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Broadway partners with MTA for 'Welcome Back to New York' campaign

Performers from current Broadway shows recreated a 1977 MTA ad with the slogan, "The Only Sure Way to Make It to Broadway."

Gillian Russo
Gillian Russo

Stome of Broadway's top shows came together as part of the Metropolitan Transit Authority's "Welcome Back to New York" campaign. Cast members from Six, Waitress, Chicago, The Phantom of the Opera, Mrs. Doubtfire, Dear Evan Hansen, and Moulin Rouge! The Musical are all featured in an ad for the subway system with the slogan, "The Only Sure Way to Make It to Broadway."

The ad is a recreation of a 1977 MTA ad campaign with the same tagline, which featured stars like Carol Channing in Hello, Dolly!, Melba Moore and Eartha Kitt in Timbuktu!, and Reid Shelton in Annie.

""It was so exciting to be included in such an iconic photo with so many great actors, celebrating the relationship Broadway has with the subway," said Alan LeBoeuf, who starred as Paul McCartney in Beatlemania in 1977 and appeared in the original ad. "To be able to come back 44 years later with someone I shared that experience with and see the photo recreated is truly special." 

The original ad was meant to promote the subway system as the most convenient way to get to a Broadway show, and the 2021 ad reinforces this — according to data from the Broadway League, 60% of Broadway theatregoers now arrive to their shows by subway.

However, amid the pandemic, this year's ad also serves to celebrate the return of Broadway shows after more than a year away, welcome tourists back to the city, and encourage both locals and visitors to use the subway to get to recreational activities, including theatre shows. Read more about Broadway's Covid-19 safety protocols here.

"It's been such a joy to bring together shows from across Broadway to recreate this iconic campaign. It's not often that casts from different shows get to interact with each other, and it's evident from the photo how special an opportunity this was," said Nick Pramik, an advertising partner at Broadway ad agency RPM. "Throughout the pandemic we said, 'we're all in this together,' and that's still as true as ever."

Photo credit: Courtesy of The Metropolitan Transit Authority

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