What Are Broadway Performers Doing during the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Image courtesy of headout.com

2021 certainly looks brighter; however, we did bring some luggage from 2020. Many businesses are still struggling, and the entertainment and fashion industries are adjusting without film debuts, red carpets, live concerts, live fashion shows, and live Broadway shows. The experience of live performances is simply impossible to improvise.

Last spring, 41 theaters turned off their stage lights,  actors left their dressing rooms full of their personal belongings as if they would be back soon from a long weekend and almost a year later we are all wondering when will Broadway be back ?“I think Broadway will definitely be back at some point in 2021. I’m sure there are going to be some changes—while you can’t exactly distance—or seat every other chair in a Broadway theater (it won’t be profitable); I bet we’ll be seeing some plexiglass—or even an added matinee or two if some seats do have to be removed. Not only is New York City missing the $14B a year that live performances bring in, but over 200,000 arts workers in New York City alone are without a job and health insurance —we cannot keep them from working, or from their livelihood,”says Lauren Conlin, Host  and Producer, “Red Carpet Rendezvous” Podcast.

Images courtesy of medium.com

“I miss the theater SO MUCH! I had tickets to “Company” and “Hadestown” before the [COVID-19] pandemic, and I was very excited for the play “Drift” to open off-Broadway. The sad part is, I don’t even think “Drift” will come back—and that’s upsetting, because I’m not sure when I’ll be able to see it—especially with the cast they had (Joe Pantoliano as the lead.) So many shows shut down before they could even open,” continues Conlin.

Lauren recently interviewed Claybourne Elder for her “Red Carpet Rendezvous“ podcast about who was starring in the ‘woke’ version of “Company’” on Broadway opposite Tony Award winners Katrina Lenk and Patti LuPone before the Broadway shutdown. He is an ambitious home chef, so during this pandemic shutdown he became a spokesperson for kitchen products!

Cicily Daniels images courtesy of pinterest.com

Talented Broadway performers have had to simply reset and explore other options of utilizing their skills. Cicily Daniels most recently seen in the Tony-award winning revival of “​Once On This Island​” and was also an original Broadway cast member of ​Disney’s “The Little Mermaid​,” where she performed the leading role of Ursula, the Sea Witch has been off stage since March of last year.

I don’t think that Broadway will return until fall 2021, at the earliest.  I wonder how it will be done, especially at first—will there be pods inside the theater, will the tickets be extremely expensive?  I am hoping that there aren’t too many changes to theater, but perhaps, there will be a greater commitment to maintaining actors’ health and creating a safe environment onstage and off,” explains Cicily Daniels.  “Unfortunately, like in every industry, there are theaters, theater companies, and shows that will have been unable to survive the pandemic.  There are several Broadway shows that have closed and will not re-open.  Some theater professionals will also not return to Broadway—some have moved away or changed industries.  More tragically, there are several members of the Broadway community who have died,” Cicily continues.

“Hadestown” image courtesy of pinterest.com

“That said, I believe that the Broadway community is extraordinarily resilient, and will be back.  Broadway and theater are an integral part of New York City, and Broadway will still be a mecca of theater across the world.  I also think that all of this time self-isolating is going to make people hungry for the ability to experience live theater, so hopefully, it will mean more shows and more opportunities for Broadway professionals.” 

There is a positive side to every story. “Fashion Reverie Talks” has a Broadway star Cicily as a co-host!! “Fashion Reverie Talks” keep Cicily busy with fashion coverage while she has been working on “The Loving Project,” with her husband, composer Brett Macias. “The Loving Project “examines interracial relationships and other social issues from The Loving Supreme Court case until today. Because downtime due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Cicily has become an even better baker, to the excitement of her husband and 3-year-old daughter, “but to the detriment of my waistline,” she noted laughingly!

Alex Brightman in “Beetlejuice” image courtesy of themarysue.com

“Law & Order: SVU” showrunner Warren Leight has explained several times that the show’s producers are trying to hire as many Broadway actors as possible during the pandemic. Some of the stars we have already seen on “Law & Order: SVU” are Tony-nominated “Hadestown” actor Eva Noblezada and “Beetlejuice” lead actor Alex Brightman.

Stage actors already cast in parts for this season of “Law & Order” include the Tony-winning Adriane Lenox,” Doubt: A Parable,” and  “After Midnight;” Elizabeth Marvel, “King Lear,” “Picnic;” Jane Bruce, “Jagged Little Pill;”  Jelani Alladin, “Frozen;” Michael Mastro, “Love! Valour! Compassion!,”and Betsy Aidem, “Steel Magnolias,” as originally reported in deadline.com.

What New York State is anxiously awaiting is the “New York Arts Revival” that Governor Andrew Cuomo announced couple of weeks ago. This project will offer more than 100 performances in parks, public plazas, museums, theaters, and trucks all over the state. Some highlights include the 20th anniversary of the Tribeca Film Festival with the opening of Little Island, a new 2.7-acre public park on Pier 55 in the Hudson River. The show must go on!!

Tijana Ibrahimovic

Speak Your Mind

*

Copyright © 2012-2021 | Fashion Reverie Publications, LLC - All Rights Reserved