Broadway star Jelani Remy to perform at free pop-up concert at Jackson Heights’ Diversity Plaza

Broadway Star Jelani Remy will perform at a free pop-up concert at Diversity Plaza in Jackson Heights on Wednesday, Aug. 24. (Photo courtesy of NY Forever)

NY Forever and City National Bank, in partnership with the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT), are bringing a free pop-up concert to Diversity Plaza in Jackson Heights on Wednesday, Aug. 24, featuring Broadway star Jelani Remy, who played the role of Simba in Disney’s The Lion King.

The concert will take place from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Diversity Plaza, located on 37th Road between Broadway and 74th Street and between Broadway and Roosevelt Avenue. 

The concert in Queens is part of Broadway Forever, a four-day series of free pop-up concerts around the city and inspiring mini-documentaries to celebrate arts workers of NYC and their dedication to the industry. 

The event will give free access to Broadway performances throughout the boroughs in DOT’s pedestrian plazas starting Tuesday, Aug. 23, through Friday, Aug. 26, at 3:30 p.m. each day. Each performance will also feature a surprise opening act from the local community. 

“NY Forever celebrates the contributions of all New Yorkers who make this the most dynamic, diverse and entertaining city in the world. Performing artists work tirelessly to hone and share their craft” said Richard Mumby, founding board member of NY Forever. “We salute them, and we invite all New Yorkers to honor these performers by seeing their shows, concerts and acts. We are grateful for City National’s partnership as we bring Broadway into public spaces throughout the boroughs.”

A series of mini-documentaries starring members of the Broadway community including ‘A Strange Loop’ actress, and 2022 Tony Award Nominee, L. Morgan Lee, and more, will premiere on NY Forever’s Instagram (@nyforever) on Monday, Aug. 22. to showcase these workers’ talents, contribution to New York City’s recovery, and inspiring personal stories about their careers in the arts.

NYC’s arts workers are the cultural lifeblood of the city. 

New York’s arts and culture sector generates $120 billion and half a million jobs for the state — Broadway alone contributes $14.7 billion to the economy of NYC and supports over 96,000 jobs. The city lost 50% of its performing arts jobs during COVID-19, more than any industry. Broadway Forever aims to shine a spotlight on those performers whose work vitally contributes to the soul and economy of the city. 

“City National has been a partner to the entertainment industry for seven decades, and we are excited to support NY Forever’s free Broadway pop-up concerts around New York City,” said Linda Duncombe, executive vice president and chief marketing, product and digital officer at City National Bank. “As the industry gets back on its feet, these concerts will help inspire the next generation of New York artists and showcase world-class Broadway talent across Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens.”

Erich Bergen, producer and director of the Broadway Forever campaign, said he’s proud to spotlight those who have committed their lives and careers to making the arts come alive day in and day out.  

“Broadway shows don’t magically turn on at 8 p.m. — it takes a full day of work to get there. Thanks to New York Forever and City National Bank, I’m proud to give viewers a glimpse behind the curtain to show you what a life in the performing arts in New York City is really like. It’s quite inspiring,” said Bergen, who currently stars as Billy Flynn in the long running musical CHICAGO on Broadway through Sept. 11.  

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