Broadway’s New Amsterdam Theatre Reopens With Live Concert


A Benefit Concert for The Actors Fund

Presented by Disney on Broadway   

Video and Photos of Reopening Performance Available

Performances Continue Through the Weekend

July 22, 2021 – Tonight, Broadway’s New Amsterdam Theatre reopened with Live at The New Am: A Benefit Concert for The Actors Fund, marking one of the first events on Broadway since the shutdown and the first Broadway performance to hire actors on an Equity contract, the union of Broadway performers.

In honor of the dedication and continued hard work of New York’s healthcare workers, Disney has provided 2,000 free tickets to the concert to healthcare workers from the Greater New York Hospital Association and their families. 

Featuring the most-beloved hit songs from Disney’s Broadway shows – including “Beauty and the Beast,” “A Whole New World,” “Circle of Life” and “Let it Go” – the concert plays three more performances this weekend, July 23 and 24 at 7:30 and July 25 at 2.

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Performed by Disney on Broadway stars Ashley Brown (Mary Poppins), Michael James Scott (Aladdin), Kissy Simmons (The Lion King) and Josh Strickland (Tarzan) to a sold-out audience, the concert marked the first live performance in the New Amsterdam Theatre since all of Broadway shut down in March of last year. The concert benefits The Actors Fund, who have provided support to members of the entertainment industry throughout the pandemic.

The Actors Fund has been extraordinarily active during the pandemic, providing more than 16,450 entertainment professionals with grants totaling more than $22 million just since the shutdown last March 2020, a remarkable increase of more than 1000% over its typical grant support prior to the pandemic.

As previously announced, Disney’s hit Broadway productions The Lion King and Aladdin will reopen this fall. The Lion King resumes performances at the Minskoff Theatre on September 14, and Aladdin resumes at the New Amsterdam Theatre on September 28. Tickets for both productions are on sale now.

With the health and safety of guests, cast, musicians, and crew a top priority, all guests entering the theatre for Live at the New Am will be required to provide proof of vaccination. Guests under the age of 12 must be accompanied by a vaccinated adult.

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The performance schedule is as follows:  

Thu     7/22/21            7:30pm 

Fri       7/23/21             7:30pm 

Sat      7/24/21             7:30pm 

Sun     7/25/21            2:00pm

*Assisted listening devices will be available for all performances. The matinee on Sunday, July 25 will feature live closed captioning, available via personal devices, as well as live ASL interpretation. 


About The Actors Fund: 

The Actors Fund is a national human services organization that fosters stability and resiliency, and provides a safety net for performing arts and entertainment professionals over their lifespan. Through offices in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, The Fund serves everyone in film, theater, television, music, opera, radio and dance with programs including social services and emergency financial assistance, health care and insurance counseling, housing, and secondary employment and training services.   

Since March 2020, The Actors Fund has distributed more than $21.8 million to more than 16,400 people in the performing arts and entertainment community who need help with basic living expenses such as essential medications, rent, food, utilities and other needs. Overall, The Fund served more than 40,000 people in 2020, a 71% increase from 2019. 

For the health and safety of everyone during the COVID-19 pandemic, The Actors Fund transitioned to online and phone-based services, which remain available for everyone in the performing arts and entertainment community. These services include: the Artists Health Insurance Resource Center; The Career Center; Housing Resources; Addiction & Recovery, HIV/AIDS and Senior Services; Counseling; Emergency Financial Assistance; The Friedman Health Center for the Performing Arts in New York City, The Actors Fund Home in New Jersey (our assisted living, skilled nursing, short-term rehabilitation and memory care residence) and all of our Affordable Housing residences.

About the Cast:

