STATEN ISLAND, N.Y.– Empire Outlets was buzzing with Broadway tunes on Friday afternoon as “Broadway in the Boros,” an annual event hosted by the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, took place in the patio area.

The event brought hundreds to Empire Outlets for a one-hour live performance by the casts of “Beetlejuice” and “Chicago.” During the event, organizers invited dignified speakers to the stage and hosted trivia contests. Prizes were tickets to “Beetlejuice” and “Chicago.”

“I’m personally thrilled to welcome an event like this at Empire Outlets,” said Joseph Ferrara, principal of BFC Partners. “This gives Staten Islanders great access to culture in a public space.”


This event was the first time visiting the borough for many of the Broadway stars. And yes, they did take the Staten Island Ferry over. They may have tight abs and mesmerizing vocals, but they’re just like us. Traveling to new boroughs is one of the many rewards this series has offered the cast, some said.

“It’s nice to go places I don’t normally go,” said Abe Goldfarb, of the “Beetlejuice ensemble. “I don’t spend a lot of time on Staten Island and it’s fun to come out here, see new people and perform awesome material.”

“We’re understudies so we don’t really get to do the material as often as our leading ladies and men, so it’s a great opportunity to do it in front of an audience that is so welcoming.” said Kim Sava, understudy of Barbra in “Beetlejuice.”

Performing in the middle of a public space is out of the norm for these cast members, as they typically stay within the four walls of the Winter Garden Theatre and Ambassador Theatre.

“It’s really interesting to see the reactions of people walking by and them being like, ‘Oh, someone’s singing outside right now?,” said Presley Ryan, understudy for Lydia in “Beetlejuice.” “It’s very different compared to a stage where people are expecting to see the show.”


Before the show, the Advance got to speak with the stars about the advice they would give the aspiring actors in the audience. (BTW: We have a thriving theatre community on Staten Island.)

“All of us performing were aspiring at one time,” said Desi Oakley, playing Roxi in the current Broadway production of “Chicago.” “The best advice I’ve ever gotten was to always be kind and never try to be someone that you’re not. Embrace who you are as an individual, and your uniqueness is important.”

“We’re never done learning,” Oakley added. “Every opportunity we have is a learning opportunity, even if that means its a no.”

“If you really have a passion for it, you’ll find your way,” said Brian O’Brien, Fred Casely in the current Broadway production of “Chicago.” “The great thing about theatre is whether or not you make it to the stage, there are so many other opportunities backstage, with the musicians and in stage design.

“It’s not all about the spotlight,” O’Brien said. “There is a lot going on backstage and a skillset you have can be used.”


Here’s what went down at the Staten Island “Broadway in the Boros” show. For more information on the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment — the people that brought this live entertainment to Staten Island — visit

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