Broadway reunites for pop-up performance 1 year after shutdown

The theater community is reuniting in Times Square Friday, exactly one year to the day since the Broadway shutdown, for "We Will Be Back," a live pop-up experience and commemoration of Broadway's lost year.

Video Transcript

- Well, it was one year ago today that Broadway shut down because of the escalating pandemic. It was so devastating to the city, costing it more than $15 billion in revenue and thousands of lost jobs. But Broadway looking forward to its comeback. Broadway performance is still suspended through May 30. But today, we are getting a taste of what has come.

This is NewsCopter 7 over a pop-up show in Times Square that is giving the public a taste of Broadway's return. Entertainment reporter Sandy Kenyon live with more there. Sandy?

SANDY KENYON: And Dave, you have picked the perfect time to join us. Joel Gray is behind me, just about ready to launch into that old standard, "There's no Business like Showbusiness." Well, the show must go on, as we know, but not here, not just yet, not on Broadway. That will depend-- when that happens will depend on factors outside of showbusiness. But here, the message is simple. We will be back. And that is what we are finding right behind us.

97,000 people have been out of work for a year. It's a $17 billion industry. That we're gathered as a sort of prequel, if you will. We talked to Brian Stokes Mitchell, to Matthew Broderick, and Andre De Shields. And they talked about their experience during this pandemic. It was a time for so many of those here of reflection and learning.

CHITA RIVERA: Please, god, I hope that this horrible thing has brought us closer together. I know it's made me more determined to get out there and give my everything, what little bit I've got left after all these years.

SANDY KENYON: That, of course, Broadway legend Chita Rivera. And behind us, we're midway through this performance. Everybody told me it's been a tough time, people going without for a year, as so many do and have in this country. Showbusiness showing its strength here. If you wonder about the lack of crowds behind me, this is a pop-up event. It was not publicized in advance for that reason.