For more than a year and a half, Broadway has been dark, the last major attracti…
For more than a year and a half, Broadway has been dark, the last major attraction in New York City to remain closed. Starting this month, however, the theater district will start flickering back on, the small pinpricks of light growing bigger and brighter by the week.
“Everything came back — concerts, indoor dining — but Broadway fans have had to live without this art form for so long,” said Ayanna Prescod, co-producer of “Pass Over” and host of the “What’s Up Broadway?” podcast. “I see the excitement to come back and I see the worry. But I know it’s safe. I bring my mother to shows.”
Earlier this summer, a few productions had tiptoed back onto the stage, namely “Springsteen on Broadway” and “Pass Over.” This month, the pace will pick up with 15 shows, followed by 12 in October, six in November and four in December. The returnees are a mix of stalwarts, debuts and revivals. Several shows, such as “Mrs. Doubtfire,” “Company” and “Six,” were in the midst of previews or early in their run when the pandemic struck.
New York City officially reopened July 1, but Broadway did not join the stampede. Theaters used the extra time to institute measures that would protect audience members and employees without disrupting the live theater experience.
The venues upgraded their HVAC air-filtration systems or installed new filters recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, depending on the age of the building. Theater owners trained their ticket takers to check vaccine cards or digital apps for patrons 12 and older (effective through Oct. 31) and negative test results for young children and exempt adults. Ushers also learned how to enforce the indoor mask mandate with diplomacy.
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