Producers of the 73rd Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade say this year's festivities will feature a "galaxy of stars from stage, screen and television" as well as the parade's 12 giant balloons, 19 novelty balloons, 26 floats, six toy floats, six of macy's special "falloons," 14 marching/novelty bands and 35 clown units.
The parade festivities included celebrity rehearsals Nov. 23 and 24 in Herald Square. The parade starts at the American Museum of Natural History on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, goes south on Central Park West to Columbus Circle, then down Broadway for the second leg of its journey, continuing south to the Macy's flagship store in Herald Square at 34th Street. The nationwide three-hour NBC telecast of the Thanksgiving Day Parade will be telecast from 9 AM to 12 Noon from coast to coast (live EST and on tape-delay throughout the rest of the nation).
There will be a "performance hour" running simultaneously with the first hour of the actual parade as it begins moving downtown along Central Park West. During this time, Broadway casts will perform in Herald Square for the TV cameras.
The special Broadway highlights will include performances by cast members from Saturday Night Fever, Swing!, Ragtime, Kiss Me, Kate, and Fosse, with commentary by NBC's “Today” show hosts Katie Couric, Matt Lauer and Al Roker.
From various production sources, Playbill On-Line has learned that Ragtime's parade appearance will be unique among the Broadway shows because it will be delivered from one of the actual floats that travels the entire parade route. Eleven cast members from Ragtime will ride their float while performing in-sync to a track of the song "Our Children" which they recorded last week. When they arrive at Herald Square, the cast will perform from the float for the television audience. The remainder of the Broadway shows will perform in Herald Square during the 9-10 AM performance hour.
The full cast of Swing! will perform the finale of that show, featuring "Swing, Brother Swing!," "Sing, Sing, Sing" and "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)." Kiss Me, Kate's Hattie, played by Adrianne Lenox, will be joined by other cast members in a performance of "Another Openin', Another Show." Cast members from Fosse will perform "Blackbird," while members of Saturday Night Fever will be performing the Bee Gees' hit, "Night Fever."
Further information on the Parade can be obtained by calling the Macy's Parade Hotline at (212) 494-5247 or via the World Wide Web at macyparade.com.
-- By Murdoch McBride