NEW YORK (AP) — Megan Fairchild is usually chopping, stirring and basting during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. This year she'll be twirling, leaping and swaying.
Fairchild and more than two dozen cast members from the Broadway revival of "On the Town" will be adding a little razzle-dazzle amid the Snoopy and Buzz Lightyear balloons along the parade route.
"It's so exciting and such an honor for us to be asked," said Fairchild, a principal dancer at the New York City Ballet who is making her Broadway debut in the show.
Other shows to be spotlighted Thursday on NBC include "A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder," Sting's "The Last Ship," ''Side Show" and "Finding Neverland."
"On the Town," the romance-chasing romp by Leonard Bernstein, Betty Comden and Adolph Green, is set in Manhattan and has a soaring score that includes "New York, New York."
The show is about three bell-bottomed Navy sailors who try to cram a year's worth of fun into 24 hours of shore leave. It was made into a classic film with Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra.
Bill Schermerhorn, creative director of the parade, includes a musical number from a show if it can stand on its own and isn't reliant on scenery or lighting. "It's street theater at its finest," he explained.
While many Broadway shows hope to be included every year, Schermerhorn said it was a no-brainer to pick "New York, New York," calling the song and show a "valentine" to the city.
Joshua Bergasse, the show's choreographer, said his 30 dancers will have only 3 minutes to strut their stuff in front of an estimated 56 million people — incredible exposure for a show that usually plays to 1,900 a night.
Eight cameras will capture the cast performing in front of Macy's on 34th Street. Forecasts call for a chilly morning, with a high of only 39. The "On the Town" sequence will have a special place during the parade telecast, but organizers won't reveal it.
This will be the fourth parade for Clyde Alves, who plays Ozzie. A few years ago he performed "Anything Goes," but this time is different. "This is the most elaborate it's ever been," he said.
As for Fairchild, they'll be no cooking for her this Thanksgiving Day. Instead, her brother-in-law will be in the kitchen while she dances in the street.
"I was trying not to be too bossy, but I was like, 'I'm not going to have time,'" she said. "You've got to pretend that you worked really hard but really had so much fun."
Mark Kennedy can be reached at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits