Lights, Broadway, Action!

For the past year and a half, the lights of Broadway have been dimmed. Finally, the Great White Way is opening up its doors to audiences once again. There have been many concerns regarding COVID-19 protocols and how to safely provide entertainment on Broadway. 

Currently, masks must be worn inside all Broadway theaters, and audience members must show proof of vaccination at the door to attend the performance. While it may be a nuisance to have to worry about such things when seeing a show, to most theatergoers, whatever needs to be done to get back to live theater is a simple price to pay.

While many shows have yet to resume performances, some musicals, like Waitress, Wicked, and Chicago, have already begun to provide entertainment to the masses and have been since mid-September. Most shows have been re-opening sporadically since Fall 2021, with some new musicals and revivals, like Company and Funny Girl revivals, in the mix as well. However, amidst the joy of Broadway’s return, some productions have run into trouble in their efforts to contain COVID-19 exposures. 

Soon after Aladdin reopened on Broadway on Oct. 12, 2021, several cast and crew members tested positive for COVID-19. As all Broadway employees are required to be vaccinated against the virus, breakthrough cases could be a real issue for these productions that can not go on with multiple cast members unavailable. Aladdin was forced to cancel a small number of performances in mid-October to contain their spike in cases. If this incident teaches anything, it is that it is imperative to still be diligent and careful with the virus as vaccinated people are still susceptible. 

All plays and musicals are taking precautions to make the experience as safe as possible for both the audience and the cast and although it has not been smooth sailing, the theatre is open, and as of now, here to stay. After 18 months of darkness, live Broadway performances signal a bright light of hope on the road to recovery as a country.