Where the costumes shine: Broadway and Hollywood outfits on display in the heart of New York

Opera theater

NEW YORK – Most of the Broadway scenes may still be dark, but there’s one place in Times Square where the costumes shine.

Over 100 costumes from shows such as “Hamilton”, “Dear Evan Hansen” and “Wicked” are part of a new exhibit this summer revealing the neat, handcrafted beauty of clothing that can’t always be appreciated from the mezzanine in a room. theater.

” Shows ! Spectacular Costumes from Stage & Screen ”opens Thursday and tickets cost $ 29, with access for seniors and children for $ 24. All proceeds will go to the Costume Industry Coalition Salvage Fund.

The costumes were borrowed from Broadway hits such as “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”, “The Lion King”, “The Phantom of the Opera”, “Moulin Rouge! The Musical”, “Chicago”, ” The Cher Show “,” Frozen “and” Aladdin “, as well as the television shows” The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel “and” Saturday Night Live “.

There are also costumes from the James Bond movie “No Time to Die” and Aretha Franklin’s upcoming biopic “Respect”, as well as cruise ships, Disney World, American Ballet Theater, Martha Graham Dance Company, New York City Ballet and San Francisco Ballet.

The 20,000-square-foot, two-level exhibition space at 234 West 42nd St., once the New York flagship of the sporting goods chain Modell’s, has been transformed into an immersive area with mannequins sporting the clothes . Visitors can see real artisans in the workspaces beading, painting or sewing costumes, showing the intense work that goes into the clothes.

“We reached out to all of our partners and asked them to borrow assets, not only to show the proceeds of what we bring to the stage or to the screen, but also the process,” said Brian Blythe, who co -manages full-service John Kristiansen and founded the Costume Industry Coalition.

Sally Ann Parsons, owner of the veteran custom-making house Parsons-Meares, who made Nala and Simba’s costumes for “The Lion King,” will send a team to show off how they make corsets and corsages.

“One of our jobs is to be storytellers and tell the story of the ensemble. But we also help artists with their character, ”she said. “We are grateful for the chance to show what we do.”

The coalition was born during the pandemic to advocate for the survival of New York City’s bespoke costume industry. It is made up of 56 independent and unique small businesses and artisans in and around New York City, many of whom turned to manufacturing surgical masks and gowns during the pandemic. Members collectively lost over $ 26.6 million in revenue last year.

“The coalition was formed to truly defend our collective survival. And although we are cordial competitors, we all know each other and we all network because we all work together on the same shows, ”said Blythe.

Thinc Design, a global design firm founded by former theater designer Tom Hennes, conceived the exhibition space as a journey – with video, photography and music – through the world of costume making.

“I think it’s an industry that’s pretty invisible to the general public, but it’s made up of this great variety of artisans and craftspeople, artists who do absolutely exciting work to see up close,” said said Hennes, who donated his business. services.

While the costumes can be magical, there is a nod to the current climate: all guests in the space are required to wear a mask throughout the exhibition, regardless of vaccination status, to except for areas designated without a mask.

Organizers hope the exhibit can raise awareness of the hard work that goes into costumes, promote some reopening Broadway shows, and provide eager ballet and theater fans to celebrate before theaters return.

“It is a true celebration of the combination of talent, skill and imagination that underpins part of the spectacle and the beauty of the entertainment industry in general and of theater, film, television and entertainment. ballet in particular, ”said Hennes.