In addition to Benanti (Gypsy, "Nashville"), the stage production stars Emmy Award-winning choreographer Derek Hough ("Dancing With the Stars"), Lenny Wolpe (Wicked, The Drowsy Chaperone, Bullets Over Broadway) and Jared Grimes (After Midnight, "Boardwalk Empire").
Stars of Stage, Screen and Fashion Walk the Red Carpet at New York Spring Spectacular, Starring Laura Benanti
New York Spring Spectacular began previews March 12 and runs through May 3. The production is jointly produced by Madison Square Garden Entertainment and Weinstein Live Entertainment.
The interactive musical spectacular helmed by Tony Award winners Warren Carlyle and Diane Paulus, along with Drama Desk Award winner Randy Weiner, is a completely revamped version of the show Heart and Lights, which was originally planned to open last spring, but was scuttled before performances began.
Emmy Award winner Mia Michaels, who makes her Broadway debut this season with Finding Neverland, choreographed the show's opening number. New York Spring Spectacular includes original songs, classics and pop hits, including the Taylor Swift single "Welcome to New York" and Kander and Ebb's "New York, New York." Tina Fey and Amy Poehler lend their voices as the Lion statues that guard the New York Public Library, while Whoopi Goldberg voices the Statue of Liberty puppet, and Bella Thorne voices the Alice in Wonderland statue.
Celebrities who make video cameos include 50 Cent, Odell Beckham Jr., Victor Cruz, Walt Frazier, John Leguizamo, Al Michaels, Kelly Ripa, Mariano Rivera, Sam Rosen, Carmelo Anthony, Henrik Lundqvist, Martha Stewart and Donald Trump.
Joshua Harmon, the young playwright who earned acclaim for Off-Broadway's Bad Jews, has written a new story for the stage show.
Here's how the new production is billed: "New York Spring Spectacular takes audiences on a whirlwind adventure across New York City while telling an inspiring and hopeful narrative about New Yorkers who change each other's lives in unexpectedly wonderful ways. Bernie, played by Wolpe, has been giving old fashioned tours of New York for decades, but his company was just bought by Jenna, played by Benanti, a whip smart techie with plans to fire Bernie and turn his tours into a virtual reality wonderland. Bernie is in trouble. Enter Jack, played by Hough, a spirited young man with a secret agenda of his own: If he can help Bernie keep his job, Jack will get an eternal reward."