NEW YORK (AP) — Jawan M. Jackson not too long ago received to do one thing he’s been craving to do for months — sing and dance once more along with his Broadway solid.
Jackson is among the stars of “Ain’t Too Proud — The Life and Occasions of The Temptations” and he reunited with castmates for the primary time since theaters shuttered to arrange for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday.
“I used to be most proud of simply seeing all my previous pals I haven’t seen in months, some who flew in particularly for the present to do that,” he mentioned. “It was completely different, nevertheless it was nonetheless nice to do.”
The pandemic, which shut down theaters in March, could have upended most traditions this vacation season, however the annual New York Metropolis parade will march on with balloons, dancers, floats, Broadway reveals and Santa — albeit closely edited for security.
“Traditions like this are comforting they usually’re uplifting,” mentioned Susan Tercero, govt producer of the parade. “New York has all the time been a troublesome metropolis. It bounces again. It takes it’s blows after which it continues on. And I believe it’s extraordinarily essential for us to be that show this vacation season. No matter what’s occurred, New York must be that beacon of sunshine within the darkness and this parade, I believe, is symbolic of that.”
The Macy’s parade has been a standard vacation season kickoff for greater than 90 years, and spectators usually line up a half-dozen deep alongside the path to cheer about 8,000 marchers, two dozen floats, entertainers and marching bands. Finally yr’s parade, the massive worry was excessive wind. This time, it’s a pandemic that has made crowds untenable.
The largest change this yr is that the same old 2 1/2-mile route by way of crowded Manhattan has been scrapped in favor of concentrating occasions to a one-block stretch of 34th Avenue in entrance of the retailer’s flagship Manhattan retailer. Many performances have been pre-taped and many of the parade’s performers might be regionally primarily based to chop down on journey.
Along with “Ain’t Too Proud,” the parade will function performances from the Broadway casts of “Hamilton,” “Imply Ladies” and “Jagged Little Tablet,” a musical constructed across the music of Alanis Morissette. The Broadway performances have been taped days earlier than the parade.
Issues felt loads completely different for actor Derek Klena, who was within the 2017 parade as a part of the solid of “Anastasia.” This yr, he’s Tony Award-nominated for his function in “Jagged Little Tablet” and helped carry out “You Study” from the Tony-nominated present.
The solid was quarantined for 2 weeks earlier than taping and examined recurrently for the virus. Solid members rehearsed in masks till the second cameras began rolling and saved socially distant. They sang dwell this time as an alternative of years previous when casts lip-synched.
“Though the circumstances have been a lot completely different, it was nonetheless so magical and fulfilling to get to share that have along with your fellow castmates after being distant for therefore lengthy,” mentioned Klena.
“I believe it was essential to everyone to discover a option to nonetheless have fun this occasion and have fun the reveals and the businesses that every one get to share on this superb occasion.”
Each Jackson and Klena mentioned everybody adhered to the present’s strict security protocols — imposing the 6-foot rule, frequent testing and requiring face masks plus face shields, in addition to a contemporary masks after their efficiency. “I’m appreciative of it as a result of it’s constructed to maintain you secure,” mentioned Jackson, although he famous “dancing in a masks is a troublesome feat.”
This yr’s lineup of balloons contains Snoopy, “Diary of a Wimpy Child,” “The Elf on the Shelf,” Chase from “Paw Patrol,” Pikachu, the Pillsbury Doughboy, Ronald McDonald, SpongeBob SquarePants and “Trolls.” New this time are “The Boss Child” and Crimson Titan from “Ryan’s World.”
The large cartoon-character balloons might be flown with out the normal 80 to 100 rope-pulling handlers assigned to every inflatable and can as an alternative be tethered to specialised automobiles.
Pentatonix, Ally Brooke, Keke Palmer, Sofia Carson, Leslie Odom Jr. and Jordin Sparks will carry out, and there might be floats from “Blue’s Clues,” “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” and Lego. There might be a New York Metropolis Ballet ballerina with a efficiency from “The Nutcracker,” an all-female samba drumline and acrobats from “The Massive Apple Circus,” and the Rockettes might be out in pressure. The parade ends with an look from Santa Claus.
One other change this yr was the choice to highlight lots of the New York Metropolis parades that have been canceled within the spring and fall because of the pandemic — the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the Mermaid Parade, the Puerto Rican Day Parade and NYC Pleasure March.
“We’re going to be highlighting them, and we’re going to be actually giving them an opportunity to shine,” mentioned Tercero. “You’re going to have the ability to see creativity on this leisure come to life that has kind of been dormant for the previous seven months.”
For the Broadway performers, there’s a silver lining to the adjustments this yr. Often on Thanksgiving Day, they’d be freezing in Midtown, having woken at daybreak and been dancing and singing for hours. This yr, they get to look at themselves from the heat of their residences, a job already nicely completed.
“It’s the primary Thanksgiving in a number of years the place I both don’t have a present or I’m not taping one thing,” mentioned Klena. “So in that means it’ll be type of enjoyable to simply have fun with a few of my pals right here within the metropolis and my spouse.”
Mark Kennedy is at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits
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