PHOTO SPECIAL: From Hello, Dolly! to Matilda, Playbill Looks Back at Memorable Thanksgiving Day Parade Performances

News   PHOTO SPECIAL: From Hello, Dolly! to Matilda, Playbill Looks Back at Memorable Thanksgiving Day Parade Performances
A number of this season's Broadway shows will be spotlighted during the NBC telecast of the 88th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which will be broadcast Nov. 27 at 9 AM ET. Veteran press agent Adrian Bryan-Brown and Playbill photographer Joseph Marzullo share some favorite photos from past parades.


"I have been going to watch the balloons in the Parade since I was a teenager," says Bryan-Brown. "The first Parade I worked was in 1985 when Daniel Jenkins and Ron Richardson, stars of the Tony Award-winning Big River rode the old river-boat float down the parade route pausing in Herald Square to sing a very abbreviated 'Muddy Water.'"

"I was meant to drop the actors off at the top of the parade on Central Park West and then meet them down on 34th Street at the finish. The kids who were meant to be turning the paddle wheels from inside the float decided that it was too cold and went home, so I jumped on and rode along. The waving and shouting from the families along the route was a real buzz. The actors were surprised that they were so recognized and we figured it may have been due to a new TV commercial that had just gone into heavy rotation a couple of months earlier." "Most important tip if you are on a float in the parade. Be very careful how much fluid you drink for breakfast. It's a long journey without a bathroom to Herald Square!"

* Matt Lauer, Al Roker and Savannah Guthrie of NBC’s “Today” will anchor the three-hour broadcast.

As previously reported, the parade will feature performances from the casts of Honeymoon in Vegas, A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, The Last Ship, On the Town and Side Show as well as a preview from "Peter Pan Live!"

According to a Macy's spokesperson, A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder will offer "I've Decided to Marry You," Honeymoon in Vegas will perform "When You Say Vegas," the cast of The Last Ship, joined by Grammy-winning composer Sting, will sing "Show Some Respect," On the Town will perform the classic "New York, New York," and the stars of Side Show will present "Ready to Play." The preview performance of NBC's "Peter Pan Live!" will include "I Won't Grow Up" and "Pirate's March."

Others scheduled to perform include Tony winner Idina Menzel, The Rockettes and Nick Jonas.

Philadelphia's Taney Dragons will lead the procession down the streets of Manhattan with Macy’s Parade executive producer Amy Kule.

TV watchers can also expect to enjoy appearances and/or performances by the Big Apple Circus, Before You Exit, William Blake, Sabrina Carpenter, Cirque du Soleil, Renee Fleming, Becky G., Lucy Hale, KISS, Sandra Lee, The Madden Brothers, Miss USA 2014- Nia Sanchez, MKTO, the cast and Muppets of "Sesame Street," NEEDTOBREATH, NHL legends John LeClair and Pat LaFontaine, Pentatonix, Romeo Santos, Cole Swindell, Meghan Trainor, The Vamps, Quvenzhané Wallis and more.

“Like turkey dinner and gathering with family, tradition means everything on Thanksgiving and we’re thrilled to once again telecast the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade,” said Doug Vaughan, executive vice president, Special Programs and Late Night, NBC Entertainment, in a previous statement. “It’s an annual heartwarming event that helps celebrate the holiday season.”

The upcoming parade will also boast 16 giant character balloons; 33 novelty/ornament balloons, balloonicles, balloonheads and trycaloons; 27 floats; 1,300 cheerleaders and dancers; 1000 clowns; 12 marching bands; and a host of celebrity performers.

“This is a record breaking year for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, as we debut the largest new cast of giant character balloons ever assembled, along with five amazing new floats. Tens of millions of spectators will be amazed by what we have in store,” stated Amy Kule, executive producer of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. “In addition to an incredible line up of celebrity performers, America’s best high school and college marching bands, hundreds of dancers, cheerleaders, clowns, and balloon handlers, we are adding some new layers of interactivity to the Parade for the first time this year. From live cameras on a float capturing special moments along the route to incredible 360-degree panoramic photos where fans can find themselves part the action, and finally, through our Confetti Carpet, the behind the scenes look at the starting line with our celebrity performers; we are bringing the Macy’s Parade closer to audiences in New York City and in homes across the country.”

In celebration of the 75th anniversary of the film classic, balloonheads of "The Wizard of Oz" characters will also make a special appearance.

The 88th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will step-off at 77th Street and Central Park West. The procession will travel down to Columbus Circle, turn onto Central Park South and march down 6th Avenue/Avenue of the Americas to 34th Street. At 34th Street, the Parade will make its final turn west and end at 7th Avenue in front of Macy’s Herald Square.

For more information visit

Today’s Most Popular News: