In the summer of 2009 BREAK OUT was performed throughout New York City. From Times Square to Columbus Circle; flight deck of the Intrepid to the cobble stone streets of South Street Seaport, hundreds of people participated in random bursts of musical theater and entertained a city.

BREAK OUT IN SONG was featured on “What’s Hot on AOL”! How cool is that?

BREAK OUT IN SONG was featured on “What’s Hot on AOL”! How cool is that?

CBS News.com report on BREAK OUT IN SONG

NEW YORK, July 20, 2009

If Life Were Like a Broadway Musical

“Break Out in Song” Brings Surprise Dance Numbers to New York Landmarks.

(CBS) This story was reported by CBSNews.com’s Gina Pace and Ken Lombardi

Play CBS VideoVIDEOBroadway SurpriseOnly On The Web: What, at first, appeared as a scuffle on the streets of Time Square in fact emerged as a surprise song and dance routine by the “Break Out in Song” team.

Dancers from


Ever wish that real life were just a bit more like a Broadway musical? 

Well, for New Yorkers and tourists who happened to be in certain spots of the Big Apple this weekend - such as South Street Seaport or Times Square - it did. Dozens started singing and dancing as part of a public arts project, Break Out In Song

Although those who read theater listings would be clued into the performance, most in Times Square Sunday afternoon had no idea that a Broadway number was about to erupt. Although it did seem, as more and more people gathered on the sidewalk, that something was about to happen. 

On these busy streets filled with pedestrians, one man bumped into another knocking him down. A heated argument ensued as, at first appearance, one of the men viewed the accident as an insult. Spectators began to express concern as the conversation seemed as if it was about to turn physical. 

A police officer quickly stepped in to break up the escalating fight. But as a woman started singing “Consider Yourself” from “Oliver!” the police officer, along with the rest of the crowd, realized that it was a performance. Dancers joined one by one until about 40 performers were in unison. 

By the end of the number, the two men had made amends, as part of the routine, symbolizing the sense of unity and inclusion the performers and producers of this show strive to evoke. 

The idea came to producer Ryan Mackey as he would listen to show tunes on his iPod, wishing that he could start singing and dancing. After seeing the viral video of about 200 dancers perform a song from “The Sound of Music” in a train station in Antwerp, Belgium, he decided he wanted to do something similar in New York. 

“Everyone has a song in their heart that’s bursting to come out,” Mackey said. 

Jessica Hartman, who worked as the choreographer for in “Don’t Rain on My Parade” from “Funny Girl,” said that it was key to plan the performances to look good from any angle - so no matter where passersby stood, they could enjoy the performance. 

“We want everyone to feel involved and part of the number,” Hartman said. 

Mackey, whose Broadway credits range from being the assistant director of “The Boy from Oz” to Mel Brooks’ assistant on “The Producers,” started calling in favors from entertainment contacts and formed a non-profit group to raise money for the show. All the dancers volunteered their time. 

He plans on bringing the performances to Chicago, Los Angeles and London - then back to New York City in time for Tony Awards season next year. 

Jessica Lea Patty, who was the lead in “Don’t Rain on My Parade,” said she couldn’t turn it down after hearing of the project . 

“We are brining theater to the masses,” Patty said. “And the reaction of people not expecting it - it will brighten everyone’s day.” 

© MMIX, CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Thanks, thanks, and ever thanks!

We cannot thank our performers, directors/choreographers, crew, supporters, families, friends, the venues and New York City enough. BREAK OUT IN SONG was a great success and we couldn’t have done it without you. We look forward to bringing a little bit of Broadway magic to you again very soon.

Our videos will be up shortly and they’ll be just as good as the performances. So please be sure to join our email list to receive the video links, and updates about our future projects.

Until then, let that song out of your heart. You’ll be glad you did.

"Consider Yourself" Cast

A great big hand for the amazing cast of “Consider Yourself”, who blew Times Square away with their wonderful performance. Heck, we were even able to get the NYPD involved in the action (which was unplanned):

Leslie McDonel (Vocal and lead performer)

Theis Weckesser (Featured performer)

Kyle Pleasant (Featured performer)

