New NYC exhibit displays iconic costumes from stage, TV and film

TIMES SQUARE, Manhattan (WABC) -- A new interactive exhibit in New York City is displaying costumes from theater and film, including ones from Marvel's "Black Panther" and Broadway's "Hamilton," to benefit an industry that has struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Costume Industry Coalition's new exhibition, "Showstoppers! Spectacular Costumes from Stage & Screen," will run from August 5 through September 26 at 234 West 42nd Street.

World-renowned firm Thinc Design has transformed the Times Square space that formerly housed Modell's into an immersive maze featuring more than 100 of the industry's most beautiful and complex garments.

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Guests making their way through the exhibit will get an up close view of detail and craftsmanship typically only visible from a distance on stage or screen.

All proceeds will go to the Costume Industry Coalition Recovery Fund, which supports one of the hardest hit sectors of the entertainment industry.

"Broadway is a huge ecology, and the costumes are a part of that ecology," Costume Industry Coalition founding member Brian Blythe said. "No idea how many labor hours it takes to get those shows up and running."

Blythe is the business manager for the costumer John Kristiansen, who is also his life partner.

"On March 12 of 2020, John was supposed to go to opening night of 'SIX' on Broadway, and he actually went to the hospital instead," he said.

Kristiansen survived COVID, but the financial impact has been profound for everyone in the business.

Two new productions have been added to the impressive displays, including Dora Milaje from "Black Panther" at Disney's California Adventure and Broadway's Tony Award-winning "Hamilton."

Donna Langman has created costumes for 40 years, and some of her work is on display.

"I look at it as having a backstage pass to 40 different shows all at one time," she said. "We generally downplay what we do, but it's an honor to be presented up front for a change and put our face forward."

Previous confirmed displays include costumes from Broadway, Off Broadway and National Tours, including "A Soldier's Play," "Aladdin," "Chicago," "Come From Away," "The Cher Show," "Dear Evan Hansen," "Frozen," "Golden Child," "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child," "The Lion King," "Moulin Rouge! The Musical," "Mrs. Doubtfire," "The Phantom of the Opera," "SIX," "Wicked;" TV's "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," "Dickinson" and "Saturday Night Live;" film's "Respect" and "No Time to Die;" along with costumes from the dance world (including American Ballet Theatre, the Martha Graham Dance Company, New York City Ballet and San Francisco Ballet), Opera, Disney World, Norwegian Cruise Line, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, Broadway Bares and more.

The Museum of Broadway, scheduled to open in 2022, will be giving an exclusive sneak peek of what's to come by displaying costumes worn by Alice Ripley and Emily Skinner in the original production of "Side Show," designed by two-time Tony Award-winner Gregg Barnes.

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Playbill, a brand synonymous with Broadway, Off Broadway and theater across the country, will be opening an official Playbill Store on the lower level at Showstoppers.

The store will feature gifts and souvenirs from Playbill, as well as shows on exhibit, and unique merchandise from participating partners and craftspeople.

WABC-TV is a media sponsor of the exhibition.

Tickets are $29 and on sale now. Visit ShowstoppersNYC.com for tickets and information.

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