Lights, Action! Reopening of Broadway!
The sun is rising on the reopening of Broadway and theatre once again as people make way for the Great White Way to resume its operations! After two years of being stuck in online platforms for performances, the comeback to the stage starts as more and more Broadway and theatre shows become available for live, face-to-face viewing in New York City.
The colorful array of show posters at the Broadway theaters in Times Square, NY | Photo by Justine Lane from Shutterstock
Last September 2021, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced his decision to reopen the city again as COVID-19 restrictions were lifted. Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the Broadway League have started selling tickets for full-capacity shows. The reopening for Broadway again inspired cast and crew and theatre and musical lovers alike.
On September 14, 2021, Broadway officially opened its doors once again with a premiere of its three most significant anchors, “The Lion King,” “Hamilton,” and “Wicked.” Audience numbers blew the roof off as show after Broadway’s comeback was met with tremendous applause and cheers.
Additionally, the NYC TKTS booth was reopened on the same day of the Broadway premiere, signifying the return to normal next-day and same-day discounted tickets for Broadway and off-Broadway shows. The comebackBroadway was genuinely an iconic event that featured many of the shows’ creators teary-eyed during their welcoming speech to the viewers.
Before the reopening of Broadway in New York City, many audiences have shifted to satiating their musical needs on digital channels.
Musical and theatre lovers have resorted to watching their favorite productions online at home | Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels
Since Broadway shut due to the pandemic, it took down the business of New York City theatres with it such as the New York Theatre Workshop, Ambassador Theatre, Minskoff Theatre, Lunt Fontanne Theatre, Barrymore Theatre, Friedman Theatre, Longacre Theatre, Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, Vivian Beaumont Theater and the Hudson Theatre. The August Wilson Theatre, Richard Rodgers Theatre, Music Box Theatre, Neil Simon Theatre, and the Stephen Sondheim Theatre have proved to be a sanctuary for Broadway productions for many years. Now that the show is back in New York City, the doors of these theatres will surely be full on their opening night.
For more than a year, many productions provided digital viewing opportunities to make up for the lack of a face-to-face Broadway production. Through the usage of mobile applications like BroadwayHD, Met Opera On Demand, and National Theatre At Home, streaming platform apps that show Broadway and West-End productions, people got to experience a front-row seat viewing experience of a Broadway musical. Even Netflix decided to premiere musical films such as “Mamma Mia,” “Dreamgirls,” and “Prom” on their app.
Viewers can also “rent” productions, watch live streams, and create accounts on the Digital Theater website, which houses an array of HD theatre productions. New shows were also created through the usage of digital tools to create job opportunities for paid actors, even in an online setting.
Platforms such as Zoom were used in an attempt to preserve the feeling of live, in-the-moment performances. This gave birth to a new generation of “video-call” based stories or plots that involved long-distance interactions.
In the Philippines, the Philippine Educational Theatre Association (PETA) released productions on a pay-per-view basis. You can watch various plays available for a limited time. Even the yearly-awaited Virgin Labfest and Cinemalaya by the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) had to be translated into a virtual form.
Other local theatre companies such as Dulaang UP, Tanghalang Ateneo, Teatro Tomasino, and Ballet Manila have Youtube channels dedicated to posting filmed their archived collection of live theatre performances. Despite the hurdles it faced, theatre persevered. Say what you want about the pandemic, but the show must go on.
Cast and crew remain optimistic in the reopening of Broadway, with loved productions showing once again | Photo by Wendy Wei from Pexel
In light of Broadway’s reopening, Mayor Bill de Blasio hopes that the future of theatre remains optimistic in its return to the markets. Since September, 30 shows are scheduled for a Broadway debut before the end of 2021.
The Broadway reopening would include the returning performances of our most favorite titles including Tony-award winning shows. Broadways like Aladdin, Chicago, Caroline, Come From Away, Dear Evan Hensen, Girl from the North, Hadestown, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Moulin Rouge: The Musical, Mrs. Doubtfire, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Phantom of the Opera, and Six: The Musical, would begin performances in New York City theatres once again!
