New York Times Celebrates Broadway Season Cut Short by COVID-19 With ‘Offstage: Opening Night’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Moulin Rouge review Broadway musical
Matthew Murphy

The New York Times will celebrate a Broadway season that was brought to an abrupt and painful end by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Gray Lady will salute the Great White Way with “Offstage: Opening Night” on June 11 at 7 p.m. ET. The event is meant to salute both shows such as “Tina: The Tina Turner Musical” and “Moulin Rouge! The Musical” that were in the middle of successful runs when theaters closed, as well as ones such as the revival of “Company” that was still in previews when Broadway’s lights went dark. It’s unclear when Broadway will be back in business, but theaters are supposed to stay shuttered into September, and many people in the industry believe that performances won’t resume until 2021.

For “Offstage: Opening Night on Thursday,” performers will gather virtually to share and discuss songs, scenes, and stories that defined a year that was, at the very least, unprecedented and memorable. Times’ critics and journalists will also share some of their favorite moments of the season, along with reflect on the moments that they wish they could have seen before some shows closed down without ever formally opening.

“The shutdown has challenged us to be more creative in how we cover theater’s past and future, as well as the largely digital present,” said Scott Heller, New York Times theater editor, in a statement. “The Offstage series, opening with performances from a harshly interrupted Broadway season, is one of many ways we plan to keep stage artists front and center.”

Highlights include:

Patti LuPone, Katrina Lenk, and the cast of “Company” perform the musical’s title song in an exclusive video;

Elizabeth Stanley sings Alanis Morissette songs from “Jagged Little Pill,” introduced by New York Times critic-at-large Wesley Morris;

“Six” writers Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss participate in a conversation with theater reporter Michael Paulson, who wrote about the musical coming to Broadway for the Times Spring Theater Preview, and share a special lockdown collaboration from cast members and fans all over the globe;

“Moulin Rouge! The Musical” choreographer Sonya Tayeh speaks with Times Weekend Arts editor Nicole Herrington, and showcases dancers Khori Petinaud and Fred Odgaard;

Mary-Louise Parker performs a scene from “The Sound Inside” and discusses the work with co-chief theater critic Jesse Green, who was a big booster of the show, giving it a rave review;

Adrienne Warren performs a song from “Tina: The Tina Turner Musical” and is interviewed by New York Times critic-at-large Amanda Hess, who profiled Turner for the Fall Theater Preview;

Jeremy O. Harris discusses “Slave Play” with Times writer and editor Aisha Harris, who penned the Times Opinion piece “What It’s Like to See ‘Slave Play’ as a Black Person”; and

Mare Winningham will perform a song from “Girl from the North Country,” introduced by co-chief theater critic Ben Brantley, who called the Broadway staging “ravishing and singular.”

Viewers can RSVP to attend the event.