It hasn't been a completely smooth transition back for the Great White Way, but things are looking much better for Broadway since shows first started turning the lights back on. Both box office profits and attendance figures have steadily climbed up since September, and there have been a few campaigns on the part of the city to encourage people to safely return to live theaters. The latest such campaign comes in conjunction with the MTA, and it's the kind of revival any Broadway aficionado will appreciate.
The MTA announced this afternoon that they have recreated the classic 1977 ad stating that the subway was “the only sure way to make it to Broadway." It featured a who's-who of then-Broadway stars, including Eartha Kitt, Carol Channing, Martin Balsam, and characters from Grease, Beatlemania, The Wiz and Annie.
The new campaign, which has the same slogan, features modern Broadway stars from current productions including Moulin Rouge! Tony winner Danny Burstein and co-star Bahiyah Hibah, Six stars Adrianna Hicks and Andrea Macasaet, and Dear Evan Hansen's Jordan Fisher. There are also cast members from the likes of Waitress, Mrs. Doubtfire, Chicago, and The Phantom Of The Opera.
You can see both ads, plus behind-the-scenes photos of them taking the more recent shot, in the gallery above. It's like they're doing their own Halloween Subway photoshoot!
At a press conference today, MTA Acting Chair and CEO Janno Lieber was joined by the new stars of the ad as well as a couple from the original ad (Melody Meitrott Libonati from Grease and Alan LeBoeuf from Beatlemania).
"When the original ad was made, New York City was coming out of crisis," Lieber said. "There were those who made the mistake of betting against New York, we know about all of you, people who thought the city wouldn't be able to come back. It happened again after 9/11. It happened again after Sandy."
He continued, "We're gonna see the kind of rebound again. We're in a critical moment coming out of COVID. And once again, Broadway is part of the city's spirit and the city's resurgence, which is why it's the perfect time to reboot this historic ad. Just as in 77, the only sure way to get to Broadway is the subway."
You can see a behind-the-scenes video showing the making of the new ad below.
In addition to the group shot, there are also individual ads with various performers featured. NY Magazine reports that the ads will start popping up on digital screens and posters on the subway, LIRR and Metro-North starting in mid-November.