(Photo: Matthew Murphy)

The Broadway League is hosting an inaugural Juneteenth event with performances to celebrate “Black joy and unity” on Broadway. 

The event, Broadway Celebrates Juneteenth, will feature a free outdoor concert with cast members from “Girl from the North Country,” “The Lion King,” “Moulin Rouge,” “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Tina,” “Diana” and “Thoughts of a Colored Man.” Lilias White and Ben Vereen will also make appearances. 

The concert will be held in Times Square on June 19 from noon to 1:30 p.m. The event is an initiative of Black to Broadway, the newly renamed initiative within the Broadway league to create deeper engagement between Broadway and the Black community. 

The Broadway League is the executive producer of the event, which features direction by Steve H. Broadnax III, music direction by Daryl Waters, Nzinga Williams as the general manager and Cody Renard Richard as the stage manager.

The holiday commemorates the anniversary of June 19, 1865, the day on which slaves in Texas were told they were free and largely a celebration of emancipation from slavery. 

“This will be the first year that Juneteenth will be an official holiday in New York State. We are proud to be honoring and celebrating this important day together as a community. We will be reflecting on the incredible contributions that the Black members of our community have made and continue to contribute to Broadway. As the industry prepares to reopen this fall, we welcome this opportunity to join together in looking forward to a better Broadway, one that comes back stronger, more diverse, more equitable, more inclusive, and more united,” Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League, said in the press release.