Bebe Neuwirth, Teachers Night on Broadway. Photo: Tricia Baron

Tony Award®-Winner Bebe Neuwirth Surprised the Audience with Opening Remarks

Last night, 500 NYC public school educators attended a performance of the Tony Award®-winning hit Chicago, Broadway’s longest running American musical, as part of “TEACHERS NIGHT ON BROADWAY.” The celebratory event was a way to show appreciation for all the incredible efforts teachers, chaperones, school social workers and guidance counselors, librarians, and school nurses do each day to help NYC public school students succeed. The event coincided with the announcement of the spring 2023 season of Broadway Bridges®.

Prior to curtain, Tony Award®-winner Bebe Neuwirth, who originated the role of Velma Kelly in this production of Chicago, made a special surprise appearance acknowledging the educators who were in the audience. As part of her welcome, Neuwirth remarked, “We want to thank you for nurturing the next generation of producers, performers, musicians, directors, writers, stagehands, lighting directors and Broadway audiences. And for being there for students during these past hard years of the pandemic – by providing them with emotional support and a lifeline. We are glad you are here! Please stand up – this time, the applause is for you!”

TEACHERS NIGHT ON BROADWAY” is presented by The Broadway League in conjunction with the United Federation of Teachers (UFT). Earlier in the day, a live press conference took place in Times Square, and the 500 NYC public school educators gathered as guest speakers: Charlotte St. Martin(President of The Broadway League), Michael Mulgrew (President of the United Federation of Teachers), Rita Joseph [NYC Council, Chair of the Committee on Education (D40)], Keith Powers[NYC Council, Majority Leader (D4)], Erik Bottcher [NYC Council, Co-Chair of the Manhattan Delegation (D3)], and Mark Levine (Manhattan Borough President) addressed the importance of arts education and introducing students to Broadway.

City Council Member Keith Powers (District 4) presented the UFT and The Broadway League with a Citation from City Hall praising the great work done on behalf of Broadway Bridges.

Now in its fifth season, Broadway Bridges is The Broadway League’s initiative that seeks to offer every New York City public high school student the opportunity to experience a Broadway show before graduation. To date, the program has introduced more than 80,000 New York City Department of Education sophomores and chaperones to Broadway, which helps to nurture the next generation of audiences and performing arts professionals. The Broadway League announced that 21 Broadway shows will be participating in the 2023 spring season. More information is available at

Follow Broadway Bridges on Facebook and Instagram!

For more information on Chicago, visit

American Sign Language interpretation was provided during the press conference. Accessibility services secured by Invest in Access.