After a dark year, Broadway sees light at the end of the summer

"We will be back!" a dozen singers proclaimed in the middle of New York's Times Square, in a pop-up event commemorating the one-year anniversary of Broadway going dim. Friday on Times Square, when the first familiar notes of George Benson's "On Broadway" sounded, a powerful chorus of voices -- some quavering with emotion -- quickly joined in.

And a clear sense of optimism filled the air -- despite the "Closed" signs still darkening the doors of nearby theaters.

'We will be back'

"We will be back!" a dozen singers proclaimed in the middle of New York's Times Square, in a pop-up event commemorating the one-year anniversary of Broadway going dim. 

(Photograph:AFP)

Not 'closed'

A clear sense of optimism filled the air -- despite the "Closed" signs still darkening the doors of nearby theaters.

(Photograph:AFP)

'On Broadway'

Friday on Times Square, when the first familiar notes of George Benson's "On Broadway" sounded, a powerful chorus of voices -- some quavering with emotion -- quickly joined in. "It was wonderful," said Peppermint, who in 2018 became the first transgender woman to play the leading role in a Broadway musical, "Head Over Heels."

(Photograph:AFP)

The long wait

Despite a decision by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to allow theaters to reopen at 33 percent capacity, with a maximum of 100 people indoors as of April 2, the hard reality is that Broadway, with its compact theaters and huge production costs, won't be joining them right away.

(Photograph:AFP)

Hope

Everyone is counting on an indication from Anthony Fauci, the White House coronavirus advisor, who said in January that theaters should be able to reopen by "early to mid-fall" with an end to the pandemic finally in sight. "There has to be a plan," said Clayton Craddock, a drummer who was working with the musical "Ain't Too Proud" until the theaters shut down.

(Photograph:AFP)

There's light ahead

Despite losing 12 months of revenue and probably six more to come, only a handful of productions -- three musicals and two plays -- have definitively thrown in the towel. That leaves 31 shows positioned to start up again in the fall, along with a few new additions, including a revival of "The Music Man" and "MJ: The Musical," with music and lyrics by Michael Jackson.  
 

(Photograph:AFP)

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