New 'Showstoppers!' exhibit features iconic costumes from the stage and screen

NEW YORK -- As Broadway reopens after the long pandemic shutdown, a new exhibit in Times Square is shining a spotlight on show-stopping theatrical costumes and the talented people who create them.

Featuring more than 100 costumes that have graced productions on Broadway, film and television, "Showstoppers! Spectacular Costumes from Stage And Screen" is giving visitors not only an immersive introduction to the world of costume design but a chance to help all those people who were sidelined during the pandemic.

"From Broadway, on display, we have costumes from Wicked, Moulin Rouge, Lion King, Frozen, Aladdin, Phantom of the Opera, and many others," said Brian Blythe, founder of the Costume Institute Coalition, which organized the exhibit. The coalition was launched in 2020 as the pandemic ravaged the custom costume industry.

"We represent over 500 employees who are experts in their field and who the pandemic shut down. We were given this opportunity to do this exhibition as a fundraiser so that we can get back on our feet after so many months of being devastated by the pandemic," Blythe said.

The exhibit showcases the detail and craftsmanship that can typically only be appreciated from a distance on the stage or the screen.

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"It's easy to imagine this kind of blockbuster exhibit of costumes and it's surprising that we don't see more of that. But we really want to spotlight not just the theater business in the city, or the costume industry, but focus on the people who make all of this possible," said Tom Hennes, founder of Thinc Design, the firm that designed the exhibit.

The exhibit will open to the public on Aug. 5, and is scheduled to run through Sept. 26.

"This is an opportunity for us to really help each other and also show everyone in the general public, and in the industry, what we really do," said Blythe.

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