For Michael Kors’ 40th virtual anniversary show, the designer shined a spotlight on one of the hardest hit industries by the pandemic: Broadway.
Kors’ previously-recorded runway show took place in the middle of Times Square outside Shubert Theatre in New York with a performance by Rufus Wainwright, singing “City Lights,” “New York State of Mind,” and “There’s No Business like Show Business,” while models showcased the fall ’21 Michael Kors Collection along 45th Street.
Prior to this, Kors opened the event live this morning outside New York’s Theater District.
“The theater is the heartbeat and the pulse of New York City and an endless source of inspiration for me, so to see Broadway shut down has been really heartbreaking,” he said.
In support of the industry, Michael Kors, the company, has made a donation to The Actors Fund, a national organization that fosters stability and resiliency, and provides a safety net for performing arts and entertainment professionals over their lifespan. Kors also made a personal donation to The Fund.
In addition, Kors encouraged viewers to also donate with help from Broadway A-listers including Billy Porter, Bette Midler, Bernadette Peters, Kristin Chenoweth, Rosario Dawson, Debra Messing, Alan Cumming, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Ashley Park, Sutton Foster, and more, who were part of the fundraiser film shot at the legendary theater district restaurant Sardi’s.
While the celebrities were not there in person, their faces were, however, see on Sardi’s iconic wall of caricatures. “I need Broadway’s best to help me help the Broadway community who’s been suffering terribly due to the shut down,” Kors said during the clip. Judith Light added, “We’ve got to get Broadway back up and running,”
For the 2018 – 2019 season, the total Broadway attendance reached nearly 15 million and Broadway shows yielded more then $1.8 billion in grosses, making it the best attended and highest grossing season in Broadway recorded history. Sixty-five percent of those admissions were made by tourists, according to Broadway League. In addition, during the 2018-2019 season, the Broadway industry contributed $14.7 billion to the New York City economy and supported 96,900 jobs.
Without Broadway’s contributions, forced closures and a slew of other negative consequences are only inevitable. New York City’s theaters have been shut down for more than a year, since Mar. 12, 2020.
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