Surprise performers included Kristin Chenoweth, Christopher Jackson, Phylicia Rashad, Laura Benanti, Jimmy Smits, and Olga Merediz.

By Andrea Towers
June 09, 2021 at 09:36 AM EDT
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Broadway is officially coming back, and no one is more excited than Jimmy Fallon and Lin-Manuel Miranda. To celebrate the September reopening of the Great White Way, the two musical lovers performed an elaborate medley on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon that included dancing and singing their way through 15 returning Broadway shows.

Highlighting iconic moments from each musical and showcasing performers from the shows, Fallon and Miranda "visited" Dear Evan Hansen, Aladdin, Book of Mormon, A Chorus Line, The Lion King, Six, Chicago, Phantom of the Opera, Moulin Rouge, Company, Wicked, West Side Story, Hadestown, and of course, Hamilton.

When Fallon revealed to Miranda that they now have a full audience - marking the first time 30 Rock has had a packed studio since quarantine forced the show into remote tapings and then audience-free shows over a year ago - the two celebrated by serenading the crowd with "Broadway's Back," a parody of Hamilton's "You'll Be Back." (A song Fallon clearly loves, as he performed it on the Hamilton Mixtape a few years ago.)

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Broadway is Back! Laura Benanti, actor Christopher Jackson, actress Olga Merediz, actor Lin-Manuel Miranda, host Jimmy Fallon, actress Kristin Chenoweth, actress Phylicia Rashad, and actor Jimmy Smit
Jimmy Fallon Broadway's Back
| Credit: Andrew Lipovsky/NBC

"In September, for your entertainment, Broadway's back!" Miranda sang to cheers, before being joined by a surprise group of performers that included stage vets Kristin ChenowethChristopher Jackson, Phylicia Rashad, Laura Benanti, Jimmy Smits, and Olga Merediz. Smits and Merediz both star in the upcoming In The Heights movie, out Friday.

"You'll be back, soon you'll see, you'll remember what it's like to be in Times Square, for a show, waving hi to every drunk Elmo," sang Broadway legends Rasahad and Chenoweth, as Jackson and Benanti reminded the audience to "take a break from Zoom" - and that, yes, our pet plants would survive if we left our rooms.

As Miranda promised that "there is life beyond your friends at Netflix, Hulu, Peacock, Disney+" a shower of confetti rained down on the performers, who celebrated being able to perform again with high enthusiasm.

Broadway is set to officially return on September 14, with many shows already offering tickets and announcing opening dates in preparation for a return to the stage.

Yes, Broadway is definitely back. And it feels great.

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