Ashley Brown originated the title role in Mary Poppins on Broadway for which she received Outer Critics, Drama League and Drama Desk nominations for “Best Actress.”  Ms. Brown also starred as Mary Poppins in the national tour of Mary Poppins where she garnered a Garland Award for “Best Performance in a Musical.” Ms. Brown’s other Broadway credits include Belle in Beauty and the Beast, as well as starring in the national tours of Jack O’Brien’s The Sound of Music and Disney’s On the Record.   Ms. Brown has starred in both Oklahoma! and Showboat at Chicago’s Lyric Opera, and has performed with virtually all of the top orchestras in North America including the Boston Pops (twice), the New York Philharmonic, the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra at Disney Hall, the Pittsburgh Symphony, the New York Pops at Carnegie Hall (five times), Fort Worth Symphony, the Cincinnati Pops and Philadelphia Orchestra (twice). Ms. Brown’s PBS special called Ashley Brown: Call Me Irresponsible received a PBS Telly Award.  Other television credits include NBC’s The Sound of Music. Ms. Brown is the voice of Disneyland celebrating its 60th anniversary singing the newly penned Richard Sherman song “A Kiss Goodnight.”  Ms. Brown’s album of Broadway and American Songbook standards, Speak Low, and her newly recorded Christmas EP, The Secret of Christmas, are available on Ghostlight/Warner Brothers can be on iTunes and other streaming services. 

Michael James Scott has played the Genie in Disney’s Aladdin internationally including Broadway, London, the North American Tour and originating the role in the Australian Production for which he won the prestigious Helpmann Award for best Featured Actor in a Musical. He’s also known for originating the role of the Minstrel on Broadway in Something Rotten and originating Dr. Gotswana (aka The Maggots Guy) in the Tony winning phenomenon The Book of Mormon. Other Broadway credits include Mamma Mia, Tarzan, All Shook Up, The Pirate Queen, Elf and Hair. On the West End he was the associate choreographer and performed in the Broadway revival transfer of Hair. Off-Broadway, co-starring in Here’s to the Public opposite Donna McKechnie, and was also part of the concert cast of Jerry Springer: The Opera at Carnegie Hall. He was the standby for the legendary Ben Vereen in the Int. tour of Fosse, taking over the role in Paris, France at the Théâtre du Châtelet. Outside NYC, original Las Vegas Co. of Jersey Boys and in Shrek the Musicalas the Donkey at the famous St. Louis Muny. Regional credits include Aida, Ragtime, South Pacific, Cinderella and Little Shop of Horrors to name a few. Numerous television and film appearances including “The Carrie Diaries” (The WB), “Independent Woman” (Feature Film), “The View” (ABC), “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” (NBC), “The Late Show with Conan O’Brien” (NBC), “Good Morning America” (ABC), “The Today Show” (NBC) “The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade”(CBS), “The TONY Awards” (CBS) and the new Showtime series “Black Monday.” He was a member of the critically acclaimed singing group The Broadway Boys and grammy nominated Broadway Inspirational Voices and he can be heard on many original Broadway cast albums, multiple studio recordings, and the Broadway Boy’s debut Album Lullaby of Broadway. (Instagram/Twitter @iamMJScott) 

Kissy Simmons is a native of Floral City, Florida, and graduated from the University of South Florida with a B.A. in Speech Communications.  She was also a NCAA Division 1 Track and Field athlete.  Kissy grew up playing the keyboard and singing in church, and was a State Champion high jumper at Citrus High School.  After graduating from the University of South Florida, she got her professional theatre debut at the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts where she was seen in Little Shop of Horrors (Ronnette), Jacques Brel and other seasonal cabaret shows.  Broadway credits include: The Lion King (Nala). First national tour: The Lion King (Nala). Las Vegas: The Lion King (Nala). TV credits include “Smash,” “Hope & Faith,” “30 Rock,” “6 Degrees” and many commercials, voiceovers and print. Thank you, God for your grace and to my biggest fans Anthony and Sadie! 

Josh Strickland is a native of Charleston, South Carolina. In 2006, Strickland created the leading role of Tarzan in Disney’s Tarzan on Broadway. In 2009, he made his starring Las Vegas debut in Peepshow at Planet Hollywood Casino & Resort while concurrently co-starring in the hit E! reality show “Holly’s World.” Strickland debuted his first single “Report to the Floor,” which skyrocketed to the top five on the iTunes Dance Charts the first week of its release, followed by “Last Dance.” In 2013, Strickland joined the cast ofVegas! The Show at the Planet Hollywood Casino & Resort in Las Vegas in a starring role. Strickland has also appeared internationally with the all-star cast of Disney’s Broadway Hits, including the Emmy winning concert at Royal Albert Hall in London, England. He also reprised his role as Tarzan in Disney’s Musical Tarzan in Oberhausen, Germany at the Stage Metronom Theater. Most recently, Josh was featured on ABC’s popular “Disney Family Singalong” Volume II. Twitter & Instagram: @joshuajstrick