Will the virus support Broadway’s spring rebound?

After a gloomy winter in which the Omicron variety has ruined the Broadway’s profitable holiday season, New York’s ventilated theater industry is batting on a high note, with the number of shows on offer almost doubling. The disease-stricken business is thriving for recovery.

Adding to all these drama and music – 16 new productions and three comebacks open for five weeks – was always a gamble, because no one knows, even in this not-so-pandemic era. There. There are plenty of tourists and theater goers to keep up with for many shows.

And now the ongoing anti-coronary cases are making matters even more complicated. An increasing number of cases are occurring in New York City, with the advent of virus BA. The 2 subvariant, once again hitting Broadway, impressed some of its biggest stars, including Daniel Craig, Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick, and forced four shows to be temporarily canceled.

“What we think we’re entering this Spring, which has always been busy and crowded, has changed dramatically over the past week,” said Greg Noble, lead producer of “Puts”, a newcomer. till now. In rehearsal, it had to adapt because four of its seven actors tested positive for coronavirus. “Something feels like, ‘This again?’ The answer is yes, but this time, we need to ask the question, how do we really keep the show going, and what are the ways that we’re setting up what’s the new normal?

Broadway’s Big Spring began at the end of a cold night in late March, with the revival of “Plaza Suite” – a Neil Simon comedy starring Parker and Broderick, who initially performed on March 13, 2020. Was about to begin. The day before the performances closed for Broadway epidemic, and the Hudson Theater remained empty, hitting the names of married co-workers and on the stage on set, two full years before they returned to try again. General Chat Chat Lounge

“We hope this is not a moment, but rather a way that we will work now,” Parker said in a pink satin gown with a pearl tulle overlay, opening night at an 80-foot-long end. The red carpet shows. “We have restaurants that are still waiting to reopen, we have hotel staff waiting to come back, we have delis that have been beaten, we have those who want to work in front of the house. General Chat Chat Lounge

The crowd that came out to cheer him on, including Mikhail Baryshnikov, Laura Lenny, Cynthia Nixon and Martin Short, were ecstatic.

Broderick ended up with a gauntlet of camera crews arranged inside a translucent tent, explaining how much he enjoyed returning to the theater as a member of the audience, and now as an actor. “We’re learning to live with the epidemic or the epidemic – whatever you want to call it now – so strong theater and everything New York gets, is a more normal life,” he said. “It’s part of the world coming back.”

But after eight days, he tested positive, and two days later, he did so.

“Plaza Suite” closed Thursday, as is “Paradise Square,” a new music that was already struggling at the box office and could withstand lost revenue. Craig’s show, a revival of “Macbeth,” canceled the 10-day preview. And “A Strange Loop”, a new music that won a Pulitzer Prize based on its Off-Broadway run, kicked off its first five-day preview. All the reasons are referred to as positive coronavirus tests among members of the company; Everyone expects the performances to resume this week.

The latest virus-related cancellations were in all the new shows; Shows that have been around longer have had more time to prepare for cast absences, and have been able to spin them off with illiterates. Specifically, the revival of Stephen Sondheim’s “Company,” which began last December, temporarily lost its ten principals to the positive coron virus test in April, including its lead actor Katrina Lynch. In progress (His best-known actor, Patti Lupone, was not one of those victims; he likely tested positive in late February and then extended 10 days.)

And the effects aren’t limited to Broadway: off-Broadway, shows including “Suffice”, at the Public Theater, and “At the Wedding,” at the Lincoln Center Theater, have also temporarily canceled performances.

The industry is undergoing a kind of stress test, such as the annual crash of the Broadway Opening, which tends to cluster a little before the end of April to qualify for the Tony Awards, because it’s bigger than usual. So that some producers postpone their start dates. In the hope of avoiding the top of the Omicron variant. This month marks the highest number of Broadway shows in any April for more than a decade.

Broadway is always a risky business, in which more shows than fail to succeed. Some producers admit that having a glut of new shows is less than ideal for attention and audience at the same time, but they are optimistic, and everyone seems to believe that this is their show. Waiting

“You can play a little chicken and blind,” said Jordan Roth, president of the JoJamsin Theaters, which operates five Broadway houses. “Should we wait until every tourist is in town?” But why is every tourist getting into the city if we wait? At some point we have to decide that we are going to live.

This is actually Broadway’s second attempt at a rebound. The first gradation began last June, with the engagement of Bruce Springsteen returning to the wildly popular evening of singing and singing. The first play debuted last August, and in September, with a moment of hope and celebration, the greatest music returned.

Initial box office gross and attendance was enthusiastically strong. But then the Omicron variant arrived in New York, closing before the time of nine shows and helping break attendance at the worst time of the year: only 9% of Broadway seats were captured during the week ending January 62.

By the end of the winter, only 19 shows in 41 theaters on Broadway were playing. With a little competition, most of them – mostly established hits or shows with popular titles – did quite well. For the week ending March 20, 92% of the seats were occupied.

Now, as the number of shows is increasing, and untested titles are joining the hits, average attendance is down, with 85% of the seats filled during the week ending April 3. In total, there were 224,053 people in 31 shows this week, which is. The highest number of ticket holders this year, but far lower than the 315,320 who participated in 38 shows during the competition week in 2019.

“The reopening of these shows is a real celebration of the momentum going forward,” said Tom Harris, president of Times Square Alliance, who is identifying this busy spring with a 10-foot-tall playwright exhibiting a monolith on the pedestal. The Plaza noted that while Times Square was growing daily, it was still quieter than it was today: in March, about 255,000,365,000 people were passing through the neighborhood on an average day, he said, almost 365,000 daily before the outbreak. Less than tourists.

Until the epidemic, Broadway was on the rise, with 14.8 million ticket holders spending $ 19 billion at the box office during the 1.8-2018 season, the last full season before the Corona virus. But New York City commuters, who made up two-thirds of the Broadway audience before the epidemic, have not returned in pandemic numbers; The city’s tourism agency is planning 56.4 million tourists this year, down 66.6% from 2019 million.

It helps to explain that Mayor Eric Adams is celebrating Broadway on every occasion – appearing at the inaugural “The Music Men” and “Paradise Square,” and has been attending “Hamilton” student performances in recent weeks. has been.

“Every time I could walk on the red carpet,” Adams said in an interview at the opening of the “Plaza Suite,” I knew it would bring green money to our city.

Now, as the city has removed the vaccine mandate at restaurants and other public places, Broadway must decide whether to do the same. Its current security protocol, which requires all ticket holders to show proof of vaccination, is entered into theaters and is available until April 30, without eating or drinking, theater owners and operators have until April 1 to announce. Who had intended whether they would expand the rules, but they postponed the decision until April 15 as the number of cases increased.

In the meantime, new shows are coming out. Many are opening this month for “Potts,” whose stars include Julianne Huff and Vanessa Williams, were injured by rehearsals at the Daryl Road Theater in Union Square, because the production theater couldn’t find a suitable location in the district.

On a recent Saturday, the cast came together to work on scenes on a makeshift White House seat. One of the stars, Rachel Dracht, was still out with the Corona virus, so her part was rehearsed by an under-stander, Anita Abdenzad, while another star, Julie White, ended her solitary confinement first. Came back White, who had been watching rehearsals via video while recovering, was still cuddling under a mask, but her lines were loose, and she was drawn to the comic.

As she arrived, she was apparently happy to be back at work. He finally noted his relief after seeing the negative results on his daily Corona virus test, saying, “It was good to see this single line this morning.

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