Musicals Return To Broadway With Rose Petals And Standing Ovations


The primary standing ovation for Hadestown got here through the opening moments on Thursday night time, when a “Welcome again to Hadestown” announcement was virtually drowned out by the thunder of cheering and applause. It took virtually a full minute earlier than the present may proceed, reminding the viewers to show their cellphones down and maintain their masks up.

Hadestown, on the Walter Kerr Theater on forty eighth Avenue, was certainly one of two Broadway musicals that reopened this week virtually a yr and a half after the Nice White Manner went darkish. (The opposite musical was Waitress, which is making a surprise, short-run return after closing in January 2020.)

The present is a New Orleans-flavored re-telling of the Eurydice and Orpheus delusion, with a jazzy rating from Anaïs Mitchell and hauntingly directed by Rachel Chavkin. It gained eight Tony Awards, together with Finest Musical.

Co-producer Jonathan DeMar was within the viewers on reopening night time, and stated, “We’re coming again stronger than ever. I’m proud to be a part of it, and to be on this room tonight with this viewers — I couldn’t consider a greater solution to kickstart the Broadway season.”

The viewers appeared to suppose so, too — it was a joyous, virtually giddy, greeting most large numbers acquired. Every introduction of a brand new character was adopted by viewers members rising to their toes. It was delirious when Andre de Shields, who performs Hermes and serves because the narrator, began along with his regular, drawn out, “Aight?”

“I’m thrilled for Broadway to be again,” stated Jamila Ponton Bragg, from Harlem. “I noticed Hadestown in 2019 and was excited to see it once more, particularly Andre de Shields. And that standing ovation that he acquired, it was superb.”

Has a lot modified in regards to the theater-going expertise? Coming into the venue was easy, regardless of new necessities that everybody present proof of vaccination and be masked, along with the same old bag examine, metallic detectors, and ticket scan. And the home doorways opened sooner than pre-pandemic days to keep away from a crush. Sadly, the restroom traces at intermission had been the as pre-pandemic days (“I do not know if I’m on line, or which route it’s going, or the place the loos truly are,” one girl admitted).

Notably, ushers stood holding giant indicators that learn: “Masks Up.” (And the viewers did simply that.)

Masks Up sign

Jennifer Vanasco / Gothamist

Following a rapturous ovation, director Chavkin spoke very briefly to the viewers. “I simply wished to say thanks for being right here. We’re comfortable to be again,” she stated. “It is a household and it’s good to be collectively once more.”

Mitchell stated merely, “Thanks for maintaining the religion.”

Then the group poured into the road. The forged and band stood on the 2 balconies exterior the theater and showered these beneath with rose petals, the plastic carnations that symbolize the ranunculus flowers within the present, and, after jamming to “Manner Down in Hadestown,” a hovering, harmonized model of “Lean on Me.”


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