Chicago actress Brittney Mack gets ready for Macy’s Thanksgiving parade


NEW YORK – Growing up in Chicago, Broadway star Brittney Mack faithfully watched Macy’s Thanksgiving parade on television after performing her own parade duties. Now she’s about to bundle up, roam the streets of Manhattan, and be part of the big one for the first time.

Mack, who plays one of Henry VIII’s wives in the hit musical “Six,” is expected to perform a mashup of some of his songs live Thursday with his castmates and band in front of a TV audience of millions. people. The parade broadcast begins at 9 a.m. (with a replay at 2 p.m.) on WMAQ-Channel 5.

“I have my long underwear and it’s going to be epic,” she said. “I finally meet Snoopy. It really is my dream – to see the big Snoopy balloon, honestly.

Astronaut Snoopy will fly over the skies as the parade returns to pre-pandemic form this year, with its restored route through Manhattan and high-flying helium balloons once again fired by manipulators.

This year’s parade – the 95th annual – will return to shape after complying with pandemic restrictions last year. It will include 15 giant balloons, 28 floats, 36 original and heritage inflatables, more than 800 clowns, 10 marching bands and nine performance groups and, of course, Santa Claus will bring up the rear.

Some of the new balloon giants joining the lineup include Ada Twist, scientist; the pint-sized hero from “The Mandalorian” and the Pokémon characters Pikachu and Eevee on a sled.

Mack and his classmates have learned new choreography, studied new music, and will be rehearsing in the street outside the department store to get it right. With the weather looking good, she kindly ordered hand warmers and foot warmers for her fellow “Six” performers.

“I won’t be home to watch it, but I think the compromise is pretty good,” said the actor, who has been with “Six” since his North American premiere at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater in 2019.

Her grandmother records the parade from Mississippi while her mother and the rest of her family applaud from Chicago. Mack may be used to performing live, but this time it’s special.

“The adult in me who worked so hard to get here is like, ‘You know what? It will be fine. You are in it. Come together, ”she said. “I think I’ll also feel better when I see Snoopy, so I’ll be fine.”

In addition to “Six”, Broadway will be represented by the actors of “Chicago”, “Waitress”, “Moulin Rouge!” The Musical “and” Wicked “. The Rockettes will be there, as will the cast of the upcoming NBC live production of “Annie”.

Maya Bowles, who will be there to represent the “Moulin Rouge! The Musical, ”remembers waking up every Thanksgiving in Atlanta and baking a pound cake with her mom while watching the parade before reuniting with her family at Grandma’s.

“It’s really so special to come back after this long, long break,” she said. “So much has changed so quickly. I feel like it’s weird for me not to be with them for the holidays, but I’m super grateful for doing what I’m about to do.

There will be new floats led by the cast of Peacock’s “Girls5eva” – Sara Bareilles, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Paula Pell and Busy Philipps – Nelly and Jordan Fisher, while Jon Batiste will be on an alligator-themed float celebrating the music, food and culture.

Other celebrities in attendance included Carrie Underwood, Jimmie Allen, Kelly Rowland, Rob Thomas, Kristin Chenoweth, Darren Criss, Foreigner, Andy Grammer, Mickey Guyton, Chris Lane, Miss America Camille Schrier, Muppets of “Sesame Street” and the three past and current Blue’s Clues hosts: Steve Burns, Donovan Patton and Josh Dela Cruz.

Some of the returning balloons will be “The Boss Baby”, “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”, Chase from “Paw Patrol”, the Pillsbury Doughboy, Ronald McDonald, Red Titan from “Ryan’s World”, Papa Smurf, Sonic the Hedgehog and Bob the Square sponge.

The Macy’s Parade has been a traditional kickoff to the holiday season and spectators often line up half a dozen depths along the route to cheer on about 8,000 marchers, two dozen floats, performers and marching bands.

Last year, the usual 2 1/2 mile route through crowded Manhattan was scrapped in favor of concentrating events on a one-block stretch of 34th Street past the retailer’s flagship store in Manhattan. . Many shows were recorded and most of the parade performers were based locally to reduce travel. Balloons were attached to specialized vehicles instead of being checked by handlers.


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