For any theatrelover, the best part of Thanksgiving Day arrives with the Broadway performances on the telecast of the annual Thanksgiving Day Parade. In anticipation of this year’s show, we asked some Broadway greats to name their favorite performance from a past parade that they were not in but remember watching from their couch.
See which routines seven Broadway performers chose and then tell us your favorite. Tweet us @playbill with #BwayParadeMoment.
Andréa Burns (The Rose Tattoo, In The Heights, upcoming West Side Story film) selects The Mystery of Edwin Drood
“George Rose’s incomparable showmanship leading the original 1985 cast of The Mystery of Edwin Drood in ‘Don’t Quit While You’re Ahead.’ I loved the joy and theatricality of those actors. Also, my teenage goals at the time were all about training my voice to sound like Patti Cohenour and getting to New York so I could marry Howard McGillin as soon as possible.”
Watch the cast’s performance of this song at the 1986 Tony Awards.
Brandon Uranowitz (Tony nominee for Burn This, Falsettos, An American in Paris) selects The Who’s Tommy and Thoroughly Modern Millie
“My single favorite performance on the parade had always been ‘Pinball Wizard’ from the original production of Tommy in 1993, when all I ever wanted was to be Michael Cerveris when I grew up. However, that all changed in 2002 when Thoroughly Modern Millie performed and I realized that I actually wanted to be Sutton Foster.”
Watch The Who’s Tommy parade performance here.
Jason Gotay (City Center’s Evita, Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark) selects Thoroughly Modern Millie
“This show is quintessential musical comedy with brilliant choreography by Rob Ashford and a star-making performance by Sutton Foster. I saw it three times when it was on Broadway. (I was 13 years old!)”
Watch the Thoroughly Modern Millie parade performance here.
Taylor Louderman (Mean Girls, Peter Pan Live!, Bring It On: The Musical) selects On the Town (2013 revival)
“I loved On The Town’s performance. They did something a little different. They opened the parade and highlighted NYC and the collaborative feel ‘backstage’ before the parade began!”
Watch the On The Town parade performance here.
Sharone Sayegh (The Band’s Visit, currently on the national tour of Come From Away) selects The Color Purple (2015 revival)
“I love the message of The Color Purple, and, in addition to Cynthia Erivo's incredible performance, I thought the mashup of songs they performed showcased everyone in the cast really well. Every person in that cast was simply stunning, and their parade performance captured them all beautifully.”
Watch The Color Purple’s parade performance here.
Rob McClure (Tony nominee for Chaplin, upcoming Mrs. Doubtfire) selects Something Rotten!
“I find that it’s incredibly difficult to take Broadway shows out of their meticulously crafted environments and plop them onto 34th Street and have them really shine in the way they’re meant to, but I thought Something Rotten! did it really well. The best ones find a way to break through their own context. It’s why the Rockettes nail it every year and give me goosebumps. They need no exposition to impact.”
Watch the Something Rotten parade performance here.
Jenn Colella (Tony nominee for Come From Away) selects
“My favorite Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade performance was The Prom, hands down. My heart leapt when Caitlin [Kinnunen] and Izzy [McCalla] kissed. What a gift for all of the families watching to witness two girls expressing romantic love in such a pure, joyful way.”
Watch The Prom’s parade performance.