Ian Patrick, FISM News
Music theater aficionados rejoice! Broadway has made its return in a spectacular night featuring the reopening of multiple iconic and celebrated musicals.
Many theaters lining Broadway opened on Tuesday night featuring shows that haven’t been seen by an audience since closing last year due to the pandemic. The returning musicals that received much fanfare included “Hamilton,” “The Lion King,” “Wicked,” and “Chicago.”
Audience members seeing “Hamilton” at the Richard Rogers Theatre were treated to a surprise visit from the musical’s creator, Lin Manuel Miranda. Before doors opened, Miranda ran out to greet people waiting outside of the theater. When the audience took their seat, Miranda took the stage prior to the performance to reintroduce his hit musical and thank everyone involved in the process.
— Hamilton (@HamiltonMusical) September 15, 2021
Similarly, those who attended the reopening of “Wicked” at the Gershwen Theatre were surprised to see Kristin Chenoweth introduce the “Wizard of Oz” spinoff. Chenoweth originated the iconic role of Glinda in 2003. In her introduction of the show, she exclaimed the famous line, “There’s no place like home!”
— Shannan Ferry (@ShannanFerry) September 14, 2021
Surprise introductions continued to populate the night, as the director of “The Lion King,” Julie Taymor, also took the stage at Minskoff Theatre to reintroduce her show. She kicked things off with a phrase uttered in the show and in the original Disney film by the wise character Rafiki: “It is time.”
It is time – The Lion King is back. Our director Julie Taymor lead the opening night in with a talk with the audience + we loved seeing everyone who came to experience what we had been rehearsing on the to get back to. We look forward to the countless audiences in the future 🦁❤️ pic.twitter.com/lcOi22jHF5
— The Lion King – Musical (@TheLionKing) September 15, 2021
Audiences, staff, crew, musicians, and actors alike were all required to wear masks (except for actors when onstage) and show proof of vaccination.
Although this was a big night for big shows, Broadway has technically been operating since June of this year. The business first reopened with “Springsteen on Broadway,” a one-man limited-time performance done by Bruce Springsteen himself. Other shows such as “Hadestown,” “Waitress,” and a brand new show called “Pass Over” had slowly been operating in other theaters just days prior to the big reopening night.
Additional shows have begun announcing their return as well. According to the official Broadway website, the rest of the year will see the return of multiple musicals and plays including “Moulin Rouge,” “Aladdin, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “The Phantom of the Opera,” and “The Music Man,” to name only a few of the great multitude of shows.