Times Square passers-by got an unexpected moment of color and light October 7 as several Broadway favorites took to the steps of TKTS to sing the harmonious “Sunday” from Sunday in the Park With George.
Bernadette Peters, who originated the role of Dot in Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Tony- and Pulitzer-winning musical, took on a solo in the arrangement by James Sampliner, Billy Porter, and Broadway Inspirational Voices founder Michael McElroy.
Tony honoree McElroy conducted the performance, as a litany of talent sang the ode to serenity amid chaos. The roster included Tony winners Gavin Creel, Kelli O'Hara, and Ariel Stachel, Tony nominees Andrew Rannells, Carolee Carmello, Norm Lewis, Kate Baldwin, Charl Brown, Jennifer Damiano, Brandon Victor Dixon, and Stark Sands, and Broadway mainstays Jason Gotay, Telly Leung, Andréa Burns, Erika Henningsen, Javier Muñoz, and Sierra Boggess.
Co-produced by former Playbill editor-in-chief, Blake Ross, the event was arranged by the new group NYC Next, which aims to celebrate and revitalize the creativity of New Yorkers as a signal of solidarity and resilience. Its current, initial tactic: a series of socially distant pop-up events (such as this one) across all five boroughs, not promoted prior to taking place.
“I look at this song as being about our community,” McElroy, who also appeared in the 2017 revival of Sunday in the Park With George, said before the performance. “In this moment, we’ve had so much loss: loss of life, of employment. But we also have a moment right now that those lives cannot be in vain. We can start to rebuild the kind of theatre community and arts community that we want to see—that’s more inclusive from the executive boardrooms to the producing offices to the casting offices to the creative teams to the stories we tell to who gets to tell those stories. This song, for me, really speaks to that moment when we get to come back together, whenever that is, in a new way.”
Watch the full performance below.