However, some shows that are a part of Broadway history, like the Scott Rudin produced West Side Story will not resume performances. On the bright side, other fan-favorites like the musical “Waitress” and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child resume performances in September this year.
The COVID-19 pandemic has called forth a new normal for everyone- the same as it will be for Broadway’s opening night! Effective immediately on September 2021, all theatre cast, crew, staff, and audiences were recommended to be fully vaccinated with an FDA or WHO-approved vaccine.
If not vaccinated, audience members should at least undergo testing and produce a record of a negative result. In fact, the New York Theater Guide offers an updated schedule on the Broadway musicals coming to the stage soon in New York, so you can view current and upcoming shows!
Indeed, you can’t stop the beat! Nothing beats the immediacy and passion of live theatre.
For two years since the surge of the COVID-19 pandemic, people have enjoyed the luxury of theatre in their own homes. Speaking of which, in the Philippines, Filipinos still do. What better way to have the best viewing experience than to watch theatre in a modern luxury home?
The homes at Brittany Corporation will truly make theatre watching on your screens the same way it would make you feel watching live- elegant, relaxing, and immersive.
Doesn’t everyone want to live in a place that has space to cater to our greatest passions and interests? A quiet, immersive environment to fully tune into the playthrough of Waitress in the comforts of our home?
A serene and comfortable place for watching theatre at a Brittany property, elevating your watching experience
Live theatre and performing arts- it sounds like a fairytale experience that we had so long ago. The sight of the props on stage, the screams of the stage managers backstage, the ruffle of costumes being tossed around, the voices rehearsing, and the fixtures of multi-colored lights are the things that make theatre lovers at home.
The raw emotions of the actors, with the hairs on the arms of audiences standing up from the belted high notes of the song “Lady Marmalade” from Tony-winning musical Moulin Rouge, are just things you can’t get in onscreen movies.
In fact, among the many stage musicals adapted to films, many long-time fans are disappointed with adaptations, simply declaring that the feeling just isn’t the same.
Theatre is authentic and unedited- no green screens or cuts, just pure adrenaline-pumped performances from months of rehearsals. You cannot get replays or hit pause- you can’t use your phone during live theatre.
You disconnect from the real world and momentarily connect to a completely different reality, utterly enamored by engaging acts and heartfelt lyrics from the musical.
That’s the magic of live theatre, and it’s a feeling that many of us missed. It’s a captivating musical journey of humanity’s most harrowing and tragic stories at their best and worst.
The reopening of Broadway is excellent news not just for us musical lovers but also for theatre cast, crew, creators, and theatre owners as well.
Since the surge of the pandemic, they have been left jobless, with the pandemic taking away their primary source of income- these poor, unfortunate souls. The tourist population in New York also took a hit, which is a massive loss for profits since international tourists make up roughly 2/3 of Broadway ticket sales.
Now that 7.07 billion vaccine doses have been distributed globally, the world hopes to transition into a herd immunization, which can help speed the return to normalcy. Moreover, infection rates have also been dwindling down.
There have also been significant developments in the necessity of propagating booster shots. Thanks to the scientific community, we are a giant step closer to beating the COVID-19 virus! Finally, the wait is over with Broadway reopening!
Audiences are now encouraged to be fully vaccinated before buying tickets for Broadway and off-Broadway shows | Photo by Gustavo Fring from Pexels
Various musical directors, creators, and actors are excited about the Broadway premiere. Finally, they are going back under the lights of an actual stage. “We go to a theatre for catharsis. Literally, that’s what we go for: to be in communion with each other, hear a story told in the dark, and experience catharsis,” said the creator of Broadway show “Hamilton”, Lin-Manuel Miranda in an interview on Hamilton’s return to the live stage.
“For a while, it wasn’t safe to do that. And it’s safe to come back now with the protocols we have in place.”
Jeannette Bayardelle, who stars in the Girl From the North Country as the character of Mrs. Neilsen, stated in an interview with Playbill the importance of community in theatre. “The thing that I look forward to most in the reopening of Broadway is creating art on stage with a community of actors. Although isolation during the pandemic helped save lives, we need fellowship with one another to help give us a better quality of life. It’s going to feel really good being back on stage with my North Country family. Together, we will help heal each other and the world one show at a time.”
