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VIDEO: 9/11 Flashback - Broadway Stars Unite for Inspirational 2001 TV Spot


On the 16th Anniversary of 9/11, BWW looks back at a special tribute video filmed back in 2001 which proves the tried and true tradition - "the show must go on!" Despite low theater attendance following the terrorist attacks on New York City, it was the Broadway community itself that ultimately came together and proved that Broadway was back in business. In the fall of 2001, hundreds of Broadway stars including Bernadette Peters, Bebe Neuwirth, Brook Shields, Patti LuPone and Valerie Harper, came together in the middle of Duffy Square and filmed a TV promotional commercial. Singing Kander and Ebb's "New York, New York", the spot concluded with the upbeat voice of "Producers" star Nathan Lane urging Americans to "come to New York, and let's go on with the show!" Check out the recording session of the song, as well as the TV commercial below!

After initially closing down productions on September 11th and 12th of 2001, most Broadway shows felt it was imperative to reopen their doors by September 13th. As curtains went up in those early days following the attacks, orchestras led their audiences in the singing of the National Anthem and many shows followed their curtain calls with cast renditions of "God Bless America".

With the poor attendance, such Broadway mainstays as LES MISERABLES, at the time in its 15th year on Broadway, and THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA playing in its 14th season, both faced the grim possibility of shutting down. Similarly, shows such as CHICAGO, RENT and THE FULL MONTY were playing to half-full or smaller houses.

In an attempt to "return to normalcy", New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani urged theatergoers in both the tri-state area and throughout the country to return to Manhattan and the Broadway community. In a press conference about post 9/11 New York tourism, he even joked, "Go see a play. You might even be able to get a ticket to The Producers!" Responding to the Mayor's plea, New Yorkers slowly began to return to the theater to show their support for their city.

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