On Sunday, Dec. 7, just hours after the first blizzard of the season ended, Booth Theatre head carpenter Tommy Manoy helped set and secure the Broadway Holiday Tree in Duffy Square. Many volunteers braved the cold and spent the rest of the day decorating the tree in preparation of today's event.
The Dec. 10 ceremony, which begins at 5:15 PM, will kick off with a performance by Hairspray's Kathy Brier and "The Dynamites" — Tracee Beazer, Judine Richard and Shayna Steele — who will offer a holiday reworking of "Welcome to the Sixties." Two Broadway veterans, John Lithgow and Eartha Kitt, will then light the holiday tree.
The event, which is expected to draw performers from nearly all Broadway and Off-Broadway shows, will also include the presentation of a $5,000 gift to the Professional Performing Arts School. The New York City public school, grades 6-12, provides "performing arts instruction in an academically rigorous school setting." Twenty-five students from the school will close the Holiday Tree ceremony with a performance of "Christmas in About Three Minutes."
The annual ceremony — held in Duffy Square (Broadway and 46th Street) — is free and open to the public.
John Lithgow is currently starring in The Retreat From Moscow at the Booth Theatre. He won Tony Awards for his work in The Changing Room and Sweet Smell of Success. Lithgow also received Tony nominations for Requiem for a Heavyweight and M. Butterfly. Eartha Kitt recently joined the Broadway company of Nine, replacing Chita Rivera as Liliane La Fleur. A world-renowned concert artist and actress, Kitt has appeared on Broadway in Bal Negre, Leonard Silliman's New Faces of 1952, Mrs. Patterson, Shinbone Alley, Jolly's Progress, Timbuktu! and The Wild Party. She received her first Tony nomination for her performance in Timbuktu! and her second for her work in The Wild Party.
Sponsored by Theatre Development Fund, The League of American Theatres and Producers and The Times Square Business Improvement District, the ceremony is free and open to the public. Duffy Square is located at the corner of Broadway and 46th Street.