A 539-Day Intermission

Broadway opens again

Diana: The Musical, like all of Broadway, has closed during the pandemic. Shows open again Tuesday, Nov. 2. Poster used with fair use from Diana: The Musical

source: https://www.broadway.com/shows/diana/

“Diana: The Musical,” like all of Broadway, has closed during the pandemic. Shows open again Tuesday, Nov. 2. Poster used with fair use from “Diana: The Musical”

By Molly Fast

     A year and a half after the theaters of New York City went dark in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Broadway has finally reopened and is ready to hold performances once again. 

     On March 12, 2020, Broadway was forced to close its doors and postpone the performances of all plays and musicals. What was only supposed to be a short few weeks at most, turned into a 539-day shutdown. 

     Many shows had barely been open when the pandemic shuttered the performance industry. One show was Six, a musical about the six wives of King Henry VIII, whose opening performance was supposed to be the day Broadway went dark. “Diana”, a new musical about the late Princess of Wales, was originally supposed to open on March 30, 2020 and is now set to open on Nov. 2. 

     Actors and actresses aren’t the only ones who are celebrating, fans from across the nation are also excited for Broadway’s return.

     To commemorate this occasion, Playbill and The Broadway League held an event in Times Square called “Curtain Up!”. The three day event was filled with performances from various musicals and plays such as “Dear Evan Hansen”, “Chicken & Biscuits”, and “Wicked”. Broadway fans gathered outside with masks on to enjoy live theatre for the first time since the pandemic started. 

     With theaters opening at full capacity, there are many safety protocols that have been put in place.

     For theater-goers 12 and older, it is required that they are fully vaccinated and bring photo identification. For those under the age of 12, they are required to show a negative covid test from within 72 hours of the show’s performance. All members of the audience must wear a mask at all times. Performers, staff, and crew members are also required to be fully vaccinated to prevent the spread of covid. 

     Even with safety precautions in place, covid is still affecting the many people in the theatre community.

     After only one performance since reopening, the hit musical Aladdin cancelled performances until Oct. 10. This sudden closure comes after multiple crew and cast members tested positive for covid. This was the first show to be temporarily closed because of covid concerns since Broadway reopened. 

     Just as Broadway was getting back into the swing of things, the 74th annual Tony Awards took place. 

     The awards show was postponed in 2020 and was held on Sept. 26 at the Winter Garden Theater. “Moulin Rouge!” Swept the floor winning 10 Tony Awards, including best musical. Actor Aaron Tveit took home the Tony for best leading actor in a musical by a landslide, which may be because he was the only one nominated for that category. Other significant awards include best play which went to “The Inheritance” and best leading actress in a musical which went to Adrienne Warren for her performance in “Tina: The Tina Turner Musical”.

     Theatre isn’t only making a comeback in NYC, it’s back all across the country, including here at Tigard High. 

     The THS Theatre Department has begun preparations for the fall musical, “All Together Now!”, a mashup of songs from many musicals. Last year a virtual show, “Clue”, was put together and performed all online. The current plan is to finally hold live performances for “All Together Now!” in November.