The NYPD

Jolynn Baca

Ellen Zolezzi

Andrea Davey

Susan Toni

Brooke Engen

Andrew Briedis

Joshua James Campbell

Semhar Ghebremichael

Gavin Esham

Bianca Stauffer

Jenny Florkowski

Emily McNamara

Elizabeth Earley

Nehemiah Hooks

Adealani Malia

Chrystal Asbury

Rebecca Magazine

Kristina Osterling

Emma Tattenbaum

Hillary Hamilton

Laura Snell

Tina Fuentes

Leigh S Vaynberg

Tim Howard

Nathalie Paulding

Joshua James Campbell

Kaitlin Lawrence

Sarah Shaefer

Rebekkah Sue Rosenberg

Nikki Ghisel

Alisha Giampola

Dawn Rene Fowler

Kathy Hazzard

Brad Landers

Natalie Ortiz

Arley Tapirian

Jaclyn Shapiro

Megan Roup

Karly Powell

Vanessa Martinez

Adelina Amosco

Ashley Carter

Debora Avila

Shayne Padovano

Sarah Godbehere

Directed and choreographed by Josh Walden

"Anything Goes" Cast

We hope the Intrepid Museum got a kick out of our rousing rendition of “Anything Goes”, complete with a cast of over 100 —including 30+ dancing children, and one adorable little red head!

Katie Thompson (Vocals and lead performer)

Tyler O’Daniels (featured performer)

Christina Zanardi

Julianne Bozzo

Ashley Salerno

Aly Winegrad

Lauren Zwang

Taylor Blonder

Sydney Susino

Megan Butler

Shelby Arenson

Jamie Zwang

Haylee Mevorah

Rebecca Laufer

Lisa Sorg

Stefanie Leonetti

Jackie Leonetti

Melissa Panza

Yvette Cucoro

Jason Miller

Jacquelyn Bickle

Haley Hauglun

Adrianne Chu

Sarah Parker

Carie Jurcak

Amber Colmey

Ariana Giardina

Hector Flores

Alexandra Depierro

Zackary Peraldo

Luis Cuadra

Lindsey Murphy

Clarrisa Soto

Ashley Ratka

Christina Pavia

Chrystal Asbuny

Emily Rupp

Kristina Osterling

Michael Haayen

Emma Tattenbaum

Brandi Sanders

Sharone Halevy

Lindsay Rose

Jen Gowers

Hillary Hamilton

Melanie Hopkins

Laura Snell

Amanda Fugate-Moss

Zipporah M Bruce

Sarah Shaefer

Rebekkah Sue Rosenberg

Kathy Hazzard

Annie Mistak

Gaven Trinidad

Kristin Piacentile

Arley Tapirian

Megan Roup

Karly Powell

Vanessa Martinez

Adelina Amosco

Ashley Carter

Avital Asuleen

Debora Avila

Alfie Parker

Shayne Padovan

Rebecca Magazine

Dani Fishman

Samantha Durso

Jessica Feldman

Rebecca Feldman

Sydney Winnegrad

Alexa Affrunti

Hannah Sandler

Hayley Sadler

Taylor Brent

Francesca Esposito

Cassidy Levine

Laura Harold

Rosie Zanardi

Lauren Jackson

Nicole Grumet

Amanda Grumet

Rachel Horowitz

Coutrney Blonder

Erin Sabados

Amanda Basselini

Alexi Payne

Katie Ferremi

Ricki Susino

Lauren Butler

ShannonThaler

Samantha Brown

Brianna Maida

Lindsey Zadok

Taylor Fliegelman

Sydney Wellen

Daniella Capelo

Matthew Tiberi

Directed and Choreographed by Andrew Turteltaub

NY Times covers BREAK OUT IN SONG!

New York Times - City Room Blog

For Dance, 10. For Spontaneity? You Decide.

By LIBBY NELSONBreak Out in Song

The scene: The Shops at Columbus Circle in Time Warner Center at the end of a weekday.

The audience members: Shoppers and office workers, gathered around the balconies, waiting.

Then it happened: a musical number broke out, as dancers clutching small shopping bags came up the escalators and, reaching the entrance, began moving to “If My Friends Could See Me Now” from the 1966 Broadway musical “Sweet Charity.” It came booming out of loudspeakers.

Though the performance was billed as being spontaneous — just as people start singing and dancing, all knowing the same words and steps, in movie musicals. Of course, the presence of more than 100 people gathered on three floors in anticipation of the performance suggested that it might not have been much of a surprise as the dancers, still holding their shopping bags, took their places in front of the Williams-Sonoma for an enthusiastic, if short, dance.

Ryan Mackey directed Thursday’s performance and has scheduled three more “spontaneous” musical numbers by the group, Break Out in Song. It is the result of a lifelong dream: to bring musical theater to life.

