 20 percent discount on groceries purchased after the show at the adjacent Treehaus Organic Market. During the show Treehaus sells light fare, wine, and beer.