Jeannette Bayardelle, a Broadway actress and writer, looks forward to performing on stage again | Photo by Jeannette Bayardelle from Instagram
Theatre has always been a way for productions to reflect society’s ugliest and most real reflections on stage, and its role in humanity’s post-pandemic lives remains critical more than ever.
People have been stuck with many days that were gray and lonely during the pandemic. Death, sickness, anxiety, depression, hunger, and poverty plagued their daily lives.
The reopening of Broadway could not have come at a better time. Time to put on everyone’s witch hats and traverse the yellow brick road once more!
In the search for hobbies to do during the pandemic, why not try adding “binge-watching Broadway musicals” to the list? After all, it is a soulful hobby fueled by the arts! Wouldn’t it be loverly, indeed!
Thanks to the impactful movements that arose during the pandemic, such as the #BlackLivesMatter, the theatre has again used art and musical talent to bring relevant social issues to light. Launched together with familiar titles this year, two new productions showcasing the stories of black men will rock the stage. Namely, Keenan Scott II’s “Thoughts of a Colored Man” and Antoinette Chinonye Nwandu’s “Pass Over.”
Audiences cannot miss these two new plays as theatrical history faces a new birth- rising from the ashes of a crisis and growing stronger than ever before. The demand for theatre will always be there because people do not rely on these stories and songs for mere entertainment only but for meaningful expression.
Do you hear the people sing? It’s an ode to how theatre is one of the most outstanding trademarks of revolution in these post-pandemic times, and everyone is here for it!
Thousands gathered for the movement #BlackLivesMatter during the COVID-19 pandemic last May 2020 for the murder of George Floyd | Photo by Life Matters from Pexel
However, with the opening night of Broadway theaters sprung forth this year, both the cast and crew need to make many adjustments to fill in the gaps.
After almost two years, people cannot expect things to be the same for the Broadway revival. Performers need to recondition their bodies and voices once again. Some actors and actresses may have decided to pursue other career paths and not renew their contracts.
Some child actors may have grown out of their roles. Some main characters in certain shows altogether opted to never return to Broadway, including Moulin Rouge’s Tony Award-nominated “Karen Olivo,” who plays the character of Satine.
Furthermore, more regulations for the reopening of Broadway theaters are still being put into place.
The occurrence of longstanding theatre practices like autograph signing and performance frequencies is still up for debate. Ticket prices will also vary before returning to their pre-pandemic state, as the percentage of the costs, wages, and funds for opening night are still dependent on many conditions.
Of course, proper wearing of masks, temperature checking, swab testing, and social distancing will definitely be employed. There will also be an interval between performances in order to make way for the disinfecting of the facilities.
Overall, there are still a lot of unknown factors as even the Broadway League admits that they are treading in unexplored territories.
One thing is for sure, though, when the theatres open and the stage hosts audiences’ favorite scripts once again, it’s time to start saving money for tickets. Furthermore, in the upcoming yuletide season for 2021, people can definitely watch family musicals like “The Lion King” or “Annie” as another Christmas activity to do at home!
That’s the best thing about theatre- there’s something for it for everyone. There is a wide range of musicals and songs to choose from.
The cast of the Wicked are teary-eyed during the curtain call for the reopening of Broadway last September 14, 2021 | Photo by Marc Franklin from Playbill
One can only hope that when Broadway resumes performances, it will symbolize faith for all of us- giving us hope that everything will resume like it was before again. In the meantime, while everyone still can’t enjoy the bright-studded lights and be a part of it in New York, New York, here in the Philippines, Filipinos can still enjoy Broadway at home.
In ensuring that you get the best viewing experience possible, why not invest in a property that will make you feel like a Grand Duchess like Anastasia or a flourishing Founding Father like Alexander Hamilton? Don’t throw away your shot at a beautiful and posh home developed by Brittany Corporation! The home of your dreams is one click away.
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