“I’ve always wanted to be in a musical, and I discovered I’m not a very good actor,” Mr. Mackey said. “But it didn’t stop me from wanting a musical to happen around me. I’ve had this whole dream of making musicals happen throughout everyday life.”

So when Mr. Mackey, who has worked as an assistant director on Broadway productions, saw just such a performance on YouTube — “Do Re Mi” from “The Sound of Music” in the Central Station of Antwerp, Belgium — he did what any man with a musical dream would do: cashed in his 401(k) and began planning a similar performance in New York.

Mr. Mackey called choreographers and held open auditions. He picked songs off his iPod — in addition to “If You Could See Me Now,” there is “Don’t Rain on My Parade,” from “Funny Girl”; “Anything Goes,” from the musical of the same name; and “Consider Yourself,” from “Oliver!” He solicited donations from friends and family and tapped into money saved to buy a house with his partner when not enough donations came through. Though the performers worked free and the production team was paid almost nothing, he still got 45 dancers to join the troupe.

Rehearsals sometimes lasted hours, but there was no dress rehearsal in the actual site. As a result, Thursday’s dance had an impromptu, slightly madcap feel, with the production team only one step ahead of the performance. Passers-by were hastily motioned out of the way for the dancers, who were occasionally out of sync. No one appeared to mind.

“If you’re not precise, it’s O.K., because that adds character,” Mr. Mackey had said in a phone interview on Wednesday. “It adds to the whole feel of the project, to the number. Not everybody needs to know how to pirouette, not everybody knows how to dance professionally.”

After it was over, he was smiling. “Now we know what we need to work on,” he said, adding that he was very happy with how it had turned out.

Future performances were planned for Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Intrepid Museum, Times Square and the South Street Seaport.

The performance had received enough publicity beforehand that it was not really a surprise to many of the passers-by, though those taking the elevator up from the Whole Foods beneath the shops were an exception.

Debbie Engel, who had read about the performance in the newspaper beforehand, said she might have enjoyed it more if it had been completely spontaneous.

“I thought it was very cute,” she said.

As for the dancers, the number itself was brief, ending with a high-energy can-can line. Then the music stopped, the audience dispersed, and — still holding their shopping bags — they melted into the crowd.

NY Times story

"Don’t Rain on My Parade" Cast

Wow! If you weren’t at South Street Seaport today, you missed something truly spectacular. Another wonderful performance and it’s all thanks to this talented cast:

Jessica Lea Patty (Vocals and lead performer)

Cody Smith

James Tabeek

Jason Lacayo

Michael Scirroto

Jacob Widman

Jessica Wu

Lindsay Chambers

Vicki Cave

Taryn Molnar

Angela Kahle

Jermaine Miles

Caleb Teicher

Jordan Grubb

Curtis Howard

Sharone Halevy

Evan Schweitzer

Brandi Sanders

Lindsay Rose

Amanda Moss

Giancarla Boyle

Alexia Tate

Sydney Francis

Paige Neal

Gavin Trinidad

Dana Thomas

Yin Yue

Bethany White

Geoffrey Murphy

Grace Freeman

Kim Schaefer

Claire Cook

Melanie Hopkins

Kristin Donnelly

Kristin Piacentile

DL Sams

Curtis Schroeger

John Pinto Jr.

Directed and Choreographed by Jessica Hartman

Associate Choreographer, Jonathan Day

Time Out NY has a bit more coverage on BREAK OUT IN SONG

Upstaged

Posted in Upstaged by Adam Feldman on July 17th, 2009 at 4:45 pm

Two days ago we told you about Break Out in Song, a fun project that aims to surprise New Yorkers with public explosions of musical theater. Yesterday, the Time Warner Center was the site of the first of the week’s four planned numbers: Sweet Charity’s “If My Friends Could See Me Now.” TONY designer Marc Whalen, a friend of one of the dancers involved, was there—and took a few casual pictures of the event, which you can flip through above. “The unsuspecting shoppers rewarded the performers with explosive applause,” Whalen reports, adding that the pseudo-impromptu musical number “left its large crowd thrilled and wanting more.” If you want to be part of the fun, you have two more chances: Break Out in Song is scheduled to perform the title number from Anything Goes at the Intrepid tomorrow at 3pm, and “Consider Yourself” from Oliver! in front of the Marriott Marquis hotel in Times Square on Sunday at 1pm. Out of the piano bars and into the streets!

Click here for the photos!

NY POST covers BREAK OUT IN SONG's performance of “If My Friends Could See Me Now” at the Time Warner Center.