Musicals Thread (Parade Performances)

Welcome! The purpose of this thread is to talk about all things related to the wonderful world of musical theatre. Each week (or so) I will post a thread with a topic/question for everyone to respond to. This is also a great place to mention any new musicals you’ve discovered and/or general recommendations for other musical fans. Heard/seen any good shows lately? Have any theatre news to share? Tell us about it!

This week we have another subject brought to you by Bfth! As always, if you’re interested in writing anything for the thread, let me know! The subject for this week is The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade!

We all have our holiday traditions come Thanksgiving time. If you want to share them here that’s cool, but this being the Musical Thread, I’d like to focus on the NYC parade that has been sponsored by Macy’s since 1924 (although suspended from 1942-44 due to the war). You may associate the parade with balloons (that sometimes get out of control) floats, and the grand finale with the arrival of Santa (who originally sat on the balcony at Macy’s instead of coming down the parade route), but since 1980 Broadway has been a big part of the parade.

Cast members from two or three shows (usually shows that debuted that year) perform either in the parade, or immediately preceding the parade in front of Macy’s and before The Rockettes’ performance (since NBC broadcasts the parade’s start, the performances are shown during the wait for the parade itself).

Per Wikipedia, here’s what American viewers of the parade airing on NBC got to see:

Year Performances
1980 Brigadoon, The Pirates of Penzance, A Day in Hollywood / A Night in the Ukraine
1981 Sophisticated Ladies, Camelot
1983 Cats, My One and Only
1984 The Tap Dance Kid
1986 Me and My Girl, Sweet Charity, Big River
1988 Godspell, Forbidden Broadway, Into the Woods
1989 Meet Me in St. Louis
1991 Grand Hotel, The Secret Garden, Miss Saigon, The Will Rogers Follies
1992 Annie Warbucks, Jelly’s Last Jam, Guys and Dolls, Falsettos
1993 Raffi on Broadway, My Fair Lady, The Who’s Tommy, Kiss of the Spider Woman
1994 Beauty and the Beast, Grease, Show Boat, Damn Yankees
1995 Hello, Dolly!, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Smokey Joe’s Cafe
1996 The King and I, Rent, Bring in ‘da Noise, Bring in ‘da Funk, Chicago
1997 Titanic, Side Show, Street Corner Symphony, The Sound of Music
1998 Cabaret, Footloose, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Annie Get Your Gun, Peter Pan
1999  Fosse, Swing, Kiss Me, Kate
2000 The Music Man, Seussical, Swing, Annie Get Your Gun
2001 Mamma Mia!, 42nd Street, Thou Shalt Not, Contact
2002 Hairspray, Oklahoma!, The Producers, Thoroughly Modern Millie
2003 Wicked, The Boy From Oz, Little Shop of Horrors, Never Gonna Dance
2004 Bombay Dreams, All Shook Up, La Cage aux Folles, Wonderful Town, Good Vibrations
2005 Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Jersey Boys, Sweet Charity
2006 A Chorus Line, Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, The Color Purple, Spamalot
2007 Legally Blonde, Mary Poppins, Young Frankenstein, Xanadu
2008 White Christmas, In the Heights, South Pacific, The Little Mermaid
2009 Billy Elliot, Bye, Bye Birdie, Hair, Shrek
2010 Memphis, American Idiot, Elf, Million Dollar Quartet
2011 Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Sister Act, Newsies
2012 Annie, Bring It On, Elf, Cinderella, Nice Work If You Can Get It
2013 Matilda, Motown, Pippin, Kinky Boots
2014 A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Honeymoon in Vegas, The Last Ship, On the Town, Side Show
2015 On Your Feet!, The King and I, Finding Neverland, Something Rotten!, Fiddler on the Roof, School of Rock
2016 Holiday Inn, Waitress, Cats, Paramour
2017 Anastasia, Spongebob SquarePants, Once on This Island, Dear Evan Hansen

(Grumproro here: For example, let’s watch Lin Manuel Miranda and the cast of In the Heights from 2008!)

This year’s parade will feature Mean Girls, My Fair Lady, The Prom, and Summer: The Donna Summer Musical.

I know that this portion of the parade (which is actually the pre-parade) is my favorite part.  I may live close to the city, but I rarely get a chance to go in and see anything (ok, I just can’t afford the seats I want!). And these musical bits do stay with me…if I recall correctly Meet Me in St. Louis performed the famous “Trolley Song” and the dancing with the woman in the yellow dress in Contact (which won Best Musical the following year, which was very controversial at the time since there was no original music or live singing).

What about you? Do you have any special memories of the musicals that appeared in the parade? Or is there one that you are looking forward to this year?