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rendering of upcoming exhibition
Rendering: Courtesy Thinc Design

An exhibition dedicated to iconic costumes is coming to Times Square

The show will feature over 100 designs from Dear Evan Hansen, The Lion King, Wicked, and other Broadway hits.

Written by
André Wheeler

Broadway is famous for providing maximalist fantasies viewers can easily lose themselves in. The hair! The dancing! The singing! One crucial, but often underappreciated, bedrock of any knockout production will soon be the focus of a new Times Square exhibition: the fabulous costumes. The large-scale offering will feature the original costumes from a number of Broadway hits, past and present, including Moulin Rouge!, The Lion King, Wicked, and Chicago. A few costumes from smash television shows and films will be in the mix, too, including pieces from Saturday Night Live and the upcoming James Bond film No Time to Die.

Showstoppers! Spectacular Costumes From Stage and Screen is set to open August 5 and run through September 26. The unique attraction, displaying over 100 designs, will feature a 20,000-square-foot immersive set within the heart of Times Square at 234 West 42nd Street. The show aims to not only provide visitors with a behind-the-scenes stage and screen experience but also play a major role in New York’s ongoing revitalization. The Theater District was especially hard-hit by COVID-19 related safety measures and closures, and musicals and plays, a major source of revenue for the neighborhood, were forced to shut down. Showstoppers! will “pull back the curtain on the hundreds of costuming experts who create, supply and care for them, and infuse much-needed vitality back into the Theatre District,” organizers behind the exhibition wrote in a press release. All proceeds will raise money for the Costume Industry Coalition Recovery Fund, which first launched last year with a goal of raising over $20,000 for out-of-work members. 

Visitors can expect to see costumes from some of the best Broadway shows from recent years. The confirmed displays include outfits from A Soldier’s Play, Aladdin, Chicago, Come From Away, The Cher Show, Dear Evan Hansen, Frozen, Golden Child, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, The Lion King, Moulin Rouge!, Mrs. Doubtfire, The Phantom of the Opera, Six and Wicked.

But this is not just an experience meant for thespians. Costumes will be included from The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Dickinson and Saturday Night Live, and films like the Aretha Franklin biopic Respect and No Time to Die. There will also be items on display from Disney World, American Ballet Theatre, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus and various opera companies. 

Overall, New York’s theatre scene is steadily coming back to life, after going dark on March 12, 2020. Bruce Springsteen recently restarted his successful resident concert Springsteen on Broadway and many shows are set to return throughout the fall, including Chicago, Aladdin, Hadestown, and Hamilton.

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