Okay, so two shows have already opened this Broadway season, Voices in the Dark and Kat and the Kings. But the season truly goes into gear with the eighth annual "Broadway on Broadway" concert, happening this year on Sept. 12 at noon in the heart of Times Square.
A way of reminding audiences of the shows currently running and priming them for upcoming musicals, the outdoor concert is expected to draw more than 50,000 people. The event is sponsored by both the Times Square Business Improvement District (BID) and the League of American Theatres & Producers.
Though dedicated to the season's musicals, the concert will have hosts who represent straight plays, such as Side Man's Andrew McCarthy and Frank Wood, Epic Proportions' Kristin Chenoweth and Voices in the Dark's Judith Ivey. Dame Edna and Bernadette Peters (Annie Get Your Gun) will also be on hand for the festivities.
Musical numbers expected at the concert include a Brian Stokes Mitchell and Marin Mazzie duet from Kiss Me, Kate and performances by James Carpinello, Paige Price and Orfeh of Saturday Night Fever. Kat and the Kings will be represented, as will the companies of Footloose, Cabaret, Cats, Chicago, It Ain't Nothin' But the Blues, Jekyll & Hyde, Les Miserables, Miss Saigon, Ragtime, Rent, Smokey Joe's Cafe, The Phantom of the Opera and the reconstituted The Scarlet Pimpernel. Shannon Lewis, Brad Musgrove and Christopher R. Kirby will no doubt offer fun-laughs-good-times from Fosse.
As a special addition to the concert, musical director Paul Gemignani has composed an overture (to be played by The American Theatre Orchestra), comprising motifs from such tunes as "Comedy Tonight," "There's No Business Like Show Business," "Don't Rain On My Parade," "Tomorrow," "Ragtime," "Music of the Night" and "Maria." For more information on the free Sept. 12 "Broadway on Broadway" concert call (888) BROADWAY.
In other Broadway event news, theatre buffs should circle Sunday, Sept. 26, on the 1999 calendar for the 13th Annual Broadway Flea Market and Grand Auction, the annual street fair and sale of theatrical memorabilia in Shubert Alley and along 44th Street in Manhattan.
As in the past, the all-day fundraiser for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS will feature an auction of theatre-related prizes, autograph-signing tables and show-specific memorabilia such as costume and set sketches, photographs, Playbills, costume pieces, props and more. The Market starts at 10 AM and concludes with the grand auction, at 4:30 PM.
The 1998 Flea Market raised $507,000 for people coping with HIV and AIDS.
This year's event had been slated for Sept. 19, but according to a BC/EFA spokesperson, permit difficulties and complaints that the fair would take place on Yom Kippur Eve led to the change to the 26th.
Other popular BC/EFA events this season will include the 11th "Gypsy of the Year" Competition (Nov. 29-30), "Nothing Like A Dame" (March 6, 2000), and the "Easter Bonnet" Competition (April 17-18, 2000).